Sun Microsystems has concluded a global deal with Vodafone to provide Java enterprise and desktop software to the mobile phone network's operations across more than 26 countries.
Sun's Java Enterprise System (JES) will be used to deliver core enterprise network services at Vodafone. The Java Desktop System is also included in the deal and will include the StarOffice productivity suite, Mozilla browser, Evolution e-mail and calendar client. The desktop system runs on the Linux operating system and competes with Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows.
Sun said the agreement will serve as a model for other organisations who wish to simplify and integrate their global IT requirements, while controlling costs. Sun charges a fixed fee of $100 per annum for every JES user.
"With this agreement with Sun, we anticipate significant cost and synergy savings over the next few years due to reduced support and deployment costs," said Detlef Schultz, global supply chain director at Vodafone, in a statement.
Sun's deal with Vodafone includes hardware, software and services product line.
Vodafone is already one of Sun's biggest users of the Java System Directory product. Vodafone's subsidiaries in Greece, Spain, Germany, the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands have already purchased licenses under the new contract.
The global nature of the deal reflects the mobile operator's "One Vodafone" programme, which aims to create a single global identity for the company. In September, Vodafone said that it expected the programme to lead to a boost in revenue and reduced costs to the tune of £2.5bn by 2008.
The company is now three years into the seven-year programme, which is aimed at creating a single corporate identity and range of products and services. The programme was also initiated to provide economies of scale for the company, which is the world's largest mobile operator in terms of revenue.
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