New Delhi: IBM and Vodafone India on Tuesday announced a five-year agreement running into multimillion dollars where the software giant will manage IT services support for Vodafone India to facilitate a better customer engagement.

Although IBM India refused to comment on the deal size, according to IT and telecom research firm Greyhound Research, the deal has been signed in the range of $750-850 million and can be expected to cross $1 billion by 2023.

As part of the deal, the IBM Hybrid Cloud platform will enable the delivery of faster and more insightful data intelligence and support faster decision-making for Vodafone India, bringing together enterprise data and cloud-ready applications into a scalable environment that keeps data local, private and secure.

“IBM’s leading-edge capabilities will help strengthen Vodafone India’s vision of delivering differentiated client experiences,” said Vanitha Narayanan, managing director of IBM India, in a statement.

IBM will support Vodafone India’s IT environment transition into IBM Hybrid Cloud, allowing the company to leverage and integrate existing IT resources and data assets with private cloud environments.

“Partnering with IBM will help us enhance customer experience with intuitive capabilities and build a cost optimised, flexible and scalable IT infrastructure,” added Vishant Vora, director, Technology and Network, Vodafone India.

Vodafone has already been working closely with IBM India to manage and roll-out virtualisation of IT assets.

“The new deal is intended to help Vodafone make next steps on this journey of virtualisation and migrate to Hybrid Cloud,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst and CEO of Greyhound Research.

“The roll-out of this Hybrid Cloud is planned in two phases. Phase one will involve building an On-Premise Cloud, building a common management platform across Vodafone’s main Data Centre (DC) and Disaster Recovery (DR) sites. Phase two will involve using Public Cloud offerings,” Gogia added in a statement.

According to D.D. Mishra, research director at global market research firm Gartner, large deals combining application and infrastructure services are less of a trend now unless there are larger transformational objectives associated with it.

“The renewal of Vodafone India and IBM deal clearly indicates the partnership between the two organisations which is now eight years old and appears to be more strategic in nature,” Mishra told IANS.

Initially, the deal was more around traditional infrastructure and application services but now IBM and Vodafone have an opportunity of combining more industrialised and digital options which can be leveraged to drive better value.

“This deal is a significant renewal in the Asia-Pacific market looking at the sheer size and volume of business. Further to this, we see that IBM has reorganised internally which is expected to enable IBM to bring decision making much closer to the customer,” Mishra added.