VimpelCom signs $1bn IT deal with Ericsson

14 June 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Russia's VimpelCom has entered into a software partnership with Ericsson in a deal worth more than $1 billion that will radically transform VimpelCom’s global IT infrastructure.

The partnership encompasses a complete overhaul of VimpelCom’s IT infrastructure across 11 countries on a scale that is the largest and most ambitious in the industry’s history.

VimpelCom CEO Jean-Yves Charlier said: "This marks a fundamental milestone in our transformation as we move ahead with our strategy to turn VimpelCom into a true digital pioneer."

VimpelCom – which operates under the Wind, Beeline, Djezzy and other brands – will digitalise and globalise its business support systems infrastructure using Ericsson’s software and cloud technologies. The Digital Stack will accelerate product and service development, while the delivery and use of near real-time analytics, will allow greater personalisation of services for customers. 

The project will cover 11 of VimpelCom's 14 national operations, Pakistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Algeria, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, and Georgia, according to a company official. Italy, where VimpelCom is hoping to merge its Wind operation with Hutchison's Three, is not included, nor is Laos and Zimbabwe. 

"The new Digital Stack will help us better respond to our customers while also centralising and simplifying our business, creating lean and agile operations that will result in a more efficient cost structure across our global footprint," said Charlier.

VimpelCom said there would be "a significant reduction in operating costs" and that "the improved technology structure will enable VimpelCom to fast-track its digital innovation strategy, particularly in the areas of mobile entertainment, communication, the internet of things, and mobile financial services."

Yogesh Malik, group CTO of VimpelCom, said: "This technology shift is a huge leap forward for VimpelCom and forms part of our strategy to transform into an agile business that understands our customers and answers their digital needs. Only by investing in the latest technology and going fully digital will we be able to provide these innovative and competitive services across the group."

VimpelCom offers services to customers in 14 markets including Russia, Italy, Algeria, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Laos, and Zimbabwe. The company has not said which three countries will not be included in the project.