Vodafone is lining up a mammoth IT outsourcing deal to cut operating costs.
The deal is intended to save Vodafone hundreds of millions of pounds in annual costs, and comes at a time when Vodafone, the world’s biggest mobile operator, is spending large amounts on acquisitions.
Any outsourcer chosen therefore will have a big job on their hands to integrate various IT environments that support different mobile networks around the world.
Vodafone already outsources some of its IT to Hewlett-Packard, and IBM is reported to be in the frame, among others, for the large contract at stake.
Any deal is expected to include billing systems, software development and customer relationship management.
Rival O2 has already overhauled its billing and customer relationship management systems, after using IBM to do it.
IBM integrated different systems in the UK, Germany and Ireland to improve O2’s operations, although some O2 customers experienced problems with inaccurate bills during the transformation.
Such a move on Vodafone’s part would prove to be far more complicated, considering the number of networks it owns around the world.
Vodafone confirmed it was currently talking to several outsourcing firms about a possible deal.