IBM Announces Three International Agreements
New multiyear deals expand IBM's involvement in large-scale business IT projects to India's Idea Cellular, Sweden's Sony Ericsson and Spain's Endesa. The agreements re-emphasize the role of IBM's Global Services in bolstering the company's bottom line even in the midst of an international downturn.IBM announced Jan. 29 three multiyear agreements with global corporations to provide infrastructure and IT services on a worldwide scope. The moves could help bolster IBM Global Services, the company's international business consulting and IT management division, whose 2008 revenues of $9.6 billion were down 4 percent from 2007. An eight-year agreement with Idea Cellular, signed in December, will have IBM assisting the Indian telecom operator in several ways. After helping integrate, migrate and transition applications from Spice Communications (a company recently acquired by Idea Cellular) to the Idea Transformed Applications platform, IBM will manage all operations and services for Idea's service areas in Punjab and Karnataka, and migrate IT help desk services to a centralized help desk based in Pune.
"I think the cellular deal is exceptional," said Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT Research. "The conventional wisdom is that Indian service companies have been eating IBM's lunch, but they went in there and signed an eight- year agreement."