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IBM to modernise US Customs Service

IBM has won a US$1.3bn (£0.91bn), 15-year service contract to modernise the US Customs Service's automated systems.

The company's Global Services unit, which is the largest services company in the world, is to develop an Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) system, which will streamline the US Customs Service's commercial processing systems.

The Customs' system will encompass the re-engineering of the service's operational processes and the development of a new technology infrastructure, computer systems and software applications to support these processes.

Other companies working in partnership with IBM include Lockheed Martin Mission Systems, KPMG Consulting, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Service (STTAS), together with a host of small businesses.

Lockheed Martin will develop and integrate new systems and software. KPMG Consulting will contribute business transformation, knowledge management and training expertise. CSC will contribute in the areas of information security and telecommunications, while STTAS will provide global trade and customs know-how to the partnership.

US Customs' acting commissioner, Charles Winwood, said, "We can now begin the process of bringing 21st century business practices to America's borders. Customs modernisation will also dramatically enhance our ability to intercept contraband."

This latest deal boosts IBM's Global Services business, which had record sales in the first quarter of this year, signing eight deals worth over $100m and one exceeding $1bn.

Stuart Finlayson

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