IoT.nxt signs partnership deal with Vodafone UK

IoT.nxt has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Vodafone’s UK subsidiary that will see the two companies collaborating in delivering IoT solutions to the mobile operator’s enterprise customer base.

IoT.nxt, which was recently acquired by South Africa’s Vodacom Group (which is also controlled by Vodafone Group), will help Vodafone UK expand its already-strong position in IoT solutions in the enterprise market.


In this episode of the podcast, IoT.nxt co-founder and CEO Nico Steyn is joined by Vodafone UK head of innovation Danny Kelly to talk about the partnership and unpack its implications.

The two executives discuss how the partnership will work, which industries they intend to target first and why Vodafone chose a South African IoT company to help it expand its offerings in the space.

Don’t miss the discussion!


Listen to the audio below

Vodafone UK opens up new markets for IoT growth to extend lead at the top

  • Vodafone UK is launching a new range of services that will make it easier for UK businesses to adopt IoT (Internet of Things) technology to track, monitor and manage assets, giving them vital data, insight and control
  • The new services are part of the enhanced offering that the latest addition to the Vodafone Group, IoT.nxt, brings to the company’s portfolio
  • The complete offering delivers devices and sensors, a single data management platform, and ongoing professional services to businesses of any size
  • Key markets for IoT include utilities, logistics, public transport, healthcare, manufacturing, and building management, as Vodafone releases a report on the benefits of the ‘Digital Building’ approach

Vodafone UK is launching a new range of IoT services that will remove barriers to IoT adoption for UK businesses. By partnering with IoT.nxt, part of the Vodafone Group, Vodafone will offer customers every part of an IoT solution, with a single data management platform, and the capability to integrate old and new devices in one system.

As part of the new range of services, Vodafone will provide IoT sensors and devices, create a data management platform, and offer ongoing professional services. This complete offering will ensure IoT is accessible to all businesses, including those that do not have specialist capabilities in-house.

IoT, or the ‘Internet of Things’, is the capability to track, monitor and manage any assets, giving businesses vital data, insight and control. Markets that can most quickly benefit from IoT adoption include utilities, logistics, public transport, healthcare, manufacturing, and building management.

Vodafone today released a report on the benefits of ‘Digital Buildings’ which found that investment in IoT in public sector buildings could reduce carbon emissions, reduce energy usage and save taxpayers up to £380 million annually. The report, which calls on the UK Government to explore digital buildings technology, estimates new technology could reduce carbon emissions by up to 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 a year and reduce overall energy usage in buildings by 15%.

As part of Vodafone’s recent IoT Spotlight research, 87% of UK early adopters said they have already seen a return-on-investment for IoT, while 76% suggested they are able to do things they couldn’t do before. IoT is helping businesses adapt to the digital economy, but complexity has been a major barrier to adoption.

Anne Sheehan, Business Director, Vodafone UK said: “We’re making it easy for any business to adopt IoT. We’re taking away complexity, and making it simple to deploy, simple to manage, and simple to see the return on investment. With our colleagues at IoT.nxt we can be unique in the UK market – we’ll grow our leadership position from here, and deliver customers a digital capability that will prove invaluable in meeting the pressures of business today.”

In 2019, Vodacom – part of the Vodafone Group – acquired a 51% share in South Africa-based IoT.nxt. The addition of IoT.nxt to the Vodafone Group will ensure that Vodafone UK grows its leadership in the IoT space, by opening up new markets through the ease of deployment, the simplicity and flexibility of operation, and the capability to customise to any application. IoT.nxt lets businesses consolidate multiple processes on to one simple platform, and integrate old and new devices with a single system.

Nico Steyn, CEO of IoT.nxt said, “It’s great to be part of the Vodafone Group. After a successful collaboration with Vodacom in South Africa, we are thrilled to power the new era of Vodafone UK’s IoT strategy. IoT is perceived by many businesses to be complex and bespoke, but it doesn’t have to be. We hope to change that perception with a platform which can be adapted to any business, and type of connection, and any use case.”



