HP to manage IT for Finnish energy giant

Finnish energy giant Fortum has signed a five-year agreement with Hewlett-Packard (HP) to manage its IT infrastructure and support about 10,000 users across Europe.

Under the first phase of the deal, announced Monday, HP will manage Fortum's data center, servers and workstation services in Finland, Sweden and Norway. HP will initially support about 8,000 workstations, and provide on-site support and help desk services for about 10,000 users, Forum said.

The companies plan to extend the agreement at a later stage so that HP will manage infrastructure services in some of the other 17 countries in which Fortum operates.

The value of the deal is not being disclosed.

Fortum Chief Information Officer Jouni Keronen said that the energy firm decided to outsource its IT infrastructure because it is easier to buy the services than to do the functions internally.

"Over the years these have become commercialized services and we felt that HP could do a better job than we could," Keronen said.

Although he declined to say how much money Fortum had spent managing its IT infrastructure in the past, Keronen predicted "significant" cost savings through the outsourcing agreement. Under the deal, some 68 Fortum employees in Finland and 20 in Sweden will move to HP beginning November 1.

No layoffs are planned, Keronen said.

Finland, Norway and Sweden represent about 80 percent of Fortum's IT services volume, Keronen said. As the companies expand the agreement, HP is expected to take over Fortum's IT services in Belgium and the Baltic Rim, Keronen said.

Fortum purchased equipment and consulting services from HP in the past, and expects to buy more hardware from the Palo Alto, California, provider moving forward, Keronen said.

Fortum, based in Espoo, Finland, has around 13,000 employees worldwide and posted net sales of Euro 11.4 billion (US$14 billion) in 2003. It has stakes in over 500 power plants in central Sweden, Greater Stockholm and Finland and produces petroleum products in the Baltic Rim.

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