Sunrise set to transfer staff to Huawei in IT operations outsourcing deal

Sunrise CTO Elmar Grasser

Sunrise reassured 31 staff members in its IT operations department that their jobs are secure, after announcing that the employees are set to be transferred to Huawei as part of an outsourcing deal with the vendor.

The Swiss operator said the staff will join Huawei’s team in Dübendorf -- a district in the city of Zurich -- in November as part of the outsourcing deal, which will see the Chinese vendor take over the running of Sunrise’s IT hardware and databases required to run applications.

In a statement, the operator said there will be no layoffs after the transfer, and that the staff will receive a 12-month guarantee of work assuming trading conditions remain unchanged.

Sunrise said the interests of the 31 employees will be taken into consideration as it transfers control of its IT operations to Huawei. An internal staff committee and union Syndicom have been told about the plan, and will be closely involved in the shift, it noted.

The operator explained that it is seeking to improve its flexibility by outsourcing its IT operations. For example, Sunrise expects to be able to deploy state-of-the-art services faster by building on services it has already launched and by offering clarity in terms of end-to-end responsibility for new applications.

Sunrise CTO Elmar Grasser said the outsourcing contract builds on an existing relationship with Huawei that has delivered a high level of user experience in the mobile network since 2012.

For Huawei the deal “is a key milestone in our strong partnership with Sunrise,” Haijun Xiao, CEO of Huawei Switzerland, explained.

The outsourcing contract will “stimulate operational efficiencies under an ICT converged environment and support Sunrise’s business growth with our innovative products and services,” Xiao added.

Sunrise said it will retain control of IT strategy, project management and development.

The operator recently revealed positive momentum in terms of its cost of sales and operating expenses in the first six months of 2016. Transmission costs and cost of goods sold fell from CHF357 million (€327 million/$368 million) in the first half of 2015 to CHF331 million in the recent period, and operating expenses declined from CHF216 million to CHF193 million.

For more:
- see this Sunrise announcement
- view the operator’s recent earnings statement (PDF)

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