Thursday, September 24, 2009

Vodafone 360

(Yes, I have been absent for almost a whole month. Sorry about that, but I have been consumed by my work life.)

Congratulations to Vodafone on their vodafone 360 announcement. vf360 is a set of services that can be accessed from PCs and mobile devices, with two purpose-built phones ready to launch and software available for installation for 100 models of phones, to manage music, photos, contacts, social networks, updates, friend groups, blogs, and all that other goodness wherever you go.

I saw some of these ideas when I consulted summer 2008 in Düsseldorf for Vodafone's UE Group, and I was impressed with the ambitious plans they had to seamlessly put the user in touch with their data everywhere. We actually could use all the help we can get managing all our social networks and status updates and media and chats, as long as it the tools take into account that we have different personas and levels of access to different people, and embarrassment can be huge when you say the wrong things to the wrong group. So far the press release is making the right noises about that.

There is the worry that they do not integrate with services people actually use -- like no AIM? Oops, not good for the US market -- but hopefully new interfaces will be built. Voda is already making a lot of money available for a contest to develop the best apps on top of this platform. It's a step ahead from just being another app store, but being a conduit for services from developers instead. If Vodafone nurtures this globally this could get very credible and interesting.