Vodafone picks SAP veteran to deliver on its bold business ambitions

Long-serving SAP executive Marika Auramo has been given the reins of Vodafone Business.

Nick Wood

April 16, 2024

3 Min Read
source: vodafone

She is the second high-ranking figure to make the switch from the German business software giant in less than 12 months, following Luka Mucic's appointment last summer as Voda's new group CFO.

Auramo (pictured) joined SAP in 1999, and most recently held the role of chief business officer for EMEA. She was responsible for the go-to-market strategy for SAP's portfolio in 89 countries, and in charge of 14,000 employees.

Auramo will take up her new role at the beginning of July, succeeding Giorgio Migliarina, who has been in charge of Vodafone Business on an interim basis since last September.

There is a lot riding on this particular appointment. Rebalancing the telco's revenue split more in favour of enterprise is one of the pillars of Vodafone CEO Margherita Della Valle's turnaround strategy.

Vodafone Business has lately been one of the stronger performers in the group. Service revenue during its most recent quarter grew 5% on an organic basis, driven by the UK and Italy – but let down slightly by Germany – reaching €2.62 billion, accounting for a not insignificant 29% of group service revenue.

In January, Voda established a 10-year, $1.5 billion cloud partnership with Microsoft, under which the telco will make extensive use of Azure as a platform for its enterprise, SME, and IoT services in Europe and Africa.

In Europe, Vodafone recently partnered with business management software provider Vcita to launch a productivity app designed to give SMEs access to the same level of business process automation that larger enterprises take for granted.

In the UK, Vodafone Business has set up a franchise scheme, where partners can launch local IT support hubs for resource-limited SMEs.

And sticking with SMEs, just this week, Vodafone Business partnered with cloud security specialist Zscaler to launch Secure Access Gateway – a managed service that offers end-to-end protection for hosted data and applications.

Voda expects this hum of activity to drive even more growth at Business going forward.

Fielding questions on the telco's most recent results call, CFO Mucic said "based on the strength that we have gained through the expanded partnership with Microsoft, the joint investments that we are doing into the go-to-market capabilities, I would expect that we are not seeing the end of the growth opportunities but actually a further opportunity for acceleration."

It will be down to Auramo to make that happen.

"I am delighted that Marika will be joining Vodafone to lead our Business division, a key growth driver," said Della Valle. "She brings extensive B2B experience from the IT industry, and I look forward to welcoming her as a member of our Executive Committee.""I am looking forward to working with Margherita and the management team and to engaging with Vodafone's customers and partners," Auramo said. "Vodafone Business has strong growth opportunities ahead – as large corporates, SMEs and the public sector look to adopt more digital tools to enhance growth and productivity – and I will be working alongside my new colleagues to capture this."

About the Author(s)

Nick Wood

Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.

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