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Vodafone Idea aims to become a ‘techco’ via partner-led strategy to drive enterprise business


NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea has said that it is aiming to become a “techco”, or a technology company, by working with various partners to build an ecosystem of products and services for enterprises in the country.

“From being a telco, we are trying to become a ‘techco’ in keeping pace with the changing needs of enterprises,” Abhijit Kishore, director-enterprise business at Vodafone Idea, told ET. “This is the space where the partnership will come in handy.”

The telecom operator has adopted a partner-led approach to build a complete marketplace for its products and solutions for larger, small and medium enterprises. Kishore said that Vi is creating a partner marketplace for devices, applications, software, consultancy, system integrator and network to build the ecosystem.

“As a telco, we can’t really put expertise in house,” he said.

The executive said that Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud, SDN-WAN are some of the opportunities for the telco in the large enterprise domain. In the small and medium enterprise domain, he said that “digital” adoption is presenting opportunities to the telco.

The telco is also focusing on building security as a service in the country, having launched its managed security service offering. It also claimed that it is the leader in the IoT domain backed by heavy investments. “We are three to four quarters ahead of anybody else in the country from the enterprise grade IoT solution in the space of utility, meter reading, manufacturing, agriculture and automobile,” he said.

Vodafone Idea is bullish on the automobile vertical, and is currently in “advanced talks” with a major player to connect the entire process of engineering using its 4G network.

“We will do a PoC soon…Vodafone Group is one of the leaders in Europe. And we are trying to do that in India with large auto makers to see how we do the entire process of engineering using 4G technology. We don’t really need 5G technology for that and we can do it today,” Kishore said.

Kishore said that the telecom operator is aiming to get into the consumer IoT space. “There is a big opportunity for us.”

Vodafone Idea, which rebranded into Vi, recently said that it expects to maintain its market share of 54% in the telco IoT connectivity space, which is expected to grow 10 times. It also expects to garner 10-12% market share in non-connectivity IoT space.

Providing cloud services is a key focus and strategic area for the telco and it has inked strategic partnerships with Colocation, IaaS providers and SaaS providers. It is co-creating differentiated offerings with partners with Google, Microsoft, AWS and CtrlS.

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