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Becoming a tech comm: The future of Vodafone Business

23 Dec 2021

Vinod Kumar

CEO, Vodafone Business

It’s been a challenging year for businesses of all sizes, and we were not exempt from this.

Like every organisation, we have had to change the way we work, moving to more hybrid models, and adapting our products, services and supply chains to be able to continue delivering for our customers.

I’ve felt especially proud watching how our teams continually come together toward a common goal despite the stresses that come with living through a global pandemic. They have worked tirelessly to support each other and our customers and brought new services to market quicker than ever before.

That momentum has continued and, as the year comes to a close, I want to share some of our highlights and discuss our future goals as we strive towards becoming a leader in the technology space.

Building better healthcare systems

As a purpose-led business, we measure our success not just by our bottom line but by the impact we have on society. That is why I’m pleased to share our activities on climate change alongside our sector-specific work which is driving real progress.

We’re working hard to help transform education by supporting students and teachers with tailored technology solutions and digitised classrooms. We’re tackling challenges in agriculture, enabling farmers to become more profitable, competitive, and eco-friendly. And we’ve continued our commitment to innovate the healthcare industry, an area I particularly want to shine a light on.

EU healthcare systems are struggling as demand increases and supply constraints rise, causing huge financial pressures. I believe digitalisation can enable more efficient use of resources and better training and patient care, and we’re working hard in this space to demonstrate the value technology can bring.

For example, in Germany we are working with the Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf to establish a blueprint for the use of 5G in clinics and hospitals. Trialling use cases such as precision medicine, health monitoring, mobile diagnosis, mixed reality surgeries, remote consultation and virtual medical education.

In Greece, we’ve launched a Telemedicine Programme that supports monitoring and management of care for chronic disease and post-surgery/hospital treatments and, most recently, we launched our virtual Centre for Health with Deloitte with the ambition of giving more people access to healthcare when and where they need it across the globe.

Small but mighty

Another key area of focus for us this year is supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Hard hit since the start of the pandemic, our latest research shows that these organisations are still falling behind their larger counterparts when it comes to the adoption of digital technologies and that this can have a direct hit on business performance.

We want to be the partner to help them transform their businesses and be successful.

As part of this ambition, we launched V-Hub in 2020, creating a space where SMEs can get information about cybersecurity, remote working, web construction and digital marketing – as well as one-on-one guidance from our chat and phone service.

We’re now expanding this resource to cover information around the new European Union funding for SMEs and will be launching an assessment tool to help organisations understand how they stack up in comparison to competitors.

We want to create a community where SMEs across Europe and beyond can share best practice, too.

In our #ThoseWhoDare event in May, we brought together over 30 of Europe’s most dynamic and inspiring entrepreneurs to share their stories of resilience, sustainability, how they are using data to stay ahead, and how they’re approaching talent retention in the new hybrid world of work.

Helping SMEs tackle their biggest challenges is something we will continue to do in 2022.

Creating a smart connectivity infrastructure

It’s not just SMEs that need to look at their digital make-up.

As we look ahead, we want to help larger businesses and multi-national companies improve their technological infrastructure, harmonising technologies such as IoT, Edge Computing and SD-WAN to make data instantly accessible to and from every device, sensor and machine.

To manage these technologies, the connectivity infrastructure itself will need to be smart, automatically orchestrating resources across the network with huge flexibility. And by working together, we can better support this ecosystem thereby helping every business to thrive.

On reflection it has been another incredibly busy year – and one where we’ve been able to bring the power of digital to all sectors of society. Operating at this level amidst the challenges of a global pandemic can naturally take its toll so I’m sure we’re all ready for a break but I feel energised by the impact we’re witnessing and excited for the future.

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