MTN’s already wired to TechM, Subex
Posted by telcobizpedia on May 27, 2009
27 May 2009, 0220 hrs IST, Nandini Sengupta & Deepshikha Monga, ET Bureau
NEW DELHI: African communications major MTN has another India connection, besides an Indian suitor. Indian IT firms Tech Mahindra and the Subex as well as India team of American software major IBM are already providing IT services to the Johannesburg-headquartered firm.
Tech Mahindra, which recently entered Indian IT’s big league with the acquisition of Satyam Computer Services, has been working with MTN for about two years in the areas of customer relationship management, business process management and business intelligence. Tech Mahindra’s Middle East & Africa VP Krishna Gopal said MTN is the largest client in Africa for the Indian IT firm.
Though revenues earned from MTN are not very significant compared with those from a typical outsourcing contract with an American firm, Tech Mahindra is betting big on growth in the region. “We are executing large projects for MTN in Nigeria and Cameroon, and we see West Africa as a market waiting to explode,” said Mr Gopal. Tech Mahindra is in the process of establishing a subsidiary in Nigeria to cater to West and Central Africa.
Similarly, telecom software product firm Subex has a fraud management and revenue assurance contract with various MTN Group firms. “We have been working with MTN for the past 3-4 years, and we work across markets for its companies,” Subex chairman, MD and CEO Subash Menon said. New Delhi-headquartered Lifetree, which was recently acquired by Nasdaq-listed Tecnomen Corporation, also provides billing solutions to MTN Group.
Last year, MTN outsourced its information technology support and services to IBM in a deal reportedly worth about $2 billion. The deal was modeled after IBM’s outsourcing engagements with Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular.
In fact, the IBM India team, which cut its teeth with the outsourcing contract from Bharti — the first one to award such a deal among the three Indian telcos — is playing a leading role in service delivery and support in the MTN deal.
With Bharti and MTN reviving talks to strike a deal, there could be vendor consolidation. IBM is Bharti’s main IT outsorcing vendor and has grown its business with the Indian telecom operator from the initial size of $750 million five years ago to over $2 billion now. Mr Gopal said any vendor consolidation will take time. “Whatever happens, it won’t happen immediately because any instance of vendor consolidation will take at least three years to pan out,” he said.