9th February 2023

A Look At Vodafone’s Global Engineering Innovation

João Dias
Head of Digital Engineering, EU Cluster

In 2017, I assumed leadership of Vodafone Portugal’s digital transformation initiative as we began to implement our Digital Accelerator incubator operating model. This model allowed markets with no experience in agile to implement an agile organisational model, a cultural shift underpinned by our new company value system known as the ‘Vodafone Spirit’.

Then, in 2021, Vodafone started its global transformation process. This culminated in the creation of a single Digital Engineering organisation, rather than having multiple local organisations. At that time, I was made Head of Digital Engineering – EU Cluster, guiding our teams across the EU Cluster markets to drive innovation initiatives and support the development of our digital engineering community. 

We’re now deep into an amazing and challenging transformation. It’s probably the biggest in Europe at the moment. So much motivates me in my current role but perhaps, the most rewarding aspect, is creating conditions for people to continue to learn new skills and develop in their careers.

The core of our transformation

Our overriding goal is to build, rather than buy, new products. We want to innovate in both the TelCo industry, and the tech industry at large. As such, we’re increasing our internal capabilities with several insourcing programmes underway, and several initiatives to simplify our products, solutions and processes.

We’re in the process of consolidating and standardising our solutions and tools to enable reusability across Vodafone in five digital engineering domains (Cloud, Web, App, Chatbot and Digital eXperience Layer). This process will enable our teams to work locally but think globally. Everything we do will be available to all customers in all markets.

So what does this mean for our customers and our engineers? On the customer side, they’ll be getting faster updates, more features and more innovative solutions. On the engineering side, our software engineers will be building really great things for over 300 million mobile customers and have an opportunity to make a huge impact on society. They will also be learning and growing with the support of a community of over 7,000 software engineers around the world!

A taste of our tech

At Vodafone, we work with the best technologies and tools. We’re always experimenting with the latest tech to see if they can solve our challenges better than existing solutions.

At the moment, we are building a new MyVodafone app that will be available in all markets in the near future – a great opportunity for app and backend developers to join our community. We are also building a common web library to be used by our entire front-end community, and in the cloud space, we are building several components that will enable our teams to leverage cloud adoption and automation.

We have an incredibly diverse environment in terms of age, gender, race and culture, which makes us unique, faster, and stronger. It does, of course, throw up the challenge of navigating many different systems, currencies and languages, but I see this as a positive. It’s a great opportunity for us to evolve as a community. I find it so exciting to see the difference our digital engineering teams are making at Vodafone, and to witness the benefits of reusing all of Vodafone’s vast knowledge more efficiently and at scale. 

Join our digital transformation at Vodafone! For open roles, head to our careers page here.