Digitalisation has many benefits for businesses particularly Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). These include profitability, better customer service, increased efficiency and productivity, ability to work faster and simpler, and improved employee communications. By adopting new technologies, businesses can embrace mobility confidently in order to survive in a continually changing business world.

Vodafone as a brand has over the years demonstrated dynamism and technological innovation across the globe. The telco has set landmarks in the areas of product innovation, customer experience, industry, community interventions and in deploying mobile technology for social and economic good.

The culture of innovation that exists within Vodafone propels its delivery of groundbreaking products and solutions. The telco continues to demonstrate the commitment to introducing pioneering solutions for businesses through its enterprise arm, Vodafone Business.

Vodafone Business is a customer-centric service provider that believes that its technology can transform lives and society. Being a total digital solutions provider, it collaborates with customers to achieve their desired business outcomes and ambitions, through the provision of bespoke technology solutions.

The enterprise unit of Vodafone Ghana is the reigning “Enterprise Provider of the Year” and has won this industry award three years in a row at the Ghana Information Technology and Telecom Awards (GITTA). The ambition of Vodafone Business is clear – to connect for a better future.

Vodafone SMEs training

Since its inception ten years ago, Vodafone Business has transformed many businesses in Ghana. With a robust portfolio of products including Mobile, Fixed, Cloud, IoT and Value Added Services, Vodafone Business is able to provide solutions for small and large organisations. These include small local home offices and huge multinational corporations across the world.

Tawa Bolarin, Director of Vodafone Business, who joined Vodafone in November 2019, has pledged her commitment to take customers along on a digital journey that leads to ultimate transformation.

According to Tawa, Vodafone Business has successfully simplified communications for large companies and multinationals. She added that Vodafone’s fully integrated products enable customers to become more effective, profitable and competitive in their industry.

She said: ‘’Success in the corporate world requires a whole paradigm shift in the tools employed by corporate organisations. This belief has positively advanced the digital needs of the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), one of our corporate customers.

‘’Through the provision of hundreds of thousands of our Global IoT SIMs, NEDCo has been able to implement transformational changes via a smart metering system. The solution provides NEDCo with real-time visibility and insights through a mobile networking platform. The platform enables them to control and manage usage, detect malfunctions, leakages and proactively take measures to prevent outages in a bid to improve upon power supply and management in Ghana,’’ she added.

Another product, known as V-Track, is digitally transforming businesses, especially large multinationals. The solution enables customers to centrally manage and control their assets as well as fleet operations. This enables customers to become more efficient and drive greater revenue and profits through digital transformation.

Tawa Bolarin

It is undeniable that SMEs constitute the majority of Ghana’s economy and are directly responsible for its growth and success. These small businesses however, need support, education and technological empowerment to transit to the next stage of their journey.

Although every business is unique, most SMEs face similar challenges with digital transformation. For some it may simply be about becoming more efficient with technology such as the telecommunications or IoT to cut costs and reduce waste.

Vodafone Business remains unabashedly committed to SMEs. The industry leader continues to demonstrate that its preoccupation is to make small and medium businesses ready for the future; to compete on the international level and lead in using modern digital trends and platforms for their businesses.

Speaking on the varied products Vodafone Business has for SMEs, Tawa said customers should look out for Red Trader, a new and unique product that will be unveiled in February 2020.

“We recognize that our SME customers are struggling to keep records of income and expenditure; something utterly crucial for the success and longevity of a business in the modern world. In helping them address this challenge, we are working to create a digital platform where traders will be able to receive payments and manage stock, by accessing real-time stock and business information on their mobile phone. We are working directly with our friends at the Makola Foundation to bring this product to life, and ensure it matches exactly what traders today need”.

Vodafone partners CEIBS

“Our priorities are around what technology we can build to drive the digital transformation agenda in 2020 and beyond. We are looking outside the traditional mobile and fixed offerings, with the objective to deliver value to our customers, to solve their challenges and provide growth opportunities for their businesses, ’’ she explained.

Vodafone Business is certainly no longer just a provider of fixed and mobile products. The enterprise unit of Vodafone Ghana has demonstrated its commitment to empowering businesses with the skills they need in order to succeed.

Commenting on Vodafone’s unquestionable support for SMEs, Tawa said: ‘’Our drive is to see SMEs succeed in Ghana. This commitment has given birth to a plethora of initiatives including SME Ghana Awards (SMEGA) and the Vodafone Masterclass Programme. Through our support for SMEGA, we celebrate thriving SMEs and focus on how businesses can deploy digital technology to their advantage.

“Our SME Masterclass programme is a unique project we introduced in partnership with the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), to build the capacity of SME business owners and introduce them to key business and corporate insights. Among some of the key modules delivered are Corporate Governance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Growth, Financial Management and Social Media.

Tawa says Vodafone invests heavily in training and capacity building programmes for their SME and SoHo customers. That has changed the stories of thousands of businesses across the country. One of the many ways Vodafone supports SMEs is by dedicating the month of September to focus energies on their growth and development.

“Throughout the month, we outline many activities to really stamp our authority on the sector. We also organize various customer clinics and market storms across Ghana, to introduce SMEs to a new digital future. This is critical for us because SMEs are a reflection of our economy and the more we empower them, the more we see progress and transformation in our economy. We aim to digitally transform these companies and make them ready for the global stage, ‘’ she says.

Vodafone Business cares about the environment and has announced that beginning February 2020, it has transformed, by moving from a manual paper billing process to a digital online portal. This move redesigns how it engages with its customers.

Essentially, customers can now conveniently make payment from anywhere and at any time. The digital transition will also reduce the carbon emissions from the high volumes of paper produced in Ghana each year. This forms part of a broader campaign by Vodafone to protect the environment.