India’s Bharti Airtel has inked its second large-scale deal with US-based vendor IBM in less than a year, with the operator announcing a ten-year deal under which IBM will provide IT solutions to Airtel employees across its 16 African subsidiaries. According to India’s Economic Times, Airtel has said that under the terms of the latest agreement between the two companies, IBM will provide services for its staff in both French and English, while also implementing and maintaining a standard operating environment, using state-of-the-art platforms, tools and management processes. Airtel expects the consolidation of its helpdesks to allow for increased cost savings and better efficiencies as the process for addressing IT operational issues is streamlined. No financial details of the deal have been disclosed. Commenting on the deal, Manoj Kohli, Bharti Airtel’s CEO (International), noted: ‘This agreement enables us to provide the best IT capabilities to our employees with a focus on making innovative mobile solutions available across Africa.’
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in January 2011 Airtel inked a ten-year contract with IBM under which the latter agreed to support Airtel’s expansion across the 16 African countries in which it acquired operations last year, with the vendor agreeing to ‘consolidate and transform the 16 different IT environments across Airtel’s African operations into an integrated IT system’. IBM was also contracted to oversee the management of all applications, data centre operation, servers, storage and desktop services, while it said it would provide a range of customer support applications that covered areas including customer relationship management, billing and self-service, while also deploying a media management system to offer content such as music and video over mobile devices.