The Vodafone digital skills and jobs initiative is the largest of its kind in the world
Tell us more about yourself and your role at Vodafone, what are you passionate about?
I’m Jon and I head up the Digital Tribe at Vodafone with responsibility for all of our digital touchpoints across our Consumer (B2C) and Enterprise (B2B) businesses as well as our digital transformation. I’ve worked in digital for many years in different organisations and industries including more digitally native businesses but what attracted me to Vodafone was the ambition to transform itself and the recognition that this change needed to be radical to get in shape for the future.
I get passionate about change and the need for ongoing change to improve and excel as well as the opportunity that digital offers to improve our customer experience directly through our web, app and other digital touchpoints as well as improving human interactions through the clever use of digital. The quality of our customer experience is central to our future and with over 80% of Vodafone’s customer interactions through digital my role offers a fantastic opportunity to make our customers even happier.
What's the story behind the Digital Transformation at Vodafone? What compelled the company to take this journey?
Digital Transformation is never-ending given the nature of technology innovation and customer expectations but we are in the middle of what is the largest wave of transformation in the four years that I have been here. Right now we are building out a completely new digital infrastructure, engineered to give flexibility and scalability that delivers a great experience across all digital channels. This is coupled with a major people transformation that includes a new agile operating model, significant investment in software engineering, digital marketing and creative roles all of whom will be housed in our new digital hub is being developed in Southwark, London.
The reasons for doing this are simple – our digital experiences were below par and the time to market for new products and services has been too slow which has impeded our ability to innovate. In addition, we need to be able to compete with all of the other companies out there chasing the same digital talent. Therefore we wanted to create a way of working that allows people to really influence our customer experience by giving them accountability to deliver while ensuring they are empowered to achieve their goals with as much autonomy as possible. Adopting agile methodologies at scale is a big part of this but the real prize is having business people, creatives and technologists working side by side to help generate new ideas and get them in front of customers as quickly as possible
What's your current view on the market you work in? What makes you feel Vodafone stands out?
The telecommunications market is competitive as ever has been with a range of direct competitors that own their infrastructure as well as many ‘mobile virtual network operators’ that piggy-back their services on one of the four mobile network operators. The UK market is likely to become more and more ‘converged’ i.e. our customers will look to bundle multiple products and services together within the brand. Our market leading home broadband service is a great example where many of our customers have taken the service on top of their existing mobile service with the benefits of lower cost and a simpler customers experience, for example having just one bill and payment each month.
Why Vodafone stands out is its desire to remove many of the barriers or complexities for customers that exist in our industry for customers. Some of the initiatives we have launched over the past year or two that highlight this are our Broadband speed guarantee, we were the first to launch inclusive roaming and our all-inclusive social data with VOXI our second brand for under 30’s.
What's the thing that you appreciate more about what you do as a company?
Pretty simple really – connecting people to what is important to them. This could be an important phone call to a family member letting them know about something amazing that has just happened or connecting to SkySports to check the latest scores. Keeping people connected to each other is at the heart of a healthy society and that’s what we do.
Do you have a special story of something you did as a team, something memorable you'd like to share?
I attended a leadership course two years ago which focused on collaborative working and a major part of the course was taking our approach and applying it to a real-world problem for a charity that needed help. The charity focused on child adoption for seriously disadvantaged kids and while the training course was limited to two days we kept in touch and my team took on board their challenge and in their spare time supported them on various initiatives to help them reach their target audience such as content marketing, search engine optimisation and UX design, all of which contributed to them getting additional government funding. A great result!
What's your company culture like? What is that you want to represent?
Our company culture is what you might expect from a global company, one of collaboration and sharing – ideas, best practises and results. We benefit from being one of many different Vodafone companies across the globe which allows us to connect with peers across all markets facing the same challenges. That said, our culture continues to evolve and digital is having a real influence – we have seen huge success from our agile digital teams, not just their output but also their levels of engagement and motivation which have been infectious and more and more of the business is electing to work in this way which naturally creates an increased culture of empowerment and trust.
What is your team like? How do you work?
It’s a great team, ambitious and hungry to progress – both the work that we deliver to our customers every day but also changing the way that we work as a team. Digital teams have the challenge and enjoyment of balancing two roles – one as great craftsmen, creating new and exciting experiences but also leaders and advocates of digital within the business to demonstrate what a contribution the technology and ways of working can deliver to the wider business
What kind of people are you looking for? What type of skills do you value in your team?
People that want to help lead a change and drive the business forward. Don’t come expecting the finished product, it is there to be challenged and shaped. We want your ideas, your experience and your opinions on how we continue to shape the team and transform the business
What benefits and perks do you offer your employees? What's the biggest plus of working for you?
Working in our digital teams at Vodafone means you can really help shape what the future looks like, we believe that our employees are empowered to really make a difference and being part of a culture where you know you can make a difference to our customers lives is the most rewarding benefit I believe we offer as a company. However, I can also point out that we do have some great perks like 28 days holiday, discounts on Vodafone product and services, a great pension and many other flexible benefits. We also have an award-winning maternity & paternity policy which is great for families.
What are the goals and plans for the future? What's Vodafone’s biggest ambition?
Our immediate plans are to establish our digital hub in London over the next year and we have a lot of great opportunities available across our digital marketing, commercial and technology teams. This will fuel our digital ambitions to continue to grow our digital sales and services activities over the coming years. More widely our biggest ambition is to be a recognised leader in great customer experience across all of our products and services. We have extremely strong customer engagement and recommendation across our Broadband and VOXI mobile products and these are inspiring all of our teams to drive our leadership across our industry
Vodafone is joining us for the London Tech Job Fair this Thursday! You can still book your ticket here.
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