Unilever has signed a four year outsourcing deal with Unisys for IT management services.

The deal affects IT for 60,000 employees at the household goods maker, known for brands such as Marmite, Dove soap and Domestos bleach. Those employees work in the UK, continental Europe, the USA and Canada.

The changes to be made include improvements in remote working and the ability to connect to server-based virtualised applications. Unisys, which is already a server provider to the company, will also establish self-help IT tools for a range of technology.

Other services covered include desktop management, and access to Unisys’ service centres in Budapest and Bangalore. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Peter Opalka, VP global client services at Unilever, said the company wanted “anywhere, anytime access to tools critical to their business productivity”.

The move is part of a cost cutting drive at the company, which under the One Unilever programme is standardising systems and consolidating suppliers. It is attempting to cut 40 percent from IT operational expenditure from 2007 to 2011, and has so far carved £960 million from costs.