WH Smith News Upgrades for Agility

| Press release

It will be easier than ever to buy all your favourite newspapers and magazines anywhere in the UK, any time of day, following a comprehensive £3.5 million systems upgrade at WH Smith News that has just been completed with its main IT partner, Capgemini UK plc (“Capgemini”).

New core business systems, based on the latest technology from leading hardware and software vendors, including IBM, EMC and SAP, will be fully operational from this month (July 2005). They are designed to accommodate rapid changes in patterns of retail distribution, in the demands of different retailers including supermarkets, and in the tastes and preferences of readers which can change from month to month and day to day.

WH Smith News, the UK’s market leader in newspaper and magazine distribution, also plans to use its new IT capabilities to offer specialised IT services externally to its supply chain partners, including publishers and retailers, on an Application Service Provider basis.

Richard Webb, IS Director at WH Smith News, said: ‘Our new systems will give us the agility to support whatever innovations our management team decides to make in any part of our business. They will also enable us to accommodate any amount of external change in our markets and environment, and to further strengthen our policy of constantly improving the quality of service and value for money that we offer our customers.’

The 12-month upgrade was managed by Capgemini working in collaboration with WH Smith News, IBM and EMC. It was completed on schedule and in-budget by a team based at Capgemini’s Toltec Development Centre near Bristol.

Capgemini will also be supporting the new systems on a long-term outsourcing contract that has now been renewed until 2010 and extended to include management of third party IT suppliers.

Frank Foy, UK head of Outsourcing at Capgemini, said: ‘WH Smith News clearly appreciate that standing still is not an option in today’s consumer-led markets, and their approach matches our view that outsourcing can only succeed on a basis of constant innovation and renewal.’

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact:
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Sarah Rowan/ Laura Edgecumbe
Tel: 020 7282 1049/ 2895
Email: sarah.rowan@citigatedr.com
laura.edgecumbe@citigatedr.com

About the Capgemini Group
Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of Consulting, Technology and Outsourcing services, has a unique way of working with its clients, which it calls the Collaborative Business Experience. Through commitment to mutual success and the achievement of tangible value, Capgemini helps businesses implement growth strategies, leverage technology, and thrive through the power of collaboration. Capgemini employs approximately 60,000 people worldwide and reported 2004 global revenues of 6.3 million euros. More information about individual service lines, offices and research is available at http://www.capgemini.com/