PLDT, Smart sign $300M outsourcing deal with Amdocs

MANILA, Philippines – PLDT Incorporated and its subsidiary Smart Communications Incorporated signed a 7-year, $300-million deal with Amdocs to utilize its artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies as well as outsource some of their information technology (IT) operations to the Missouri-based firm. 

Some IT operations to be outsourced include customer relationship management, billing, subscription and campaign management, among others, the telco said in a disclosure to the local bourse on Wednesday, January 24.

PLDT and Smart chairman and chief executive officer Manuel Pangilinan said affected staff from his firms' IT units will be offered career opportunities in Amdocs as regular employees.

"This represents a unique chance for these IT people to further build their careers in one of the leading software and services companies in the world," Pangilinan said in the disclosure.

Pangilinan had said there are "more than 1,000" staff under his firm's back-office IT operations. 

Under a 7-year agreement, PLDT and Smart said they will undertake a "business-led, technology-enabled transformative" program with Amdocs.

PLDT said the program aims to modernize business IT systems serving PLDT's and Smart's customers through advanced digital technologies; improve business processes and service levels; accelerate revenue growth with new digital tools; as well as introduce intelligent operations.

The telco giant said the program would result in "operational expenditure savings during the term of engagement."

"This milestone engagement will help boost our growth, and position us to take the lead in the next wave of digital innovation brought by new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation technologies. It is a partnership in real terms," Pangilinan said.

Back in 2016, talks between PLDT and International Business Machines (IBM) to ousource IT back-office operations ended due to "a lot of reasons," the telco chief had said.

Its contract with Amdocs involves digital capabilities for convergent sales operations, digital customer experience across multiple channels, as well as service fulfillment and network rollout systems.

"Our digital solutions and services will enable them to further enhance customer experiences across their brands for Home, Wireless and Enterprise services; while improving overall efficiencies to quickly innovate and launch new services to grow their data business," Gary Miles, chief marketing officer at Amdocs said.

For this transaction, PLDT and Smart were advised by Allen & Overy, SyCipLaw, and Deloitte Consulting Southeast Asia.

The telco has projected savings of around P7 billion over several years from outsourcing its some of its IT operations. – Rappler.com