VimpelCom engages Ericsson in $1B global BSS infrastructure overhaul

VimpelCom entered into a $1 billion (€887 million) software partnership with Ericsson that the infrastructure company said would radically transform the operator's global IT infrastructure.

Ericsson will completely overhaul VimpelCom's IT infrastructure in 11 countries -- a task the vendor stated is the "largest and most ambitious in the industry's history" in terms of the scale of the project.

VimpelCom is pressing ahead with the digitisation and globalisation of its BSS infrastructure by utilising new Ericsson software and the vendor's cloud technologies. The deployment of what Ericsson calls the Digital Stack will enable VimpelCom to accelerate product and service development, and also opens the door to real-time analytics that Ericsson explained will enable the operator to deliver more personalised services to its subscribers.

Customer experience will also be boosted by the deployment of a simpler user interface, Ericsson stated.

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

Charlier added that the Digital Stack will enable VimpelCom to "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."

VimpelCom's CEO explained in the company's first quarter earnings statement that transforming its cost base and globalising its internal operations are key strategies for 2016. While the operator grew net profit by 3 per cent year-on-year to $189 million during the period, EBITDA was down 19 per cent at $758 million, and total revenue declined 12 per cent to $2.02 billion.

Ericsson explained that the Digital Stack will deliver more than just cost savings to VimpelCom. The IT overhaul will also enable the operator to fast-track plans to deliver innovative digital services including mobile entertainment, communication, IoT, and mobile financial services.

Hans Vestberg, Ericsson's president and CEO, said the vendor's "unique BSS as a service concept" will enable VimpelCom to achieve the "performance, flexibility and efficiency" it needs to succeed in a fully connected world.

The Ericsson systems will also position VimpelCom "for further growth as ICT transforms industries everywhere," Vestberg stated.

For more:
- see this Ericsson announcement
- view VimpelCom's recent earnings statement (PDF)

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