By @SimonCocking

Vodafone Ireland unveils €120 million Business & IT Transformation Programme

What is your background?

I am a graduate of the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Electronic and Telecommunications Faculty. Studying there first sparked my interest in the telecommunications business.

I started my career in technology in Telecoms with France Telecom in Romania in 1997.

My background is as a Network Architecture expert.  During my time with France Telecom I held several senior manager and expert roles within Orange. My accomplishments during this period included delivering the first mobile EDGE network, launching the first fixed WiMax network launch in Europe and acting as business sponsor for some important bids, acquisitions and joint ventures created by Orange in Romania. I became the first woman to lead a Technology Division in Orange Romania in 2011.

I joined Vodafone Group in January 2014. I am currently the Chief Technology Officer of Vodafone Ireland and a senior member of Vodafone Group’s leadership team.

Does it seem like a logical progression to what you do now?

 Yes, it was a logical progression. I worked 16 years for France Telecom and I am very proud of what I learned and delivered with my teams there.

Moving to Vodafone and changing country at the same time was a big change. Vodafone is the world’s second largest mobile operator with 400 million customers across the globe. It is also at the forefront of technology innovation, leading the overall global ecosystem and building a culture of empowerment, diversity and inclusion.

During the last 3 years in Vodafone Ireland I am very proud to say that we modernized and built the most advanced mobile network in Ireland, launched TV services and created fiber- to- the- home operations in partnership with ESB. We have also just announced the launch of a new business and IT transformation programme.

I have a brilliant team who are dedicated to delivering for our customers. We are also lucky to be part of a very dynamic, inspiring, collaborative and supportive working environment in Vodafone Ireland.

 What are you excited about for 2017?

I am very excited about a lot of things this year – our new business and IT transformation programme, our gigabit speed tests and 4G+ evolution. All of these things mean that we can work with our customers to meet their needs as their expectations develop and evolve over time.

 How important is ongoing investment in Vodafone’s infrastructure in Ireland? What is Vodafone investing in, and why? Does Vodafone have any significant plans in this regard?

In March 2017, Vodafone Ireland announced a €500m investment in Ireland over the next three years across mobile, broadband, fibre to the home, network infrastructure and enhanced customer care systems.

As part of this €500 million investment, we have this week announced the launch of a new business and IT transformation programme which will see Vodafone Ireland completely transform its IT estate, providing customers with a fully converged product and billing system for the first time across TV, broadband, mobile and fixed.

The new €120 million investment represents the largest single business transformation project ever undertaken by Vodafone Ireland and will significantly enhance the company’s customer relationship management, core billing and order management capabilities, providing an unrivalled customer experience across all of its platforms.

What types of benefits will this investment offer customers?

At Vodafone Ireland, we’ve always prioritised our investment to ensure that our customers receive and enjoy a seamless connected experience.

We are preparing our mobile infrastructure for the future, which is helping us support Irish businesses to be at the forefront of connectivity – across both traditional mobile and connected machines. We are also already in the process of preparing the wide scale roll-out of our commercial NBIoT network this coming summer.

Our Business and IT transformation programme will provide Vodafone Ireland with a new integrated system that is tailored to meet the needs of both the business and its customers, and is designed to significantly enhance service levels, fully streamline Vodafone’s internal processes and lower the costs of ongoing maintenance.

The system provides a platform for converged product and billing capabilities with full omni-channel experience covering fixed, broadband, TV and mobile, with customers now being able to choose to receive a consolidated bill for a streamlined experience.  This is a first for a telecoms company in Ireland.

All of the work we are doing in terms of our investment and innovation drives and reinforces our vision for a gigabit society in Ireland.

When 5G comes, how could this change the way we live and work?

 Vodafone Ireland is making great strides towards Gigabit speeds on its mobile network by being first to market to introduce new 4G Evolution features that will increase speeds and capacity of its 4G+ network. These features speed up information transfer rates by up to 30% in download and 50% in upload allowing customers to, for example, send files to the Cloud with transfer speeds of up to 112Mbps or download content with speeds of up to 300Mbps, radically changing how customers use and view content.  These latest innovations have already been deployed in some areas in Dublin.  So 5G will come but there is still a great deal of mileage left in 4G as the industry moves towards 5G!

The Irish IoT space is very exciting and energised, Debbie Power, Vodafone Ireland, speaking at DCU Alpha, May 30th

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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