BT's winning race

05 May 2008

Best Managed Services Provider
Winner:BT Asia-Pacific
Last year's winner: BT Asia-Pacific

Owner: 100% subsidiary of BT Group

Business scope: Managed enterprise services, IT services, wholesale and carrier services in Asia-Pacific

Financial (BT Global Services first three quarters 2007-08): Revenue: ‾,663b ($11.2b). EBITDA: 10.2%

In the telco transformation race, BT is one of the leaders.

The UK incumbent draws 37% of its income from what it calls non-traditional businesses, mostly IT services and broadband.

For BT Global Services, the corporate and wholesale services group, Asia is critical because of its demand for managed services, BPO and bandwidth.

BT's Asian business has been doubling each year, and will continue to do so for the next two or three years, says Allen Ma, president BT Asia-Pacific.

It's being helped along by a series of local acquisitions. 'We recognize that growing organically on its own will not deliver enough growth,' he said.

In the biggest deal, BT has acquired Singapore-based IT services firm Frontline, with 5,000 staff in ten countries and a footprint in emerging markets such as China and Vietnam.

BT last year also acquired Mumbai-based enterprise services company i2i Enterprise, making BT the biggest foreign global carrier in India. In addition, BT holds a 35% stake in Tech Mahindra, India's sixth-largest software firm, a specialist in telecom software and services.

Ma says the IT space will continue to hold BT's attention. High on the priority list is hosting services. BT has just bought the Hong Kong data center division from financial services firm CLSA - Hong Kong's largest data center, according to Ma.

The ambition is not just to provide data center housing, but the whole suite of managed services, in particular targeting verticals such as financial and media sectors with demanding IT and web requirements.

'This will be a key driver for our growth. We are going to move even more aggressively into hosting services and you're going to hear a lot from us.'

BT now offers 'everything from network into hosting into applications into network security, [hosted] applications like call center management, convergence of fixed and mobile services, from landline into BlackBerry data and voice.'

'I believe we are now a formidable competitor in the marketplace for the provisioning of end-to-end network services,' Ma said.

Not too long ago, 90% of BT's contracts were telecom and 10% were service-related.
'Today, of the big contracts we are working on about one-third of contracts are telco-related, and the other are in the IT application layer and professional services.'

Judges' citation

'BT completed two major acquisitions in Asia, and its expansion into non-traditional areas drove revenue and profit higher. It continues to earn its reputation as one of the industry's most innovative carriers.'

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