Vodafone Business offers enhanced IoT solutions in the Netherlands with IoT.nxt®

As adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions pick up pace Vodafone Business has announced it will start offering additional and enhanced IoT solutions to its IoT customers in the Netherlands using the platform of IoT innovator IoT.nxt®.

Internet of Things is increasingly considered a corner stone for digital transformation of both public and private organizations. The technology is primarily used to boost business performance: from improving operational efficiency to creating new connected products and services and improved customer experience. The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated this growth. According the Vodafone IoT Spotlight, the vast majority of companies (84%) using IoT claim that the technology helped to keep the business going during the crisis. They expect the adoption of IoT applications will continue to rise to make their company more resistant to unexpected market changes.

“As a Vodafone group company, we can now help Vodafone Business support their customers on their digital transformation journeys. Vodafone Business and IoT.nxt want to accelerate the adoption of IoT in markets around the world. The project now announced for the Netherlands is rolling out now, but this is just the beginning for us. IoT.nxt’s software capabilities and industry expertise, bundled with Vodafone Business’s market presence, partner network and international communications IoT network, will make this partnership relevant for any organization that wished to digitize their business operations. The IoT.nxt platform offers a combination of software and hardware to deliver the, digitization of businesses and allows for fast implementation,” says Nico Steyn, CEO IoT.nxt®.

John van Vianen, Director business market at VodafoneZiggo says “We are focusing on what our customers need, not on what we want to sell them. That is why we are excited about being able to offer them complete and innovative IoT solutions to achieve better business outcomes. Businesses of all sizes need reliable partners to accompany them on their digital transformation journey. IoT.nxt will enable us to serve the needs of our customers in all major Industries and on a much larger scale.”

According to the 2020 Vodafone IoT Spotlight report, 87% of businesses say IoT is critical for their future success. The ability to harness technology is a fundamental attribute of being a ‘future ready’ business. These businesses have a positive attitude to change and are open to new technology.  Vodafone Business together with IoT.nxt will aim to support these businesses in their journey to become ‘future ready’.

Insurance risk to R3bn worth of assets reduced using IoT technology

Richard Nkambule

IoT hardware and software provider IoT.nxt with partner Gilela Business Innovations developed a fire control panel monitoring solution, now live at 25 sites across South Africa, that improves the protection of R3bn worth of insured assets.

“The risk of a fire breaking out at a business facility, whatever the nature or industry, is often considered one of the biggest physical risks to operations. Most companies have alarm and detection systems installed in order to deal with any fire as fast as possible. Adding Internet of Things (IoT) technology to warning systems already in place significantly improves response times and thus the management of this risk,” says Richmond Nkambule, Business Development Manager at IoT.nxt.

According to a global claims review report by Allianz, published in 2019, over a five year period fire and explosion incidents have caused in excess of €14bn worth of losses and are responsible for more than half (11) of the 20 largest non-natural catastrophe events analyzed. “The average claim is almost €1.5mn,” according to the report.

“Our project is focused on risk mitigation. The first part of our project now rolling out is centered around monitoring of fire control panels at facilities – to see in real time when any notifications are triggered or when the panel is not working. In the second phase of this application electrical panels or distribution boards will also be added to the IoT solution as many building fires are caused by electrical faults,” Nkambule says.

IoT sensors have been added to Gilela’s technology – the fire control panels – which reduces response times to incidents as data is available in real time on a single dashboard.

“The project was developed and designed to improve risk mitigation for a large insurer. Although our project is for the insurer that wants to improve the protection of insured assets, it also mitigates risk for the facility,” Nkambule adds.

