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Getting Omnichannel-ready with Vodafone Italy

As part of Infobip Italy’s HAPPY CUSTOMERS FOR SUCCESSFUL BRANDS podcast series, we had an insightful discussion with Elena Innocenti, Vodafone Business Italy’s Marketing Manager for Digital Solutions and Diego Lapegna, Infobip Italy’s Integrated Marketing Manager. We learnt how Vodafone is adapting its omnichannel communication strategy to help their customers with their digital transformation – and how Infobip fits in.

Q: After all the challenges and changes of the past two years, what does the retail market look like today from Vodafone’s perspective?

E: In the past 18 months the entire retail industry, from supermarkets to banks and clothing stores, have had to face unparalleled challenges due to unpredictability and constant changes in customer needs.

These include pricing optimization, production efficiency, globalization, resource and skills shortages, sustainability, and the new shopping habits of consumers.

Not only has the retail industry been heavily impacted by the economic crisis, but Covid-19 also intensified some of these trends, raising the sense of urgency of the ongoing digital transformation and dramatically shaking the status-quo, bringing back attention and focus to the local level.

In this new landscape of “everyone always connected” an efficient value chain plays a key role in production, logistic and post-sales operations. This requires omnichannel communication that is consistent at every touchpoint.

Q: The long-term impact of this huge revolution requires putting in place technologies and processes capable of responding to the changing needs of customers. What is Vodafone’s strategy to enable businesses to run seamless communications?

E: Technology just entered an unprecedented acceleration phase. Organizations have been forced to urgently take decisions to streamline communications both among employees and with customers.

Vodafone Business has provided SMBs, large enterprises and government institutions with integrated digital solutions, IoT, AI applications, analytic tools and SaaS platforms to facilitate the ongoing generational shift, ensuring business continuity.

We have stood beside Italian and worldwide organizations, walking them through transformation and growth with outstanding technologies, solutions and managed services built on reliable and high-performance infrastructures, assisted by a network of certified partners.

Q: No strategy is really effective unless it is future proof. Tell us about Vodafone Business’ innovative approach to omnichannel communications?

E: In Vodafone Business’ vision, stores and the wider retail world will increasingly become places for positive experiences with customers.

Imagine a new type of retail space where more engaging experiences will be available thanks to dynamic, total-wireless network infrastructures. Where SDWAN technology allows organizations to adapt and prioritize connectivity according to applications or sites.

Augmented/ virtual reality, and analytics integrated solutions will bring the customer beyond the in-store experience, creating an interconnected system of engagement that spans before, during and after the visit to the store.

CPaaS solutions (such as a customer engagement platform) are key players in our portfolio of technologies, as they enable unified communication across all channels, allowing the customers to interact via email, chat, IVR, chatbots, according to their preference.

Q: What is the role of Infobip among Vodafone Business technology allies?

E: Vodafone Business’ partnership with Infobip perfectly fits in this scenario and enriches our solution offering. Infobip’s omnichannel communication platform empowers businesses in their digital transformation journey and helps them get up to speed in providing a personalized customer experience.

As the Vodafone customer base is wide and diverse, we needed a solution partner that could cover the entire segment of omnichannel communications, from the needs of small businesses to demanding large enterprises.

Thanks to its comprehensive product stack, Infobip provides all communication channels, as well as a scalable SaaS platform that is suitable for businesses of any size. This collaboration gives us access to cutting-edge technology within a strategic market such as omnichannel CX.

The technology allows crossing limits and boundaries, as it adapts to customers purchasing preferences (e-commerce or in-store) and ensures transparency and trust by providing consistent information across digital and physical touchpoints, as well as integrated CRM systems.

A Winning Partnership 

Q: And Diego, how has Infobip’s partnership with Vodafone Business Italy evolved, and what is the value that it brings to our own organization?

D: Starting with SMS, our collaboration with Vodafone has evolved over time, following the changing needs of the market. With universal open rates and secure delivery, SMS is still a core element of the communication strategy for many organizations. But to keep up with the accelerating transformation and increased consumer expectations, our goal is to enable businesses to connect with their customers on any digital channel.

It was natural to take our partnership with Vodafone to the next level, extending and distributing through Vodafone Business all our communication channels and SaaS offerings, which includes a chatbot building platform, cloud contact centre and a customer engagement platform.

Being a leader in innovation, Vodafone has immediately identified the opportunity and the value that omnichannel solutions can bring to businesses. From Infobip’s perspective, working closely with Vodafone has given us an insight into how a market leading company has been able to adapt to the new normal, and has prepared us to help other Italian organizations on their own digital transformation.

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