Retail Solutions - Boots boosts Xansa's IT contract

Leading UK pharmacy chain Boots has extended an outsourcing contract with Xansa, adding£11 million to the deal over five years.

Xansa has been working with Boots since 2001 on specific IT operations, including applications services and strategic business programmes. In 2002, the relationship was codified in a seven-year,£54 million minimum commitment outsourcing contract to implement a SAP enterprise resource planning solution with IBM, which is expected to deliver cost savings of£30 million.

The extension of the contract is an endorsement for Xansa's previous work with Boots, because the retailer is taking up an option already included in the original deal.

'We are undergoing a huge upgrade of our systems, called Backbone,' said a Boots spokesman. 'We've got a lot of systems that are old by retail standards, which didn't link to each other.

'Some simple things, such as price changes, are quite laborious. We need to be much more responsive, and it's necessary to get the systems in that can help us do that.'