The operator said it will seek to add around 7,000 additional software engineers to its technical workforce by 2025

Today, Vodafone has announced that it aims to strengthen its European technology division with the addition of around 7,000 software engineers by 2025, achieved through a combination of recruitment, reskilling, and insourcing. 
Throughout the telecoms industry, it is becoming increasingly apparent that operators must revaluate their existing business models and transition to offer more just bare connectivity services. 
Exactly how the operators expect to deliver this transformation into a holistic digital services provider is highly varied. Some telcos are increasingly outsourcing their technological needs, relying on specialist partners – often public cloud players – to help them deliver new services. Vodafone, on the other hand, has doubled down on its own technical prowess, hoping to retain more creative control over their digital services.
“Vodafone is rapidly shifting up the gears to support the dramatic digital transformation that businesses and society are undergoing,” said Johan Wibergh, Vodafone CTO. “We are building a global software brand with a diverse and inclusive culture, providing superfast connectivity and powerful digital products – however and wherever customers want to use them.”
Wibergh noted that the value of retaining the technical expertise in-house meant that the company could offer greater service differentiation compared to rivals who relied on external companies.
“When you are only dependent on acquiring products from other companies you know these suppliers will sell the same products to competitors five minutes after we have bought them,” he said, noting that the company would also generate their own intellectual property.
The new engineers will reportedly focus on creating new digital platforms both for Vodafone’s own operations but also for use by third parties. Combined with the creation of various digital hubs throughout Europe, Vodafone estimates that the hiring spree should reduce the time-to-market for new digital services but half.
Vodafone Technology already employs around 9,000 software engineers as part of the operator group’s wider Tech 2025 strategy, which aims to develop in-house IoT platforms, APIs for its partner ecosystem, and increase the integration of AI, machine learning, and the cloud.
Vodafone’s African subsidiary, Vodacom, will reportedly be following a similar strategy.
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