German multinational to transform IT infrastructure

German company Vorwerk outsources IT infrastructure and application development operations to Cognizant

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German company Vorwerk has outsourced its IT infrastructure and application development operations to Cognizant in a six-year deal to centralise and standardise IT.

Cognizant will provide service management, datacentre, network and business process services, as well IT support for staff on-site and in the field.

Vorwerk, which sells goods such as household products and cosmetics, operates in 70 countries. It wants to centralise the IT environment to make it more transparent and reduce costs. This will include a multi-lingual service desk.

Vorwerk CIO Axel Scarponi said the deal goes beyond IT infrastructure services. “We chose Cognizant to re-organise our IT infrastructure and introduce an IT operating model based on ITIL,” he said. 

The company employs more than 622,000 people worldwide, with 610,000 of these independent advisors. Sales last year totalled €2.6bn.

Reiner Strecker, managing partner at Vorwerk, said customer support and getting services to market fast are important. “Our sophisticated IT environment doesn’t just need to be run if we want to satisfy market requirements, it also has to be continuously enhanced and managed,” he said.

Peter Schumacher, CEO at management consultancy Value Leadership Group, said this type of transformation is becoming common in European businesses. 

“For many large European organisations it is becoming a strategic imperative to transform their ICT, reposition them vis-à-vis the business, and gain more value from IT,” he said.

"The Vorwerk deal underscores that medium-sized, globally operating European companies stand much to gain from the global delivery model. Our discussions with companies in this segment across Europe show that globally integrated services models offer enormous business advantages. Besides significantly lower costs, they benefit from global standards, greater flexibility and intellectual arbitrage," added Schumacher.

Mid-sized multinationals are turning to outsourcing service providers to give them a standard service regardless of the region. 

In mid-October, South African diamond-mining and jewellery company De Beers announced it is transforming its global IT infrastructure through a deal with outsourced IT services company HCL. 

The agreement will see HCL run datacentre operations, a multi-lingual service desk, LAN management, security services, service management, desk-side support and project services. HCL will take over eight datacentres across five regions.

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