Interview

Cloud Services or Virtualisation is the next Frontier of Innovation and game-changer for the Telecoms sector. Angela Mensah-Poku – Head of Vodafone Business Solutions (VBS)

Angela Mensah-Poku Head of Vodafone Business Solutions
Angela Mensah-Poku Head of Vodafone Business Solutions

What are the unique products and services VBS offers to Ghanaian businesses?

At Vodafone Business Solutions (VBS), we understand the transformation of the product matrix from a goods-dominant based model to a service-dominant logic. What we do is to provide our customers with unmatched telecommunications solutions; this is at the heart of everything we do. Times have changed and product innovation is key to driving businesses and enhancing competitive advantage.

Our services include, fixed data products that connect your business across Ghana Africa and the Globe, scalable mobile solutions, vehicle/ asset tracking, virtual voice extensions and many many more.

We are ultimately involved in managing our client’s holistic communication needs, controlling costs by providing a broad range of innovative products and solutions and ensuring they receive excellent service at every level. This is depicted by our Ready Business; our brand campaign which gives us a great opportunity to inform our customers (both prospective and existing) about how Vodafone is helping businesses across the world achieve their ambitions.

Whether it’s an SME or large corporates, we believe VBS is the most valuable partner for the Ghanaian customer today. Our deliverables are at cutting edge and we know we can help transform and keep organizations’ ahead of the game.

How competitive is your pricing strategy?

Competition in the telecoms sector is very fierce and most telecom companies are constantly fashioning out ways to modify their offerings for their customers.
Inasmuch as we are competitive when it comes to pricing, we are also mindful that a marketing strategy based on pricing will ultimately fail because others will come who will be willing to reduce even further.

Therefore, for us, that is not a strategy at all. We strive to be differentiated in terms of our deliverables and the manner in which we deliver them – that’s the only strategy the competition cannot match because nobody can be like us. Ultimately it’s about value, differentiated service and being mindful of our customer’s budget.

Can you share more insight on Red Business initiatives and its impact on your business?

Red Business was borne out of the realisation that SMEs needed empowerment in a bid to overcome the numerous challenges and grow successfully by employing ICT – a platform that is made possible by us.

The product was specially developed to meet the telecommunications needs of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) and connect them to the larger world of business. It affords such businesses a total Vodafone Red experience including lots of minutes to browse the internet and make both on-net and off-net calls as well as international calls.

Additionally, SMEs, through the initiative the product provides, are guaranteed 50 percent bonus on any top up, free calls to colleagues within a Closed User Group (CUG) and Caller Ring Back Tunes (CRBT) exclusively. Customers also enjoy free data devices, up to 50 percent discounts on a range of devices, discounts on domestic fares, shopping discounts at selected shops, fuel and SPA vouchers.

I have always been excited by the stroke of inspiration which led us to unveil this product. It effectively fits into our commitment to empower and inspire everyone who comes into contact with the Vodafone Brand.

Over the years, we have changed the stories of thousands of SMEs across the country with our range of innovative and integrated solutions tailored to meet our clients’ needs.
So far the impact has been tremendous; customers are getting bespoke offerings that suit their specific needs. They feel empowered and confidently-connected based on the unified platform that we provide.

Is Vodafone offering cloud services to customers?

Cloud services or virtualisation is the next frontier of innovation and game-changer for the telecoms sector.

Already popular in some Western countries, the concept is yet to be properly integrated across sub-Saharan African. We live in an age where the customer is at the heart of all we do. The role of the internet is becoming more online-life critical as against business-critical.

Vodafone as a Group is at the forefront of the cloud-based internet revolution and we are excited. We remain on course to see it introduced and flourishing in West Africa. We only need to ensure that it is stable, secure and has robust set of standards to govern it.

However, one of such cloud-based solution worth mentioning is the exciting world of machine-to-machine (M2M). Our technology can connect not just people but machines & devices on a global scale to the internet. This means that you can communicate over the Vodafone network without the need for human intervention. This sounds futuristic but we have many customers who are using the service today like vehicle and fuel tracking, point of sale devices and air condition management systems. It’s an exciting world and it’s already here in Ghana!

Going forward, what will be the growth drivers for Vodafone business in Ghana?

Our growth drivers in the enterprise space will be the Corporate, SME and SOHO segments. Already we are projecting an exponential growth in smartphone adoption across the country with a complementary shift by customers/enterprises towards added fixed and mobile data usage this year. To win in the industry, we need to constantly differentiate on our customer experience and extend our reach. At Vodafone, we are in agreement with what the Marketing legend, Michael Porter says, that to win in an industry, differentiation should take center stage above pricing and that’s what we are about.

Being a woman, what would you say has been the secret to running a successful business arm of Vodafone?

Success begins with a passionate and determined spirit. Nothing is impossible under the sun if you put your mind and strength to it. Love your job and be great at what you do…..that’s core!
Make sure you build a great team – the kind that understands you, knows what is expected and will be prepared to work for you. You don’t need to know everything – but you need to surround yourself with smart and knowledgeable people. I have always sought out amazing mentors both male and female. They provide great advice and help me accelerate my own business experience.

Do not compromise on excellence and great delivery. Avoid stereotypes and believe in the skill and experience you have – the reason why you have been hired is because they know you can solve an expensive problem. Always understand your worth. Never underestimate it.

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