Bharti Airtel signs new 5-year contract with IBM

ibm-262x174Bharti Airtel and IBM on Wednesday announced a new agreement to manage Airtel’s infrastructure and application services in India over the next five years. Analysts estimate the order to be between $500 million and $600 million.

The agreement extends the pioneering 10-year outsourcing relationship that the two have had and which ended on March 31. But unlike earlier, when Airtel literally outsourced its entire IT, the company is now talking of building in-house capabilities in certain areas.

Under the contract signed in 2004, IBM took over the management of Airtel’s IT infrastructure and worked to transform its processes and integrate channels. The contract is said to have grown to $2 billion as Airtel expanded into other regions, including Africa.

Sources in both companies said there wasn’t any significant change in the size of the new contract. “IBM has been running that portion of Airtel’s business for years, and they know it so well and the business is so big that there was no way Airtel could risk moving a large portion suddenly to somebody else,” sources close to Airtel said.

There were reports earlier that India’s leading mobile operator might move significant portions of the contract to companies like TCS and Tech Mahindra. However, it looks like at least 80% of Airtel’s total IT outsourcing is still with IBM, and the rest is shared by companies including Tech Mahindra, Infosys, Wipro and Cisco.

Sources in IBM said the company’s analytics capabilities in particular and the fact that IBM helped Bharti extend into Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Africa had contributed to IBM retaining most of the contract.

Read the complete article on | Posted by Khalid Raza

The Mainframe: Making Good in Africa, with IBM Business Partner CFAO

By Jean Noel Le Foll, General Manager, CFAO Technologies

Brazil, Russia, India, China, Turkey, South Africa and Mexico are the fastest growing markets for computer equipment, making up 14% of the global IT market. The regions increasing their IT purchases the most are the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa, according to Forrester Research. A growing list of companies in these emerging economies is relying on the IBM System z mainframe to build their infrastructures.

The Ministry of Senegal brought all of its import and export processes from across the country on-line with System z, and is now recovering 30% of Gross National Product, which amounts to two billion Senegalese francs in customs revenue every day. In the process, the Ministry increased the performance of its systems by 70%, reduced power consumption by 20% and cut operating costs by 30%.

The System Z Mainframe goes global

Customs officers in Senegal and their partners now have real-time access to information across all of the country’s border checkpoints. They can check to see if the correct duty has been paid on shipments of goods coming through the country’s main border checkpoints This is a vast improvement over the Ministry’s previous system, which was limited to two border checkpoints. The Ministry of Senegal is using technology to apply critical information to boost the country’s economic growth.

Logo of CFAO TechnologiesMy company, CFAO, also worked with the government in Cameroon to help them build their infrastructure on the mainframe. In Cameroon, the Cameroon Ministry of Finance is using a System z mainframe to help with smarter banking and modernize the payroll processes for government employees in the country. The new system is helping to increase the security of the Ministry’s payroll system and improve the efficiency of processes such as generating pay slips.

Mainframes provide enterprise clients in growth markets with an efficient platform for growth as they transform their businesses to become smarter in their industry. CFAO’s System z business in Africa has grown 15% over the last three years. And IBM’s System z revenue in growth markets was up 11% year to year in the second quarter of 2012, per IBM earnings.

Today, IBM announced a new mainframe that has been built with features that will appeal to clients in growth markets, such as the capability to run without a raised datacenter floor. IBM has been making changes over the last five generations of mainframes to enable clients to do this.

The new family of mainframes will also allow enterprises in growth markets to grow their business by 50 percent without increasing their energy usage, IT investment or system size.

CFAO expects the new mainframe will allow us to help more clients in Africa operate smarter to grow their economies and better serve citizens by more effectively making use of available data.

CFAO Technologies is an IBM Business Partner in West Africa.