Unilever signs seven year contract with IBM

MUMBAI: Unilever has signed a contract to outsource significant parts of its financial transactional services to IBM. This agreement covers more than 20 European countries including India, and is part of the One Unilever programme, which aims to streamline the organisation in order to increase competitiveness in the marketplace and step up growth.



IBM will provide financial services including Purchase to Pay, General Accounting and Bill to Cash and will be delivered from IBM centres in Portugal, Poland and India.

The deal is expected to deliver significant cost savings to Unilever throughout the seven years of the contract. These anticipated cost savings will contribute to the overall targeted €700 million annual savings of the One Unilever programme.



"IBM brings strong business process knowledge, deep technical expertise and a flexible, responsive business model to finance shared services. As a specialist in this area, IBM will be able to help us optimise our business process performance, and deliver additional savings in support of our core business; offering consumers excellent brands and products," says Unilever Europe president Kees van der Graaf.



"This change will affect quite a number of our employees in Europe. We are committed to treat all of them responsibly and will follow all appropriate consultation processes. When jobs are affected we will do our best to find alternative employment," he added.

IBM general manager, business transformation outsourcing Tony Cronin said, "IBM will apply business insight within our global network of operations to optimise business performance. The agreement will create long-term economic benefits for Unilever. This relationship is a strong example of the new on-demand business IBM is targeting in the marketplace for Business Performance Transformation Services."

Unilever will follow a phased approach in implementation over approximately two years, starting in the first quarter of 2006.

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