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Delivering B2B and B2B2X value from co-creation

In this blog, Vodafone's Justin Shields and Oracle's Jason Rutherford explain why co-creation is key to success in delivering B2B and B2B2X value in the 5G era.

Jason Rutherford from Oracle
Justin Shields from VodafoneJustin Shields from Vodafone
20 Oct 2021
Delivering B2B and B2B2X value from co-creation

Delivering B2B and B2B2X value from co-creation

Vodafone Business and Oracle Communications share the belief that co-creation is key to success in delivering B2B and B2B2X value in the 5G era. Future revenue growth for service providers will come primarily from B2B and B2B2X business models as we continue to move beyond connectivity. This is driven by an explosion in services that enterprises want to consume in areas like cloud, edge, SD-WAN and security, and also by increasing opportunities for new services tied to multi-sided business models based on partnerships and co-creation.

A business & tech strategy for growth

At Vodafone Business, the global enterprise division of Vodafone, we serve more than 6 million customers with more than 150 million connections and contribute nearly one third of Vodafone’s revenue. We have a Business 2025 and a Tech 2025 strategy to ensure the continued success for our business unit and our customers. Our Business 2025 strategy has three pillars: To deliver on our Business 2025 strategy, we need to fulfill our Tech 2025 ambitions, and my role as the CTO of Vodafone Business is to bridge the two. Our Tech 2025 strategy is based on the vision of moving Vodafone from a telco to a tech company.

  • First, we are champions of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Small businesses are the cornerstones of communities and economies. Our recent Future Ready report found that only 14% of SMEs in Europe are truly digital, which has been especially difficult during Covid-19. We want to be their go-to partner for their digital needs and play our part in closing the digital divide.
  • Second, we are delivering next-generation infrastructure so that enterprises and public service have a platform for innovation, leveraging 5G and Mobile Edge Computing.
  • Third, we will bring IoT to every business by creating a portfolio of modular plug and play solutions and using analytics to drive business outcomes.

From a culture perspective we are looking at great organizations and behaviors like being fearless in innovating and learning from failure. We are moving from being an integrator of products to being a platform player and solving problems with software as we bring more software engineering talent into our organization.

Co-creation in action

At Oracle we see co-creation as critical to unlocking the potential of B2B and B2B2X. We built our first Industries Innovation Lab near Chicago to offer a hands-on simulated space for industries to come together and co-create solutions using emerging technologies so our customers can explore and accelerate new revenue opportunities. For example, we have partnered with FARO Technologies which brought us Boston Dynamics SPOT “the dog” robot. Together we are developing a laser scanning solution for the construction industry which can gather massive amounts of on-location data to quickly and securely transmit for analysis, leading to safer and more cost-efficient sites. Since its inception in 2018 we have welcomed thousands of customers and partners to the award-winning Lab. Similarly at Vodafone we are passionate about co-creation. Two years ago in London we created our Innovation Factory which is a physical space and also a methodology for the process of co-creation. We find that co-creation is the most efficient way to test early prototypes with our target audience, assess solutions, and make commercial decisions – or else kill ideas swiftly.

Through co-creation we attract more users, find great use cases for future services, and gain platform scale. We focus on real problems and have achieved real results in areas like vaccine tracking through enhanced IoT in a partnership with mVacciNation and 5G remote media production with Sky.

B2B & B2B2X opportunities with 5G

At both Vodafone and Oracle, we find that all our customers want to learn and talk about 5G so there is really engaging interaction happening now and crossing industry boundaries. We are discussing how 5G will affect all types of business: industrial, media, gaming, transformation, utilities and more. Along the path to 5G network slicing, at Vodafone we are very engaged with mobile private networks for our enterprise customers. Some customers with large geographic footprints like mines, ports or plants lack good connectivity. In the UK we’ve deployed a mobile private network at a massive gas facility and they now have the connectivity to increase safety, data, and analytics. Similarly, at a large port in Greece the mobile provide network we put in place is driving unbelievable efficiency in unloading cargo. And in Industry 4.0 factories and warehouses having 5G with guaranteed SLAs we are involved in huge ecosystems and partnering to deliver greater value through B2B2X. 5G has a core role in the digital future and will accelerate co-creation and new business models. We look forward to exploring it with you. Learn more of our perspectives by watching the replay of our Digital Transformation World Series, keynote “Growing B2B and B2B2X: Delivering value from co-creation: who, what and how?”