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By | Newswireless.net 17th February 2006 13:25

Vodafone to announce big deal with IBM

Takin' care of business...

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Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin 23GSM

Next week, expect Vodafone to announce the complete outsourcing of its operations - everything except the network itself, sources at the 3GSM Congress in Barcelona said.

If it gets a green light, the deal is almost certain to be seen as an attempt to buy "breathing time" for CEO Arun Sarin.

How well the deal will work, remains to be seen. If it goes ahead, it is handing full control of the central revenue generation engine - the billing process - to a source which has not covered itself with public glory in its attempts to revitalise the O2 billing setup.

The news that O2 is to pass control of its big billing reorganisation to an outside consultant was broken in NewsWireless last November, with the consultant named as Accenture. But Accenture was taking over the project; it was started by IBM, and was moved to Accenture after senior management decided it was stalled.

Sarin's position as head of Vodafone will now be regarded by many observers as "in question". One source told NewsWireless: "This gives him another two or three quarters to get out of the position Vodafone has got itself into, and to pre-empt any attempt to replace him in this quarter at least, by someone like Warren Finegold."

According to the Telegraph report, "UBS banker Warren Finegold is joining the Vodafone executive committee." He becomes chief executive of global business development responsible for mergers and acquisitions, and partner networks.

It isn't any secret that Vodafone's investors are dissatisfied with performance, and observers blame this problem squarely on management policy, which has been to avoid trying to be excellent, and be content with "being 10 per cent better than number two" in the market.

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Bootnote

Vodafone told El Reg that they were still undertaking a feasibility study, and denied that a decision has been made. Any announcement is "way off", they claimed.

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