EDS Canada to take over Call-Net’s IT operations

Call-Net Enterprises Inc. announced a $70 million outsourcing agreement with EDS Canada on Monday, but they’ve negotiated more than a customer client relationship.

Under the terms of the five-year deal EDS will take over Call-Net’s IT operations and infrastructure, enterprise-wide desktop support, and 24/7 help desk support. About 75 employees are expected to move to similar positions with EDS.

Al Hurd, EDS executive vice-president, chief operating officer, says beginning Sept. 1 it will begin a year long migration of Call-Net’s data centre to its facility in Markham, Ont. This includes IBM AS/400s, Unix servers and NT servers. According to Serge Babin, Call-Net senior vice-president, chief technology officer, the only things it will keep are its developers and fibre backbone and has no reservations about moving the centre.

“I think they’ve got state of the art facilities there,” says Babin. “From a tools and operations (perspective), obviously, they’ve got more scale to provide, to provide better redundancy and business resumption plans than we have.”

In terms of the service level agreement, Babin says it covers fix time, mean time to repair and up-time on the critical servers.

“There are objectives that have been set around the servers, around help desk, around provisioning desktops, with financial penalties around a lot of that stuff as well,” says Babin.

Beyond the 15 per cent savings on current costs Babin says he expects, the contract allows each company to focus on what it does best. It also sets to stage for a business relationship as well.

“We’re both large consumers of each other’s services and we both interact with the client base in a kind of overlap way. Virtually all of the services we provide to our customers nowadays involve some Sprint-like services built into the environment and many times when they’re interacting with their clients they’re finding they need somebody to provide system management-type services,” Hurd says.

“What we see is if we get together on those kinds of transactions we can be smarter and more competitive in making proposals and solutions for our customers.”

“EDS, when they go out and do some outsourcing proposals, they always need telecom providers to provide the links back to data centres or between data centres,” adds Babin.

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