By Regina Moran, Enterprise Director for Vodafone Ireland
August 31st, 2018
When you look at the market today, everybody is under huge pressure to engage in what is called digital transformation but without the connectivity, infrastructure and the right platform to support this, it is really difficult to do. At Vodafone, it’s our role to provide the underlying structures to Irish companies that will let them be the most connected and accessible versions of themselves possible. This is at the core of what we do, and the ‘connected ambition’ of our customers is close to our heart. In fact, this emphasis on customers is palpable the minute you walk in the door.
My main focus as enterprise director is helping customers ‘digitally transform’ or in other words make the best use of technology and communications to expand and grow. We can do this because of Vodafone’s next-generation fixed and mobile solutions, cloud-based platforms, Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) and unified or converged communications offerings.
Digital Transformation helps businesses to grow
It is about always being connected but digital transformation doesn’t stop there -- what do you do with the fact you are connected? If you’re a small company, can you use that to grow? How, exactly? If you’re a medium sized company or are looking to expand internationally, how can you do it? And if you’re already international in focus, how can you be more effective?
This is what we are trying to emphasise at Vodafone – identifying the benefit to the customer in all of this. We start with the customer first, not the technology. Our job is to see how we can get businesses talking to each other, partnering and co-creating. I think it is very exciting.
It’s with this in mind that Vodafone has invested in the Irish market. We’ve spent €2bn over the last number of years and we’re continuing to invest in future-facing technologies such as NB-IoT and 5G connectivity.
What IoT means for Small Businesses
Having the NB-IoT platform makes the Internet of Things viable from a cost point of view. If we can create a platform and an ecosystem for Irish companies with niche offerings to create a combined value proposition with what we have, that is quite exciting.
And the fact that we have an IoT platform which will allow even small companies the ability to build applications that are commercially viable is remarkable. I think we are only at the very edge of what is possible. If you look at the current situation by sector – healthcare, financial services, etc – I think it’s likely that NB-IoT will touch everyone. The problems that you as an individual company might be solving with it may be different but the platform is what is important.
Meanwhile we’re also trialling 5G and there are great possibilities with that in terms of what can be done in terms of virtual reality and augmented reality. A low-latency network would allow a surgeon in Dublin to operate on a person in Cork. The best maths teacher in the world could deliver maths classes to secondary school students.
All of those things are possible and there will be remarkable societal and commercial benefits.