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Swedish power tool maker Husqvarna has signed a new multi-year IT services contract with India’s HCL as it continues its digital transformation.
The deal sees the two companies expand a long relationship that dates back about 10 years. It also reflects the strength of HCL’s Nordic business and the trust it has gained in the region, where it has grown its business rapidly.
In 2016, after signing a five-year infrastructure and application development outsourcing deal with HCL, Husqvarna passed datacentre services, network services, security services, applications operations and support services to the Indian company.
The latest broadening of the contract will see increased automation, enabling its 10,000 staff to focus on customer support. HCL will also work with Husqvarna to innovate around its products and services.
Husqvarna manufactures forest and garden machinery such as tractors, mowers and chainsaws. In recent years, it has transformed itself into a products and services company with business-to-business and business-to-consumer customer bases, offering digital products to complement its hardware.
Digital services, offered by the manufacturer include connected lawn mowers, which are already on the market. This is part of Husqvarna’s Gardena Smart System, an internet of things (IoT) solution for gardening in an integrated system. In a smart garden, technology helps to deliver optimal care to plants and grass. Gardeners can get a real-time overview of their garden through a smartphone or tablet app that enables them to control and configure all their connected devices, even when they are on the move.
“We are excited to take our relationship with HCL Technologies to the next level,” said Pavel Hajman, CIO at Husqvarna. “Both organisations are focused on creating business value and this is a fantastic foundation for us to continue to transform our IT operations and business. The partnership will enable us to deliver an outstanding service to our end-clients and further drive our transformational programmes.”
Pankaj Tagra, head of the Nordic region at HCL, said the long relationship between the two companies had created a platform for closer working. “The trust between the two organisations gives us a ringside view of Husqvarna’s operations,” he said. “As our collaboration grows stronger, we are committed to supporting Husqvarna’s digitisation to meet its business goals.”
Peter Schumacher, CEO at management consultancy the Value Leadership Group, said HCL has built a strong business in the Nordic region following “significant investments”.
This included its acquisition of Volvo IT services, the IT services arm of Volvo’s Sweden-based truck-making business. Schumacher said this acquisition was important for HCL to build its Nordic business.
“This was a bold move by HCL, which put it in a position of strength in Sweden. It gave them a stronger local face and a deeper understanding of the market and much more intertwined web of customer relationships.”
Schumacher said trust was built because the acquisition signalled to the Swedish and wider Nordic market that HCL was serious about doing business in the Nordics. This was part of its strategy to “land and expand”, he added.