• January 21, 2002
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

IBM Nabs Nextel for CRM and Wireless Services

IBM Global Services inked its first blockbuster deal of 2002 with Nextel Communications for CRM consulting and implementation services worth $1.2 billion over eight years.

The contract, the first IBM services agreement to cross the $1 billion mark this year, is expected to save Nextel more than $1 billion in future costs over eight years and bolster its revenues through the deployment of new wireless data services.

To help cut costs, IBM, based in Somers, N.Y, will assume primary responsibility for Nextel's customer care operations. To drive greater operating efficiencies and enhance customer care, IBM will deploy a new virtual contact center for Nextel, based in Reston, Va, that will serve as a hub for its entire customer care system. IBM will manage the new infrastructure, which will include a new interactive voice response system, in an IBM data center. IBM Global Services selected TeleTech, based in Englewood, CO, to manage Nextel's six customer care centers, which employ 4,500 professionals who handle customer service and retention.

"By selecting IBM and TeleTech to manage its customer care operations, Nextel can continue delivering first class wireless services to businesses across the U.S. while reducing its operational costs. And for IBM, this relationship represents a unique opportunity to team up with an industry leader to provide wireless solutions for enterprise customers." Doug Elix, senior vice president and group executive at IBM Global Services, said in a prepared statement.

Nextel and IBM have also forged a strategic alliance that will team Nextel's wireless technologies with IBM's wireless e-business integration services to deliver wireless services to enterprise customers. Under the agreement, Nextel will have access to new wireless technologies that may be developed in the future by IBM Research.

"Together, Nextel and IBM expect to deliver productivity enhancing mobile applications for businesses that need to access, manage and use their information and data on the go," Tim Donahue, president and CEO of Nextel, at the time of the announcement.

An IBM executive was not available at press time to elaborate on the types of wireless enterprise services considered for the agreement.

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