IBM and Bharti Airtel expand outsourcing to employee IT services

IBM, the World’s largest IT company has expanded its IT services contract for Bharti Airtel’s telecom services in Africa, expanding it to provide “comprehensive end user services to Airtel employees.”

The American firm already had, late last year, inked a deal to manage the “computing technology and services” for the operators’ network in 16 African countries.

The new deal, signed for ten years, will involve a standard operating environment, ‘help desk’ and ‘desk side’ support to Bharti Airtel Africa to improve employee efficiency and convenience — and is more akin to an IT-enablement deal for employees.

The companies did not disclose the size of the deal, but revenues are likely to be merely incremental for the global outsourcing giant. The deal will offer an additional incentive for IBM to integrate the disparate IT systems in use over the former Zain network in Africa.

“IBM will be responsible for the implementation and maintenance of a standard operating environment, using state of the art platforms, tools and management processes,” Airtel said.

Airtel currently has over 44 million customers (out of its total 225 million) ins 16 African operations and is targeting 100 million by 2015.

“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,” said Bruno Di Leo, IBM General Manager for “Growth Markets.”