Approximately 16 African countries will benefit from a 10-year deal signed between Bharti Airtel and IBM to provide comprehensive IT solutions to its employees working in those countries.
The joint announcement builds on a strategic partnership signed in late 2010 to manage the computing technology and services to power Airtel’s mobile communications network spanning 16 African countries.
IBM is ramping up its investment in Africa and has a direct presence in over 20 countries including South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia. In recent weeks, IBM announced its expansion into both Senegal and Tanzania.
In terms of the agreement, IBM will provide a standard operating environment, ‘help desk’ and ‘desk side’ support to enhance employee efficiency and convenience.
In terms of the new agreement, IBM will provide comprehensive end user services to Airtel employees across Africa, in French and English.
The consolidation of Airtel’s helpdesks are expected to bring greater cost savings and efficiencies by streamlining the processes of addressing IT operational issues.
It will also include an enhanced information enterprise security solution that further strengthens Airtel’s commitment to customer data privacy.
IBM says it will also be responsible for the implementation and maintenance of a standard operating environment, using state of the art platforms, tools and management processes.
“This agreement enables us to provide the best IT capabilities to our employees with a focus of making innovative mobile solutions available across Africa.
“IBM will introduce best practices based on their global experience in various sectors. This will help us to focus on delivering innovative products & services and providing a better customer experience,” says Manoj Kohli, Bharti Airtel CEO and joint MD.
Bharti Airtel and IBM’s relationship began in 2004 when South Asia’s leading mobile communications provider selected IBM to run IT and applications for its entire network in India. Since then, Airtel has seen explosive growth from six million customers to more than 225 million.
Airitel currently has over 44 million customers across 16 African operations and is targeting 100 million by 2015.
“This latest agreement will bring enhanced efficiencies to benefit customers, employees and business partners of Bharti Airtel,” says Bruno Di Leo, IBM General Manager for Growth Markets.
“IBM becomes the single partner to Airtel, providing end user services as well as consolidating and transforming the different IT environments across Airtel’s African operations into an integrated system, overseeing the management of all applications, data center operations, servers, storage and desktop services.
“The agreement with Airtel highlights IBM’s continued geographic expansion initiative to strategically increase its presence in key growth markets and support its global growth strategy,” says Leo.