Will Technology Keep Us Together? Ask Vodafone

It is easy to feel isolated these days, so it’s no wonder that we seem to rely on our smartphones more than ever to stay in touch through calls, texts, and social media.

But the global health crisis has been challenging for everyone – including the companies that have been working hard to keep us connected, like Vodafone Group. Vodafone is a multinational technology communications company that serves more than 300 million mobile customers around the world.

Quick Response to Customers and Employees

Ignacio Garcia, CIO of Corporate Information Systems at Vodafone, recently appeared on Getting Real with SAP. There, he discussed how companies are leveraging technology to manage their business and continue to serve customers in the age of COVID-19.

“You can imagine what we were thinking: How much extra demand are we going to have?” says Garcia. “We needed to keep our employees safe and make sure we supported our customers in the best possible way.”

Vodafone was able to do both.

In short order, the company developed a five-point plan to help the communities it serves. Keystones of the plan were a commitment to maintaining the quality of service and providing network capacity and network services for critical government functions.

Vodafone also made sure to quickly address the needs of a global workforce that encompasses more than 100,000 employees. Vodafone offered support for working at home, created richer virtual training opportunities for its people, and adjusted performance goals and objectives to align with new business needs.

The Right Technology Pays Dividends

Vodafone’s business agility was not merely the result of good luck.

Less than a year ago, Vodafone completed a massive global rollout of SAP S/4HANA to help improve operational efficiency in business functions such as finance, supply chain, and IT.

It was an impressive project covering more than 20 countries. And in addition to establishing a single digital core for the company, it included retooling Vodafone’s worldwide HR systems. “Using the power of the technology was fundamental, having a single data model, a single way to optimize and understand the different markets,” says Garcia.

Stay Creative

Vodafone may have been ahead of the curve in its ability to meet the challenges of COVID-19. But many other companies are responding with technology-driven innovation. There has been an incredible degree of creativity in how businesses have reacted.

Staying connected will only be one of the challenges we face in the days ahead. This is a critical time for all of us – as individuals and as businesses.

Check out this episode of Getting Real with SAP to learn more.


This story originally appeared on SAP BrandVoice on Forbes.