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Vodafone NZ partners with IBM for when everything goes digital

20 Jul 2018

Vodafone New Zealand has announced a new partnership to help the company achieve its Digital Vodafone 2021 program in the country.

A deal that’s exclusive to the New Zealand branch of the global telco, Vodafone NZ will be supporting its aim to create the most engaging digital customer experience with IBM iX.

Of course, this announcement comes on the heels of a very similar one from rival telco, Spark.

Vodafone NZ recently ran a successful experiment of a Watson-powered chatbot to take care of customer mobile roaming queries. 88 percent of queries were completely resolved, which has led Vodafone NZ to select Watson as its AI platform moving forward.

“Customer experience is at the forefront of Vodafone’s growth strategy,” says Vodafone New Zealand digital lead Luke Longney.

“We’re transitioning to be a total customer centric company and delivering small improvements quickly with more customer feedback along the way.”

Vodafone’s move to a Watson-powered chatbot seems that it couldn’t have come soon enough, as the company has forecast by 2021 up to half of customer transactions will take place digitally, while 60 percent of inbound inquiries will be taken care of with the help of virtual assistants.

Vodafone NZ is using IBM’s Enterprise Design Thinking path in an effort to ensure itstays customer-driven, in addition to agile methodologies to enable cross-functional teams to be more productive and creative in designing solutions for the customer.

“We’re adopting agile incrementally, learning from our experiences and scaling in the areas where it delivers the most benefit for customers and our business,” says Longney.

“This approach will allow the entire organisation to learn and adapt. The support of IBM’s expert coaches has been instrumental in driving successful adoption and building our internal capability.”

The company is confident the new way of working will enable a more empowered workforce, greater employee satisfaction, and increased business agility through simplification and digital maturity.

“Telcos around the world are experiencing increasing data traffic and network costs, while stiff competition from startups and disruptors keeps pressure on pricing and revenue growth,” says IBM iX  global leader Matt Candy.

“To thrive in this new era, companies like Vodafone need to entirely redesign workflows, enabling their teams to operate at an exponential pace. IBM iX specialises in design and digital reinvention, and has real world experience to support Vodafone’s teams through its transformation.”

Vodafone will be measuring whether its partnership with IBM is successful by analysying customer satisfaction, revenue growth from new business and channels, as well as efficiencies from automation.

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