Unilever extends global networking contract with BT

Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever has signed a three-year extended its global telecommunications services contract with BT for third time since the contract was signed in 2002.

It is the UK telco’s largest global contract, and the first it ever signed. BT provides an integrated network of data, communications, supply chain, wireless and mobility services to the company’s 173,000 employees across around 1,000 sites in nearly 100 countries.

BT also provides Unilever with audio- and video-conferencing services, which help Unilever achieve its ambition of doubling revenue in the next ten years while cutting its environmental impact. 

“The continued innovative use of technology is helping us to increase  productivity by making our workforce more connected,” said Paulo De Sa, Unilever’s VP of infrastructure services. “We are becoming a more agile business and introducing more sustainable ways of working for our employees, customers and suppliers, as well as the two billion customers who rely on our products every day.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The last time the deal was extended, back in 2010, it was worth £1 billion for four years.

Unilever keeps BT in place despite a number of changes to its IT strategy in recent years. In November last year, the company opened up a new, 1,400-head IT delivery centre in India. The centre will be staffed by 500 Unilever employees, and the remainder will be supplied by the company’s outsourcing partners. 

At Forrester’s CIO Forum earlier this, Unilever presented its business intelligence strategy. The company has moved to a single data warehouse and document repository for the global organisation. 

Meanwhile, the company has been an active start-up investor as part of its open innovation strategy. Unilever has funded start-up competitions on digital media and the Internet of things, as a way of accessing potentially disruptive technologies ahead of its competition.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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