Aviva inks £300m comms deal with Cable & Wireless

Aviva has signed a £300 million, six year deal with Cable & Wireless to expand an ongoing telecoms deal.

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Aviva has signed a £300 million, six year deal with Cable & Wireless to expand an ongoing telecoms deal.

The insurer, which is currently heavily rationalising IT systems as part of a major IT overhaul driven by chief executive Andrew Moss, said the deal would help it make “significant” cost savings and enable it to better handle increasing web and email contact with customers.

Cable & Wireless will provide 72 different communications services to 35,000 staff in the UK and India, including voice telephony, data services, and local and wide area networks.

The network will comprise more than 1,000 sites, with 57,000 individual telephone points and 74,000 data points.

It has already been using Cable & Wireless as its telecoms supplier for 12 years, and the IT service provider manages Aviva’s 6,000-strong contact centre in India. New additions to the service include IP telephony and IP contact centre services. In the UK, it will also add managed Blackberry services and advanced speech recognition technology.

Igal Mayer, chief executive at Norwich Union, the UK arm of Aviva, said: “It is important to our market success that we are able to respond to business and customer needs promptly and reliably.”

“This contract represents a significant commitment on both sides to ensure cost effective service against the backdrop of a highly competitive marketplace."

Aviva is in the middle of a cost cutting programme called One Aviva, under which it plans to cut £33 million from IT costs in the UK this year. Exact details of the changes have not been disclosed but Aviva said money will be saved through a more efficient IT set-up, including switching off legacy technology, sharing IT platforms and using shared services.

The £33m IT savings, alongside a reduction in marketing costs, mark the first of a three stage programme. In the second and third stages, which are still in planning, the company will “re-engineer” its service and processing centres, and remove layers from its business structure.

Last year, Norwich Union switched off 100 legacy systems, following an agreement for reinsurer Swiss Re to administrate three million life and pensions policies on its behalf. It plans to decommission another 230 systems, leaving 120 running.

It also recently announced that it would drop the Norwich Union name, rebranding it as Aviva over the next two years.

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