Indian mobile giant Bharti Airtel has inked a ten-year contract with IBM which will see the latter support Bharti’s expansion across the 16 African countries in which it acquired operations last year. Under the terms of the deal, which was reportedly signed last month though only just made public, IBM will ‘consolidate and transform the 16 different IT environments across Airtel’s African operations into an integrated IT system’, while the vendor will also oversee the management of all applications, data centre operation, servers, storage and desktop services. Further, IBM will provide a range of customer support applications that cover areas including customer relationship management, billing and self-service, while it will also deploy a media management system to offer content such as music and video over mobile devices; the latter element, it claims, will enable Bharti to generate revenue from new sources. Financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed.
Commenting on the development, Manoj Kohli, chief executive officer (International) and joint managing director of Bharti Airtel, noted: ‘Our relationship with IBM is catalytic in its delivery of information and communication technology solutions across Africa. The deployment of cutting edge technology will provide a positive multiplier effect to our customers, employees and business partners through applications that deliver enhanced services, data and processes in real time. An empowered ecosystem will manifest in quick delivery of solutions that meet the evolving needs of Africa’s consumers.’