AstraZeneca inks £25 million network deal with BT

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has called on BT to provide global networking services in a five-year deal worth 25 million.

The agreement extends BT's and AstraZeneca's existing partnership, which has been in place since 2003, and will see the communications player extending the drug company's existing multi protocol label switching (MPLS) network from its current homes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific to cover new sites in Latin America and the US.

As a result of the deal, BT's networking services will now span a total of 170 connections at 131 AstraZeneca sites in 60 countries.

"The service effect model that we have developed will ensure BT services will deliver greater agility, responsiveness and collaboration among our global workforce. This in turn, will lead to improved overall business performance," said Richard Williams, global chief information officer at AstraZeneca.

BT said the expanded network will allow more AstraZeneca employees to have access to real-time information as well as provide a single, global network platform for the future convergence of voice, video and other multimedia applications.

"AstraZeneca is a telling example of how global businesses are increasingly reliant upon permanent connectivity between a high number of sites around the world," said Laurie Bowen, managing director of commercial and brands at BT Global Services in the UK.

Last year, the pharmaceutical company cemented an existing outsourcing partnership with IBM by signing a seven-year, $1.4 billion (684 million) deal which it hopes will enable it to focus on scientific innovation as well as reducing technology overheads.