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  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

Vodafone goes all in on cloud and generative AI as it signs a 10-year deal with Microsoft

Vodafone and Microsoft have sealed a monumental $1.5 billion, 10-year partnership geared towards revolutionising Vodafone's cloud capabilities using Microsoft’s Azure platform.

The deal is expected to accelerate Vodafone's digital transformation, starting with migrating its virtual data centre to Microsoft Azure. Vodafone anticipates substantial long-term benefits, including a substantial reduction in maintenance and energy costs across its operations in Europe and Africa.

Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, affirmed the partnership's significance, highlighting the tech giant's commitment to supporting Vodafone in leveraging "the latest cloud and AI technology" to elevate customer experiences.

Vodafone Group's CEO, Margherita Della Valle, also lauded the collaboration terming it as a "bold commitment" that will reap benefits for both consumers and businesses.

“This unique strategic partnership with Microsoft will accelerate the digital transformation of our business customers, particularly small and medium-sized companies, and step up the quality of customer experience for consumers.”

Beyond cloud transformation, the deal will see the two companies collaborate in 5 other key areas.

To start with Vodafone will get access to Microsoft’s Copilot AI capabilities, empowering the development of customer-facing generative AI. This is part of the company’s plan to improve customer support through intelligent digital assistants.Microsoft has also committed to help scale Vodafone's fintech subsidiary, M-Pesa by hosting it on Azure.

Moreover, Microsoft plans to “invest heavily” in Vodafone’s standalone Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity platform, which connects 175 million devices and platforms worldwide.

On the other hand, Vodafone will keep pushing Microsoft’s cloud, security, and productivity services across Europe as part of Microsoft’s strategy to become the region's leading platform for business.

SMBs are the primary targets as they will benefit the most from deploying Microsoft services at a slower and more adaptable pace.

By coming together, the two companies are confident they can meet their goal of scaling their digital platforms to more than 300 million businesses, public sector organisations, and consumers across Europe and Africa.


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