Vodafone and Melco Resorts: connectivity partners
Vodafone is one of the world’s leading telecommunication operators. “We're on this journey right now of moving from being a traditional telco provider to being a tech-co,” explains Dan Beevers, Regional Director, APAC, Vodafone Business. “The purpose of Vodafone is connecting for a better future. With our expertise and global scale, we have that unique opportunity to drive positive change across society, connecting friends, families, businesses and government organizations.” Aside from being the world’s largest IoT connectivity provider, with over 100 million IoT connections, the company has also risen to the challenge of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “We played a vital role in keeping economies running and critical sectors functioning in such areas like education, healthcare, manufacturing and utilities, to name a few.”
Vodafone has been at the forefront of driving major technology trends in the industry, with 5G being one of the most exciting technologies to emerge of late. “Vodafone has been involved in leading efforts to trial 5G in cities across Europe,” says Beevers. “We’ve also taken a leadership role in global 5G research, for instance holding the chair of the Next Generation Mobile Networks Group.” Beevers emphasises the opportunities that 5G affords customers and society at large, and the role Vodafone can play in enabling it. “Connectivity has been through a massive change in mobile technology. The company knows where the opportunities are, where the challenges lay, and therefore can ask the right questions to get businesses started on that 5G journey.”
The company embarked on a relationship with Melco Resorts back in 2015, when it addressed Melco’s need to connect global facilities across Asia and Europe to provide a consistent user experience and high quality IT network services. “Partnerships are all about trust. We built trust with Melco by making sure service was paramount and talking in their language - now we provide them connectivity across nine countries around the world and are expanding the relationship into other areas such as Azure cloud services.” In 2018 the partnership was expanded around a VDI solution. “That’s a service which helps them acquire virtual desktop infrastructure. With that service, we provide a secure user experience, the ability to scale and also the ability to reduce costs whilst increasing efficiencies within their organisation.”
With technology changing at pace, a study conducted this year by Vodafone Business, called Vodafone Business Future Ready, uncovered a number of criteria for organisations to bear in mind to prepare themselves for the future. “It’s about having a positive attitude and a mindset that you need to change with the speed of the wider world of technology, being open to new technologies within your organisation, being able to adapt your people to your customers and to your competition, while actively planning for the technological future,” says Beevers. That adaptability means that companies can thrive going forward. “Having the ability to experiment fast while using data, means being able to make informed decisions in response to challenges. That’s why in our conversations with Melco and customers in general, it's key that our partnership absolutely focuses around thinking about these trends.”
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”