Vodafone has announced a partnership with Microsoft to bring artificial intelligence to its customers. Specifically, this partnership will last for ten years and will allow Vodafone to deliver generative AI services to over 300 million businesses and consumers across Europe and Africa. In particular, this will grant Vodafone access to Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI, which is behind the famous ChatGPT.
To make the partnership between Vodafone and Microsoft successful, the British company will invest $1.5 billion. In order to access this AI, backed by Azure OpenAI and Copilot technologies, Vodafone will have to upgrade its servers. For this reason, the company will replace its physical data centers with Azure cloud services, which in addition to being more economical, are scalable.
Microsoft will also be a key investor in Vodafone’s IoT platform
As part of this agreement, Microsoft will become a major investor in Vodafone’s managed IoT (Internet of Things) platform. This will occur when Vodafone separates as an independent business in April 2024. Returning to the main topic, if you are a Vodafone user, the first benefit you will receive will come from TOBi chatbot. This Vodafone virtual assistant will use Microsoft’s AI, which is expected to provide more coherent and intelligent responses to inquiries, thus acting as a serious replacement for a real person.
“This new generation of AI will unlock massive new opportunities for every organization and every industry worldwide,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft.
“We are thrilled that, together with Vodafone, we will apply the latest cloud and AI technology to enhance the customer experience for hundreds of millions of people and businesses across Africa and Europe, create new products and services, and accelerate the transition to the cloud.”
Margherita Della Valle, Group CEO of Vodafone, said, “Today, Vodafone has made a bold bet on Europe and Africa’s digital future. This unique strategic partnership with Microsoft will accelerate the digital transformation of our business customers, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, and raise the quality of customer experience for consumers.”
More alliances like this are expected in the industry
It should come as no surprise that Vodafone has reached this type of agreement with Microsoft. Microsoft is a leading technology company and has played a significant role in the field of Artificial Intelligence. By leveraging its own cloud server platform, Azure, Microsoft offers advanced AI services and tools that enable businesses to develop, deploy, and manage AI solutions.
In other words, Microsoft provides everything needed to access AI, including tools, services, and even products that harness artificial intelligence. For instance, the recently announced Copilot Pro, an AI productivity-focused software within the Microsoft 365 suite.