Viewpoint | 20 Mar 2020

Keeping UK businesses and workforces connected

As the country struggles with the spread of coronavirus, Anne Sheehan, Director, Vodafone Business UK, talks about the full range of support services Vodafone can offer its business and public sector customers.

In these unprecedented times, I know many companies have been working hard to implement new ways of working in response to the latest government guidelines, and to help limit infection rates of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

I wanted to let you know that Vodafone is totally committed to supporting its business and public sector customers through this crisis, and to keeping the UK connected. As am I.

Vodafone provides critical connectivity and communications infrastructure across the UK. We’ve invested billions improving these over the last five years, and in recent weeks we’ve been adding capacity and minimising congestion to ensure we can meet growing demand.

We will be doing our utmost to ensure we continue to give our customers the connectivity they need throughout this crisis.

Over the next days and weeks, we will be talking to our business and public sector customers to ask how best we can lend our support. But many have already been in touch, so I thought I’d outline some of the ways in which Vodafone can help.

Our technologies

Our business is about keeping the organisations we support connected – whether with essential mobile connectivity or through fixed data networks, cloud and hosting, Internet of Things (IoT) or Unified Communications. Whatever technology is best for you, we can make sure that your business, and its people, are reliably and securely connected.

Customers wanting to find out how such technologies can help during this period can find out more here.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Small Office Home Office (SOHO) business customers might be interested in our 4G- and 5G-enabled Vodafone Business Unlimited plans. And Business Add Ons such as One Net Anywhere, Device Support, Microsoft Office 365 or Google G Suite may be particularly useful at this time.

We offer a number of portable Wi-Fi solutions for businesses wanting to supplement their fixed line connectivity. Products such as Gigacube can be up and running in minutes.

Helping homeworkers

My team has worked fast to create a new flexible ‘Vodafone Emergency Homeworker plan’ for our existing mobile customers. This gives employees who may not have a company mobile access to Unlimited voice, text and data for a fixed amount of £15 per month for three months.

It’s designed to help our customers get their workforce up and running at home super quickly. If you’d like to know more please get in touch.

We’re taking a flexible approach for our larger business customers too – with additional mobile data packages available to cope with the increasing demands of employees working from home.

Support for critical infrastructure

I’m proud that more than a third of public sector employees communicate using our systems. We are working alongside our critical national infrastructure customers to test their business continuity planning and expand capacity to cope with surges in demand.

We’re offering hospitals specific assistance, such as video conferencing and fast, unlimited connectivity to healthcare workers, as well as the ability to prioritise emergency calls.

We’re also providing free access for all UK customers to Government-supported NHS sites. And earlier this week, we established around 7,000 live connections overnight for an educational organisation to enable Wi-Fi calling and opportunities for online learning.

In short, we are stretching every resource to the max to ensure that our customers can stay connected, and that organisations in both the private and public sector can continue to operate efficiently whilst working remotely.

Better payment terms

Additionally, as our CEO, Nick Jeffery, wrote yesterday, we want to ensure that better payment terms for small businesses in our own supply chain are implemented as soon as possible. To help with cash flow, new orders we make with smaller suppliers will be paid in 15 days.

I’d like to send good wishes to every one of our business and public sectors customers. Please do get in touch if there’s anything we can do to support your organisation in these challenging times.

And please also check out our dedicated Coronavirus advice page for customers here.