IBM, Alltel form European e-banking JV

IBM Corp. and Alltel Corp. will form a joint venture and cooperate on marketing electronic banking software in Europe, the companies said in a statement Tuesday.

IBM will take a "significant minority equity stake" in the joint venture, which will be called Alltel Corebanking Solutions and headquartered in London. The companies did not divulge details of the financial arrangements for the deal.

The product, Corebank, provides banks and other financial institutions with real-time customer data, which can be fed to other systems such as marketing databases and analytical tools.

Alltel will take charge of marketing, development, enhancement and maintenance of Corebank, while IBM will be responsible for sales and implementation. Initially, markets in France and Germany will be targeted.

Under the agreement, Alltel will be designated a preferred provider of banking systems for IBM's eServer z Series servers, running the IBM DB2 Universal Database on its OS/390 operating system software.

The venture is in line with IBM's goal of divesting itself of applications businesses. IBM has already entered similar arrangements with business partners targeting industries such as financial services, retail and manufacturing, and in IT segments including enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, customer relationship management, and business intelligence.

Alltel, in Little Rock, Arkansas, can be contacted at +1-501-905-8117, or at http://www.alltel.com/. IBM, in Armonk, New York, can be reached at +1-914-499-1900 or http://www.ibm.com/.

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