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April 8, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:30am

IBM wins 5-year BBC contract to drive mobile and cloud transformation

News: Contract was awarded for factors including cost and cultural alignment.

By Alexander Sword

The BBC has chosen IBM for a contract to provide outsourced finance, accounting and payroll technology.

From November, IBM will provide application management, processing for purchasing and sales transactions. The contract also covers financial management, project accounting, payroll and expenses support.

IBM plans to introduce a range of mobile and cloud technologies, as well as using data and analytics. Mobile applications will help to support remote working, while the cloud will support payroll and expense processing.

The contract will last five years, with the option on a two-year extension to the contract.

IBM was chosen from a shortlist of four companies after being evaluated in terms of value for money, cultural alignment with the BBC, service delivery capability and transition and exit planning.

It replaces SopriaSteria, the BBC’s previous partner.

The move is part of a wider drive at the BBC to find efficiencies as it faces decreased funding.

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The BBC produced a report on its charter review in September 2015, where it outlined plans to cut costs through creating more digital operations.

The BBC saw significant cuts to its budget in George Osborne’s ‘Emergency Budget’ in July. The BBC will now have to carry the cost of providing free television licences for those over 75, previously funded by the taxpayer, that will cost it £750m by 2020.

Ian Haythornthwaite, BBC Director of Finance, said that the contract would bring simplicity and innovation and contribute to savings targets. He praised IBM’s "proven expertise" in outsourced finance and accounting.

Anita Karlsson-Dion, VP Client Services, IBM Business Process Services, said: "We are well aware of the significant challenges facing the BBC as it enters the year of Charter renewal.

"We are looking forward to bringing the best of IBM’s innovations and collaborative working to deliver a highly effective service and an improved user experience for all BBC Public Services Broadcasting and BBC Worldwide employees and customers."

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