Partnership Reality Check: Vodafone Needs IBM Today and IBM Needs Vodafone Tomorrow

2Q 2019 | IN-5384
On January 17, 2019, Vodafone and IBM announced that they have formed a new venture whose combined capabilities will help enterprises tap and realize value from an onslaught of disruptive technologies including IoT, 5G, edge computing, software-defined networking, AI, and cloud. The venture will have immediate access to all of IBM’s cloud offerings, from which it can co-develop digital services with early target markets identified as retail, industrial, energy, and agriculture. The joint presentation on the partnership recognized the key needs of enterprises to operate efficiently in an increasingly multi-cloud market where applications and data can flow freely and securely to benefit all enterprise operations regardless of world location. While it is early days, it is not clear what shape the venture’s governance structure, sales and marketing activities will take. Moreover, we are left unsure of how quickly the venture will offer products to market. Any partnership takes time to develop, but its results are as much about execution internally and on the ground, as it is about products and services. This Executive Foresight takes a deeper look at some of both companies’ key challenges and needs, the synergies necessary to drive the partnership, and early activities that need to be focused on in order to hit the ground running for market success.

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