Communications giant NTL has announced plans to outsource its information technology to IBM in a deal expected to save the company £300m over the next seven years.
"We anticipate that this alliance will deliver significant cash savings over the life of the contract, as well as improving service levels," said Peter Black, chief technology officer at NTL.
Black believes that the deal's benefits will become apparent later this year. "We expect to see these savings begin in the latter half of 2001," he explained.
"We also expect to see a step change in the speed at which we will be able to deliver new products and services to the market-place."
Under the proposed agreement, IBM will provide IT services for all NTL's operations in the UK and Ireland until 2008.
Most of NTL's 600 IT employees will be offered jobs within IBM, while the remainder will stay with NTL.
The two companies have already signed a memorandum of understanding and expect to sign a contract in April.
The deal is based on a 10-year £1.8bn contract that was signed in 1998 by IBM and Cable & Wireless Consumer Communications, which NTL acquired last year.