Vodafone agrees shared services partnership with Accenture

17 November 2023 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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Telecommunications giant Vodafone has announced a new partnership, to help commercialise its shared services operations. The deal with Accenture will see the IT and technology consultancy sink up to €150 million into the practice, for an undisclosed minority interest.

Shared services are the provision of a service by one part of an organisation or group, outsourced to another part of the group, or a different entity altogether. This can help businesses quickly leverage complicated or expensive capabilities they might not have had the capacity to provide for themselves – for example, in the age of digital transformation, not every firm has the resources to build its own AI customer services facility, but by tapping a shared services provider, it can offer those services.

This has already seen the global shared services market enjoy revenues of $41.37 billion in 2023, according to research from Coherent Market Insights. But the opportunity set to grow rapidly, too, with researchers predicting the market will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.1% from 2023 to 2030.

Vodafone agrees shared services partnership with Accenture

Looking to take advantage of this growing appetite for shared services, Accenture has penned a new partnership with Vodafone, to help the telecoms firm take its shared services offering to market. The partnership taps into Accenture’s technology, industry and transformation services, and talent development expertise – which Vodafone hopes will help accelerate its operations, enhance customer service and drive significant efficiencies for Vodafone’s operating companies and partner markets, as well as create new career opportunities for its people.

“Today’s announcement is a significant development for Vodafone as we change and simplify the way we work to better serve our customers and drive growth,” said Margherita Della Valle, Group CEO, Vodafone. “The partnership with Accenture opens up new opportunities for our company and our people. We’re excited about the potential of our new commercial shared services organisation and the potential to serve not only Vodafone’s own markets but our Telco partners across the industry.”

Accenture will now invest in the order of €150 million for a minority stake in the partnership. Looking ahead, this investment will help build on Vodafone Intelligent Solutions (_VOIS) – the company’s shared services unit – to create a scaled, more efficient organisation with high quality services and enhanced speed to market for its portfolio of offerings.

Accenture CEO Julie Sweet added, “We are proud to have partnered with Vodafone for over 20 years across many strategic programs. We are excited to take our partnership to a new level with this ground-breaking joint venture that will help power Vodafone’s reinvention and create significant value for their operating companies, partner markets and employees. This move speaks to their ambition to work in entirely new ways, reduce structural complexity, open avenues for growth, create better experiences for their customers and provide additional career paths for their people.”

Vodafone and Accenture have signed a memorandum of understanding, and the strategic partnership is subject to completion of the definitive agreements, which are expected to be completed in the spring of 2024. At that point, the new model for the operations will see Vodafone retain majority interest, management control and sourcing decisions.