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BT EXTENDS PARTNERSHIP WITH SAAS
BT and SAAS to develop new services to support students in Scotland

BT today announced that it has signed a fourth contract extension with the Student Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS), one of the largest bodies in the UK for processing financial awards for students. The partnership between SAAS and BT will now run to 2010, which will bring the total length of the relationship to 16 years. The new deal also has an option for at least two further one-year extensions.

Under the terms of this latest agreement, BT will support and further develop the systems to improve the efficiency of the applications procedure for loans, grants, and bursaries for students, as well as improving administrative processes. BT will also continue as SAAS’s development partner, and will design and build systems to support all further requirements from the agency.

SAAS and its customers are already benefiting from an interactive web portal (www.saas.gov.uk) where students can complete and track applications on line; a 24/7 interactive voice response service provides a further channel for students to communicate with the agency; electronic document management has streamlined back-office processes; and there is a system for administering Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs). Thanks to the partnership with BT, SAAS is able to process more than 140,000 applications swiftly and efficiently each year, and exceed its targets for response times set by the Scottish Executive.

David Stephen, chief executive of SAAS, said: “The partnership between BT and SAAS has been very successful. It has enabled us to improve customer service and use our resources more efficiently. As a result we have been able to take on new business. We look forward to maintaining the partnership and working together to develop even more innovative services in the future.”


Jeremy Stafford, managing director, BT government, added: “This has been a demanding and rewarding project. We are pleased to have delivered a consistent level of high quality work to time and budget. The new contract will further strengthen our relationship with SAAS, and enables us to continue working together to transform the way the agency works.”

--ENDS--

Press contacts:
Barry Murphy, BT, 01252 777243 or Alastair Turner, Sparx, 01753 893000

About BT
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions serving customers in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Its principal activities include networked IT services, local, national and international telecommunications services, and higher-value broadband and internet products and services.
BT consists principally of three lines of business:

• BT Retail, providing a comprehensive range of communications and related Services to more than 20m UK consumers and businesses.

• BT Wholesale, providing network services and solutions within the UK to more than 600 fixed and mobile operators and service providers including the provision of broadband and private circuits.

• BT Global Services, providing networked IT services to meet the needs of multi-site organisations globally. BT Global Services operates in more than 130 countries and also offers international carrier services.

In the year ended 31 March 2005, BT Group’s turnover was £18,623 million with profit before goodwill amortisation, exceptional items and taxation of £2,085 million.
BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group.
For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbt

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