St George extends Optus deal another five years

Valued at more than $100 million

St. George has renewed its contract with Optus extending the relationship for another five years at a cost of $100 million.

It cements a partnership that began in 2001 with Optus providing whole-of-business communication services including voice, data and mobile, to the retail bank.

St George IT production general manager, Phil Soutter, said for seven years Optus has demonstrated that it has the scale and flexibility to provide commercial and operational efficiency, while remaining nimble and responsive to the bank's business needs.

"This new contract brings our two organisations significantly closer as we partner on projects that create even greater value for our customers," he said.

Citing an example, Soutter said St. George has adopted the telco's new advanced communications network, Optus Evolve.

He said it has been rolled out across its 400-strong branch network.

Optus Evolve is an application-aware network that delivers business grade IP services using multiple levels of Quality of Service (QoS).

Soutter said Evolve will provide St George with the core infrastructure on which it can build new or emerging functionality, as required.

Optus Business managing director, John Simon, said by maintaining and extending the relationship with St George, itt reaffirms the telco's position as the prime telecommunications service provider to the financial services industry in Australia.

"Optus is committed to helping our customers gain and maintain a competitive advantage," Simon said.

"We look forward to extending our relationship with St. George beyond traditional communications services by leveraging our end-to-end ICT capability and industry expertise."

Under the terms of the contract, Optus will manage multiple data networks to support St George's corporate/branch office, ATM, EFTPOS and mobile data needs.

St George will also take advantage of Optus' 3G network, which will support its mobile and Blackberry fleets.

In addition, Optus will provide EFTPOS facilities to St. George's large merchant user base.

Optus will also work with St. George to bring further innovation to other strategic areas of the bank.

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