IBM bags seven-year Unilever outsourcing deal

Millions of euros for IBM BCS
Written by Tony Hallett, Contributor

Millions of euros for IBM BCS

Unilever has turned to IBM for a seven-year outsourcing contract aimed at transforming its financial transactional services in Europe.

The move will affect around 750 Unilever staff across 20 countries. A spokesman for Unilever said they were told about upcoming changes a week ago and over the next two years of implementation steps will be taken to try to "prevent forced redundancies".

The value of the contract has not been disclosed but was referred to as a "multi-million euro" deal in one email from the companies.

IBM Business Consulting Services will use facilities in India, Poland and Portugal to handle Unilever's Purchase to Pay, General Accounting and Bill to Cash functions.

IBM is one of Unilever's key technology partners. Others include BT, HP, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, making IBM a favourite for picking up this kind of business.

"We looked at the market and the obvious alternatives but selected IBM as the single provider," the Unilever spokesman told silicon.com

The consumer goods giant is currently targeting €700m in annual savings through its One Unilever programme, as detailed by CIO Neil Cameron in a recent in-depth interview on silicon.com. "There will be a small number of big suppliers," he said in September.

The relationship will create "long-term economic benefits for Unilever" and is "a strong example of the new on-demand business IBM is targeting in the marketplace for business performance transformation services", IBM said.

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