Boots chooses Masons for outsourcing advice

Masons' first instruction for the Boots Company is one of the largest outsourcing deals to take place in the world this year.

The chemist is outsourcing its entire IT infrastructure to IBM Global Services in a contract worth around £710m. Boots has also entered a £54m-£90m deal with Xansa to support its business application.

Masons beat off competition from two specialist IT firms to win the work. Boots head of legal David Foster declined to name the two other firms. All previous outsourcing work has been on a small scale and was undertaken by the Boots in-house team.

Partner Iain Monaghan led the Masons team, assisted by Bridget Fleetwood and Andrew Priest. Monaghan said: “It's always difficult to create a partnership between a supplier and a client, let alone a client and two suppliers.”

Boots wanted to create a complex system in which the savings from the outsourcing are reinvested in the IT infrastructure. This was all done within a challenging timetable of approximately six months.

As part of the IBM deal, 400 Boots employees will transfer to IBM, and similarly 200 Boots employees will transfer to Xansa. Masons partner Michael Ryley assisted with employment matters.

Both IBM and Xansa were advised by their in-house teams, led by Nuzhat Sayani and Charles Lilley respectively.