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Accenture lands $500 million AT&T deal

Telecom giant AT&T on Thursday said it inked a five-year, $500 million deal with management and technology consulting firm Accenture. The move is related to AT&T's push into the local services market. Accenture intends to help the company improve its residential credit and accounts receivable management functions. AT&T said the pact is designed to help it expand its service portfolio, increase marketing flexibility, improve uncollected receivables, enhance operational efficiency and reduce costs.

About 45 AT&T management employees will shift to Accenture, and roughly 250 other AT&T employees will be part of the "co-sourced" operation and remain on the AT&T payroll. The deal comes in the wake of a $2.6 billion, five-year deal announced last January, in which Accenture agreed to help transform the long-distance sales and customer care operation of the AT&T Consumer unit.