Westpac Outsources to IBM for $4.3 Billion

Westpac Banking Corporation has appointed IBM Global Services Australia to supply its information technology services for the next 10 years in a $4.3 billion dollar deal announced yesterday.

IBM GSA and its primary subcontractor Telstra have been selected to form a strategic partnership with Westpac to provide IT infrastructure and telecommunications services.

IBM GSA CEO Colleen Arnold said the deal involves the transfer of 1,000 IT staff from Westpac and the partnership is aimed at accelerating the bank's transformation as an e-business leader in the finance industry.

Arnold said the partnership covers all infrastructure, desktop, mainframe, mid-range, all telecoms and e-business.

She said Westpac will use IBM to leverage its strategic e-business initiatives and both partners were still determining which new technology will be utilised and overall directions.

"The agreement aims to e-enable Westpac's IT infrastructure across all platforms with development focus in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea," Arnold said.

"We won the competitive tendering process after demonstrating our ability during the Sydney Olympic Games by providing the most "complex and sophisticated IT and telecommunications infrastructure.

"This will allow Westpac to focus on its core business of banking while we manage its IT services." Telstra retail group managing director Ted Pretty said the partnership represents one of Australia's largest telecommunications contracts in the financial sector and is one of the biggest customer contractTelstra has won.

"Telstra's creative working relationship with our partner IBM GSA has been instrumental in winning this contract," Pretty said.

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