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Vodafone teams up with Microsoft to bring AI for its services

Vodafone teams up with Microsoft to bring AI for its services Vodafone teams up with Microsoft to bring AI for its services (Getty Images)

Vodafone and Microsoft have teamed up for a 10-year partnership to bring advanced technology services, including AI, to over 300 million businesses and consumers in Europe and Africa, according to Reuters.

As part of this collaboration, Vodafone is committing a significant $1.5 billion investment in creating user-friendly artificial intelligence (AI) alongside Microsoft's Azure OpenAI and Copilot technologies.

Instead of relying on physical data centers, Vodafone plans to transition to Microsoft's Azure cloud services, which are not only more cost-effective but also scalable. This move is expected to enhance Vodafone's technological capabilities and simplify its operations.

"Microsoft will in turn become an equity investor in Vodafone's managed IoT (Internet of Things) platform when it is spun out as a standalone business by April, and help scale Vodafone's mobile financial platform in Africa," the media notes.

Vodafone's Chief Financial Office notes that Microsoft's leadership in AI, supported by its OpenAI partnership, will significantly transform Vodafone's customer services. Importantly, the use of Microsoft's AI technology will not replace customer service staff but will instead help them improve productivity and the quality of their interactions with customers.

The Chief Executive, Margherita Della Valle, views this partnership as a strategic move to accelerate the digital transformation of business customers, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.

The partnership also extends to Vodafone's M-PESA mobile money platform in Africa, operating in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa.“We are excited to bring generative AI capabilities to help customers make more intelligent financial decisions,” shares Microsoft’s Chief Commercial Officer Judson Althoff.

AI technology for business

This partnership is part of a global trend in implementing artificial intelligence into business to make both employees' work and customer service more efficient.

After the Microsoft-backed OpenAI company introduced ChatGPT, an AI-powered chatbot, a wave of similar developments arose, including Google Bard, Google Gemini, and Samsung's AI Gauss.

Now Microsoft is putting a special button for AI opening on its Windows keyboards. It is the first time it changed consoles in almost 30 years.

Walmart also implements AI for its new shopping features to make shopping in stores or online feel more advanced.