“The aim is to predict with certainty the risk of damages to insured property. Using the data, we can predict potential incidents. Our platform is designed to provide insight on a probable risk of fire system integrity failure, electrical fire, preventing spoilage of fridge content due to inadequate storage temperature or any other negative occurrence that is caused by external or internal vulnerabilities, and that may be avoided through pre-emptive action. Organisations that are not harnessing the power and undeniable value of their data, will find themselves unable to compete. In the technology domain, data is paramount to run a lean, cost effective, highly optimised, resilient, and agile technology landscape that enables the business to deliver high customer satisfaction and shareholder value. Gilela is a specialist digital monitoring company that provides managers with critical business data that enables them to make smart decisions faster. To this end, the importance of knowing is implied, but the detriment of not knowing is potentially catastrophic,” says Kholwani Mbambo, Managing Director of Gilela Business Innovations.


The further phase of the project, adding Smart electrical distribution boards and Smart fridges, will be added in the coming year and the solution will be rolled out at 450 sites in the months ahead.

IoT.nxt® Beefs Up Management Team to Handle Global Growth

Global Expansion

Leading Internet of Things (IoT) platform and hardware provider IoT.nxt announced changes to its executive management team as roll-out of its solutions picks up pace across different territories. International adoption of the IoT.nxt suite of offerings is growing at double-digit rates, which has required a reorganisation of the operational team to manage the growth efficiently.

“Several partnerships with different technology providers are now reaching a mature stage. For this reason, we have appointed executives to be responsible for specific territories. Shane Cooper, previously Chief of Operations, is now IoT.nxt Managing Director for Africa; Brett Grobbelaar, previously Vertical Lead: Industrials is now Managing Director for IoT.nxt: UK; and Mark Beets, previously General Manager, is now the Business Development Director of MPN (Mobile Private Networks) and Vodafone Global Partner Markets,” says Nico Steyn, CEO of IoT.nxt.

“Our partnership with IoT.nxt majority shareholder Vodacom and its parent company Vodafone has fast-tracked access to markets globally, as both companies have added our advanced IoT offerings to their enterprise solutions for customers across a diverse range of industries,” Steyn says.

”The expanded executive team have P&L responsibility for their regions, and therefore are required to drive business development and delivery in line with our global expansion strategy” he added.

In the UK, IoT.nxt has already implemented a smart building solution at Vodafone’s head office in Paddington, London, for which it recently received a Verdantix award for Smart Building Innovation. The UK will also provide IoT.nxt with access to significant market opportunities across a range of Industries.  In Africa, apart from the significant developments with Vodacom South Africa, IoT.nxt has established formal relationships with telecoms giant Safaricom, where the IoT platform has been successfully deployed, and business development is being successfully explored.

According to Beets, the applicability of our solutions within Vodafone’s Partner Markets have driven the need to expand the IoT.nxt strategic and operational centers. This focus will provide the required business development support to Vodafone, and further compliment Vodafone’s ability to deliver and execute on large scale IoT projects. “We will work closely with the Vodafone teams to unlock real business value with their international partners.”

“By combining our specialist technology capabilities with the Vodafone B2B relationships, IoT.nxt can now provide our end-to-end solutions to a global landscape,” Beets, who has relocated to the UK, added.

Cooper notes that the projects in Africa, especially with Safaricom and Vodacom Business in Mozambique, are gaining traction. Africa in general, for all its historical challenges, does have the advantage of embracing new and disruptive technologies, without the concern of historical investments into legacy technology, Cooper says.

Grobbelaar says the Vodafone has an extensive client base and is a trusted brand, in the UK and around the world. “With IoT.nxt’s world-leading technology and Vodafone’s reach and brand in the connectivity and communications solution space, will allow us to access a huge market with a complete offering and deliver results to enterprise customers across industries.

Steyn as Group CEO will focus on the company’s broader strategy, business development, its global partnerships, and international expansion programme – beyond its offices in the UK, The Netherlands and the USA – while the new operational executive team will focus on ensuring that IoT.nxt fulfills on its promise of delivering class-leading technology across its territories.

Executive Team