Vodafone Business aims to boost SME effectiveness with IT Hubs channel

Vodafone Business has launched a channel called IT Hubs, designed to offer new local franchise opportunities, in a bid to help organisations save time or resources to keep on top of IT estates or manage multiple suppliers.

Said to be appropriate for “budding entrepreneurs and IT experts alike”, the Vodafone Business IT Hubs channel programme forms part of a strategic drive from Vodafone to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) better manage and get the most from their IT solutions. Vodafone Business believes that this can allow IT experts and entrepreneurs across the UK to become their own boss.

The target market for the hubs will be SMEs that are resource-limited and don’t have their own internal IT support function available. 

Explaining the rationale for the move, Vodafone Business cited research by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) warning that many SMEs needed support for their IT requirements. Nearly two in five (37%) believed they lacked the capacity to manage multiple ICT suppliers, contracts and licences. A quarter (25%) felt their current digital tools were not resilient enough to help protect their business from online threats including phishing, ransomware and password hacking. 

Vodafone Business IT Hubs will be limited companies trading under the Vodafone brand, and will employ their own local technicians, account managers and engineers. They will sell a portfolio of Vodafone products and services alongside selected products from partner vendors with IT software, services and resources. 

Explaining what the new set up could achieve, Miryem Salah, chief data officer and head of Vodafone Business IT Hubs, said: “We know there are IT experts sat at their desks across the UK who have a dream of setting up their own businesses but need some support to get started. That’s where we come in.

“We can offer our franchisees the capability, scale and confidence that comes from working with a large global brand, as well as finance and marketing support, while they can offer the technical skills and local knowledge to build a successful business that supports the local SME community. We’re excited to start this journey with our new franchisees in 2024 and beyond.”

Vodafone is looking for more than 300 franchise partners across the UK to set up Vodafone Business IT Hubs in their local areas. Each will have a local territory in which it will offer an outsourced one-stop-shop for IT and communications managed services, including help with hardware and applications, alongside connectivity and security.

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