Outsourcing to increase uptime at bank

An outsourcing agreement at the Bank of Queensland is expected to generate a 20 to 25 per cent increase in equipment availability, according to Dick Maes, general manger for IT and bank operations at the bank.

The Bank of Queensland announced last week it has outsourced the technical support of its IT infrastructure to Data#3, in a three-year contract worth around $500,000.

Data#3 was selected for the contract in January over IBM, Digital and CITEC.

According to Maes, the decision to outsource follows an internal review aimed at focusing the bank's IT effort on core competencies and customer service.

Maes said the greatest benefit from outsourcing is the value-add it offers.

"That's the biggest and only reason for doing it. It certainly wasn't cost," he said.

Maes said he expects productivity at the bank to be improved with greater uptime achieved by the agreement.

Maes said some 800 users across the bank's headquarters and 95 branch offices will benefit from the new arrangements.

In addition to supporting desktop systems throughout the organisation, the contract also covers networking and phone systems and access to specialist skills for individual projects.

Under the agreement, some Bank of Queensland IT staff have been re-employed by Data#3.

According to Maes, the contract has been in place since January with details of the service level agreement being finalised over the last six months.

Maes said a key aspect of the contract was the consolidation of three or four help desks into a single support centre on the one site.

"[It] was something we knew we needed to do," Maes said.

According to Maes, Data#3 was selected for the project based on price and ability as well as locality.

"We wanted to make sure we kept the work in Queensland," he said.

Maes also said the Bank of Queensland had worked with Data#3 on a number of other projects including network services and its SAP implementation.

He said the Bank of Queensland is considering outsourcing other areas of IT, including computer operations. The organisation already outsources its cheque clearance system and transaction switching services.

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