Vodafone and Microsoft have entered into a strategic partnership with a 10-year duration, aiming to delve deeper into generative AI, digital services, and cloud solutions. This collaboration, outlined by Vodafone, is anticipated to significantly enhance services for more than 300 million businesses, public sector organizations, and consumers spanning Europe and Africa.

The primary focus of the agreement is to leverage Microsoft's generative AI to elevate customer service, scale up the managed IoT connectivity platform, and innovate new digital and financial services, with a special emphasis on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe and Africa. Additionally, the global data center cloud strategy of Vodafone is set for a comprehensive overhaul.

As part of the deal, Vodafone is committing a USD1.5 billion investment over the next decade to co-develop cloud and AI services geared towards customer-centric applications with Microsoft. In reciprocation, Microsoft will utilize Vodafone's fixed and mobile connectivity services.

A notable aspect of this partnership is the transformation of Vodafone's managed IoT connectivity platform into a separate standalone business by April 2024, with Microsoft making an unspecified investment in it.

Vodafone envisions harnessing the latest generative AI technology to provide a highly personalized and distinctive customer service experience across various channels. The company emphasizes that these AI technologies will be developed adhering to unbiased and ethical privacy and security policies, aligning with its framework for ethical AI.

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