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Nextel to Outsource Customer Service

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Posted January 18, 2002 By Roy Mark     Feedback

Wireless carrier aims to save more than $1 billion over an 8-year period in strategic alliance with IBM and TeleTech.

Nextel Communications, Inc. hopes to reduce the wireless carrier's future costs by $1 billion over an eight-year period through a strategic alliance with IBM to outsource Nextel's customer service. The alliance also calls for Nextel and IBM to develop, market and deploy mobile e-business solutions to U.S. enterprise customers.

The two companies will work together to enhance Nextel's data networking capabilities, and provide integrated, end-to-end wireless systems that improve productivity and quality and help companies control costs. Through the alliance, Nextel will work closely with IBM Research to leverage new wireless technologies that can be delivered through the Nextel national network, using both existing Nextel handsets and other mobile devices.

IBM has chosen the Denver-based TeleTech to manage Nextel's six customer relationship centers. These operations currently employ 4,500 people who handle customer service and retention. The transition of these centers will occur during the first quarter of 2002.

"Nextel's key priorities are to drive greater operating efficiencies while continuing to provide our customers with superior customer care," said Jim Mooney, chief operating officer of the Reston, Va.-based Nextel. "This strategic alliance positions Nextel to achieve both goals."

Added Doug Elix, senior vice president and group executive for IBM Global Services, "This relationship is a win for everyone involved. By selecting IBM and TeleTech to manage its customer care operations, Nextel can continue delivering first class wireless services to businesses across the U.S. while reducing its operational costs. And for IBM, this relationship represents a unique opportunity to team up with an industry leader to provide wireless solutions for enterprise customers."

Nextel and Nextel Partners Inc. currently serve 195 of the top 200 U.S. markets. Through recent market launches, Nextel and Nextel Partners service is available in areas of the U.S. where approximately 230 million people live or work. In addition, through NII Holdings, Inc., wireless services are provided outside of Nextel's domestic markets, primarily in selected Latin American markets.

"Nextel's core competency is creating and delivering the highest quality, most advanced wireless services for business users in the nation," said Tim Donahue, president and chief executive officer of Nextel "IBM is the world leader in developing and integrating technology-based solutions that help businesses to be more effective and efficient. Together, Nextel and IBM expect to deliver productivity enhancing mobile applications for businesses that need to access, manage and use their information and data on the go."

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