Vodafone & Accenture take managed security services to Europe’s SMEs

  • Combined managed security services portfolios cover range of enterprises
  • Initial launch in Italy and Spain later this year
  • Partners commit to invest in security innovation

Vodafone Business has teamed up with Accenture to offer managed security services to small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and national corporate companies in key European markets, targeting companies “that do not have the experience, time or resources to keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape.”

The joint service, which will launch later this year initially in Italy and Spain (followed by Germany and the UK), is to provide a menu of simple-to-understand, pre-packaged managed security services – including monitoring, incident management and response – that will be tailored to the needs of SMEs. 

The move follows the launch by Vodafone Business earlier this month of V-Hub, which offers SMEs in the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy “detailed guides on key aspects of operating in a more digitalised world, covering topics such as website creation, digital marketing, remote working and cyber security.”

Vodafone notes that as more companies turn to online business strategies as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, this has highlighted the vulnerability of SMEs to cyber attacks. “While larger enterprises improve their cybersecurity defense, cybercriminals are increasingly turning their attention to less well defended organisations,” noted Vodafone Business.

“Working with Accenture, we will leverage our combined capabilities and global experience to deliver modular security solutions, offering access to technologies that until now were only available to companies with large IT budgets,” stated Vinod Kumar, CEO at Vodafone Business.

The partnership combines Vodafone’s managed security capabilities, which are more suited to smaller companies, and those of Accenture, which has been building a broad portfolio of managed security services, mainly for larger organizations, through a series of acquisitions. The most recent was the purchase of Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business from Broadcom (for an undisclosed sum), which brought on board 300 staff and six global security operations centres located in the US, the UK, India, Australia, Singapore and Japan.

That combo makes sense for the network operator, according to network security analyst Patrick Donegan, Founder and Principal Analyst at HardenStance, who tweeted:

"Exactly the right #CyberSecurity play for @VodafoneBiz. Not enough skin in the game in large enterprise #informationsecurity to invest big itself so combines its SME security portfolio with managed security offer of global managed services player."

The partners also pledge to “invest in security innovation,” starting with an “innovation lab focused on security solutions and intelligence for workplace, cloud, IoT and SD-WAN environments.”

Of course, as in any growing market, the new partners have plenty of competition, with the likes of Atos, BT, Capgemini, Orange, Securenet and more also looking to grow their market shares in Europe’s managed security services market. 

But Vodafone Business, as Donegan notes, has done the smart thing here by finding a suitable partner and not believing it can do it all itself.

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV  

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