Vodafone’s Successful Partnership Strategy

R. Pritchard

Summary Bullets:

  • Vodafone has announced a new partnership agreement with Telekom Srbija covering Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
  • What differentiates Vodafone’s partnership strategy is its focus on what it can bring to the partner’s customer proposition and where there are mutual benefits.

Vodafone has added to its partner base through an agreement with Telekom Srbija, where Vodafone will share its knowledge, experience, and procurement capabilities to help Telekom Srbija digitalize its product and service offerings.  The new partnership adds to Vodafone’s base of partners and markets across Europe, with the company stating that it has mobile and fixed networks in 21 countries worldwide and partnerships in 49 more.

Vodafone Partner Markets works to set up strategic partnerships with operators around the world to offer Vodafone’s products and services, extending the company’s reach into local markets.  Established in 2002, Vodafone Partner Markets has agreements with 32 companies in 49 countries.

So, what makes this strategy so successful when compared with other carriers’ historic approach to global expansion?  In the 1990s and afterwards, as markets opened up, many operators’ opportunity assessment tended to be led by number crunchers who were more interested in doing a deal to fill a spreadsheet than considering the needs of customers – or even who the target customers were and what the proposition was (or, indeed the appropriate partner).  This led to confused branding, inconsistent go-to-market strategies, and conflicts over management and direction.

Vodafone has built its successful partnership strategy based on control – of branding, portfolio, and procurement.  For their local market presence, partners get access to the benefits of becoming a virtual part of the Vodafone family – exchanging a degree of management control for the benefits they can leverage from a leading global communications service provider – so it’s a win-win situation.  Success breeds success.

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