BT’s Global Services unit improves, no longer up for sale

BT has confirmed its Global Services unit is no longer for sale, after the IT services arm improved its performance following a company restructuring programme.

In 2009, the unit recorded losses of £1.2 billion due a series of high-profile contract failures with clients like the NHS and Reuters.

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This increased speculation that the British company was looking to sell the branch for approximately £10 billion, something the firm is now keen to dismiss.

“BT has no plans to sell its Global Services division,” a spokesperson told the Telegraph. “It is a much-improved part of the business and we are pleased with the continued progress it is making.”

The problems faced by the Global Services unit have been explained in the context of a general industry downturn, where several major firms entered long-term contracts that were not very profitable.

Lee Ayling, KPMG’s management consulting partner, added that the firm now “has a better understanding of how to take costs out of customers’ operations.”

Outsourcing consultant Robert Morgan also claimed that the unit’s outdated working methods contributed to its failure five years ago.

“The best thing BT Global Services did was to get rid of its datacentre and use third parties,” he said. “It was the manpower and management approach that drove the inefficiencies and extra delays. The single decision to get rid of the datacentres put a lot of competitiveness back into the business.”

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BT employees will be glad to hear of the unit’s success. Back in 2009, the firm had to cut 30,000 jobs as a result of the losses incurred by the Global Services arm.