BT Services Unit Gets More Global

Among other international moves, the British telco has signed big deals with Credit Suisse and Credit Agricole and acquired INS

BT has talked confidently about its ongoing contract wins with multinationals and pointed to recent acquisitions as a way to keep that momentum going.

BT Global Services accounts for an increasingly large part of the telco's revenues, up 4.3 per cent to £2.3bn in the most recently reported quarter, and the unit's bosses are eyeing juicy margins.

The company recently signed a major deal with Credit Suisse of more than half a billion pounds over seven years, in conjunction with a division of Swisscom, and recent acquisitions are thought to make opening such doors even more likely.

An $80m contract win with Credit Agricole in Asia was helped by BT owning security outfit Counterpane since last autumn, BT Global Services CEO Andy Green told

Green said: "It helped us very significantly with that client."

Meanwhile, BT's purchase of integrator International Network Services (INS), with a firm eye on more business in North America, will "likewise" help growth, said Green.

In the past, Green has pointed to the extent to which IT services are more important to the telco than to rivals, such as AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and Verizon, and the figures in terms of revenue break down bear this out. As such, Green said "good services based out of the US" give the company "a different type of conversation to have", in the knowledge BT's network won't ever have the reach of some US domestic players.

Last month Axel Knobe, head of international for Deutsche Telekom's T-Systems services unit, claimed BT is at a disadvantage compared to the German player as it often has to partner, for example with HP, to bring the necessary IT expertise to the table.

Green dismissed this criticism and pointed out - outside of Germany and the UK - that T-Systems is rarely a competitor for big contracts.

He acknowledged the recent Anglo American deal, won with HP, but said there have been others involving Capgemini or IBM, for example, and BT is comfortable with partnering.

BT Global Services CIO JP Rangaswami pointed out that with the Credit Suisse win wasn't a case of breaking down who would handle which parts of the contract.

He said: "It was a 'one BT' deal."

BT bought Indian enterprise services company i2i last month, partly with an eye on that growing market.