Sydney will be home to one of five data centres being established by global food and beverage company Nestle as part of a billion-dollar IT investment to replace more than 100 of its IT sites around the world.
Nestle staff will operate the data centres, which will be equipped by IBM under a sweet five-year deal signed last week covering server hardware, software and services for operations in 84 countries.
The deal is a bitter blow to Hewlett-Packard, which has been providing these services to Nestle, a HP spokeswoman Andrea Bass confirmed, adding that the company is "disappointed with the shift, but we still feel we have a better solution".
IBM will provide pSeries Unix servers, xSeries Intel servers, Enterprise storage servers, storage-area networks, DB2 software and Tivoli Systems software for three regional data centres in Sydney, Phoenix and Frankfurt.
Two additional data centres for consolidation and development will be set up in Switzerland.
The company's huge financial IT investment is part of an ongoing project at Nestle to create a common infrastructure across the globe.
IBM Australia said customer details are confidential and was unwilling to provide further detail; the spokesperson for Nestle Australia is overseas and unavailable for comment.
However, Giga Information Group analyst Rob Enderle said the deal was helped by IBM's "anti-HP, anti-Compaq campaign" that has been ongoing since the merger was announced.
"IBM is asking enough questions to raise doubts in the minds of prospective customers; this is the first informed indication that it is working," he said.
"Nestle is considered a flagship account so clearly HP would have been a bidder for the contract; the entrenched vendor should have had an inside track."