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Sprint plans outsourcing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sprint Corp. said Monday it will use outside contractors to handle some software operations, a move the telephone company said will result in hundreds of layoffs.

Sprint said it had reached separate agreements with IBM Global Services and EDS Corp. to provide application development and maintenance support for selected software systems.

The company, based in Overland Park, Kan., expects to save $150 million in labor and other costs during the five years covered by the outsourcing contracts.

The contracts will not result in immediate layoffs, but several hundred jobs would be affected within the next three to 12 months, Sprint said.

The contractors will take over software development, computer coding and specification writing.

"Our agreements with EDS and IBM provide Sprint accelerated access to world-class capabilities and technology in a more flexible and cost-effective manner," Michael W. Stout, Sprint's chief information officer, said in a news release.

Sprint's information technology operation currently employs about 7,000 workers, including more than 5,000 in the Kansas City area.