Unilever has signed a £340m deal wth HP to manage the consumer goods giant's technology infrastructure in the Americas, Asia, Africa, Turkey and the Middle East.
Under the contact, HP will provide Unilever with an infrastructure capable of adapting to changing business needs by "standardizing, virtualizing and optimizing" Unilever's enterprise computing environment, HP said in a statement.
HP is also charged with working with Unilever partners such as BT, Microsoft and SAP to enable reduced costs and tighter integration of new applications.
The move comes a week after Unilever announced its SAP based rationalisation programme had saved it £740m over the last 12 months.
Also as part of the deal, HP will operate as Unilever's "single point of contact" for multiple geographic locations as well as provide management of IT processes and services across corporate data centers.
HP will be taking charge of Unilever's messaging and directory services, Internet and intranet systems hosting, disaster-recovery services and the outsourcing of 4,500 multi-vendor Unix and Windows server and storage systems. Some 250 Unilever employees will also transfer to HP as part of the agreement.
The long-term, multi-million dollar deal HP won goes against a trend in outsourcing spotted by TPI
late last year. The industry organization at the time reported that the Americas had experienced a shift "toward small contract values and shorter durations." And TPI said contracts slowed for most of 2007.