Vodafone Business plans to deliver a competitively priced integrated Managed Security Services (MSS) offering to its extensive customer base across Europe, through its partnership with Accenture, based on Accenture’s Symantec Cyber Security Services (CSS) offering.

Being one of the leading mobile operators globally, with an extensive B2B segment across Europe, and consisting of more than five hundred thousand SMEs and sixty-five thousand national Corporate customers, it’s surprising how slow Vodafone Business (the business arm of the Vodafone Group) has been in seizing opportunities in delivering cybersecurity services beyond fortifying its network, communications, and IoT offering.

There’s no doubt the hunger is there at Vodafone Business, but when too much ground has been lost, particularly when compared to European competitors, the challenge is that much greater in terms of laying down the foundations and executing a well thought out robust cybersecurity strategy.

New partnership to deliver MSS across Europe

With this backdrop and the recent announcement by Vodafone Business and Accenture in partnering in delivering Managed Security Services (MSS’s) to Vodafone’s SME and national Corporate customer base across Europe, the company is one step closer in capitalizing on its extensive network and customer base in delivering a competitively priced integrated MSS offering to help digitally focused companies under the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s understood that under the arrangement, Vodafone will own the customer and deliver a fully digitally integrated MSS, based on Accenture’s acquisition of Symantec’s Cyber Security Services (CSS), which is a fairly mature and well received MSS offering in the marketplace. Initially, both companies will launch its offering to Vodafone’s existing customers in UK, Italy and Germany.

European SMEs should consider Vodafone as a serious contender

Under the Covid-19 pandemic, not only have SMEs seen a substantial increase in cyberattacks but they have been financially cash strapped due to company under performance. Additionally, the majority of SMEs possess cybersecurity skill shortages within the business. As a result, the SME segment has been a particular focus for cybersecurity providers under the Covid-19 pandemic, with intense competition in their respective geographies.

However, what makes Vodafone and Accenture’s MSS proposition relevant in the SME segment is the close alignment of the value proposition to the needs of SMEs – The MSS platform will be cloud based, competitively priced, scalable, standardized and delivered in an automated integrated delivery model.

One would also expect the ‘barriers to sale’ to be lowered as Vodafone will be selling its MSS in combination with its connectivity propositions to existing Vodafone customers through its direct and in-direct sales channels. Subsequently, its success with MSS could pave the way to drive further cybersecurity services to Vodafone’s SME and national Corporate customers.

Competition is keen in the cybersecurity sphere

However, there are still many unknowns about the technicalities of the MSS portfolio, particularly service delivery, as well as the partnership arrangement with Accenture. Also, Accenture’s acquisition of Symantec’s CSS is recent, and no doubt like many other acquisitions will create challenges in the short term in terms of internal operational integration with Accenture’s cybersecurity business.

Overall, Vodafone and Accenture’s MSS offering has many merits making it particularly relevant to the SME segment. However, more mature MSSPs like Orange Cyberdefense and BT Security across Europe that are offering various financial incentives, could potentially win business across shared accounts in regions they are strong in.

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