EDS gets $1.2bn windfall from CBA-Colonial merger

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia will contract EDS to integrate the bank's IT system with that of newly acquired institution Colonial Limited.

CBA is betting the contract will generate $1.2 billion in combined IT outlay over the next 10 years from the Colonial merger. The contract is believed to be one of the most lucrative ever signed by US-based EDS.

CBA did not think twice about the choice of IT systems integrator, said Russell Scrimshaw, the bank's head of technology, operations and property. "We were very happy with the relationship," he said. "We'll get additional benefit and more scaling advantages." The contract builds on an existing $5.6 billion, three-year IT outsourcing relationship with EDS.

Scrimshaw said it was "too early" to reveal what systems and platforms would become uniform under the merger. "It literally is at the point of planning, so we can't tell you," he said.

CBA estimates the overhaul will be complete by the end of next year's first quarter. And despite Scrimshaw's confidence the project would run "on time", he conceded the bank was "still mapping and deciding" what resources it needed.

Also, Colonial and CBA were "still evaluating" where to place Colonial's IT group of 100 under the merger, according to a CBA spokesman. "It's too early to say at this stage," he said.

The contract win comes hot off the heels of EDS's announcement to extend an existing consulting relationship with UK-based global aerospace group Rolls-Royce. The $US2.1 billion agreement will see EDS deliver e-business and supply chain consulting.

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