Fosters is moving its entire US, UK and Australian helpdesk infrastructure and support functions to a single outsourcing provider, Wipro, resulting in an unknown number of redundancies at the global beverage company. A company spokesperson could not confirm the total number of IT staff affected, but said the group had more than 200 staff working across the group. Fosters is believed to have about 100 IT staff working in Australia. “Some jobs will go to Wipro, there are many roles existing but not filled, and we are still going through the transition process, so we haven’t got a final number,” the spokesperson says. “Some will move back into the business and work on business process roles, and some will be redundant as part of this process." According to the spokesperson, Fosters had spent much of 2009 tendering for a single, global IT services provider following the 2008 demise of its previous outsourcing partner, Commander. “Following the collapse of Commander we took many of those staff on to maintain our service; so many of our staff were previously outsourced, came into Fosters for a short-ish period, and now we are just appointing a new outsourcer,” the spokesperson says. “We believe that that [outsourcing] model provides the best source of efficiency. It’s Wipro’s skills to run infrastructure support, helpdesk and software maintenance, not ours, so an outsourced partner is where we are heading to.” Despite the reduction in internal staff, the company’s CIO role is unlikely to change and a number of IT field staff will still be retained at its US, UK and Australian operations. There would also be no impact on the company’s migration from legacy voice communications systems to a Cisco platform across its contact centers, offices and production locations worldwide announced in August, the spokesperson says. The redundancy process and transition of its helpdesk infrastructure and support functions to Wipro is expected to be complete by the end of the year, the spokesperson says. However, the company’s IT transformation is expected to continue well into next year. It will also consider further outsourcing contracts.
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