The five-year, $100m single-source agreement will see Big Blue providing the hardware for the new datacentres, including servers, Shark storage, tape drives and libraries, storage area network switches, and Tivoli storage management software.
It follows on from an agreement earlier in the year when IBM and Shell said they would collaborate to build the world's most powerful Linux supercomputer for seismic research.
The new megacentres will be based in Kuala Lumpur, The Hague and Houston, and will initially provide infrastructure for SAP and e-business solutions. The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies has operations in over 130 countries, and include interests in oil and gas exploration and production, power generation, the manufacture, marketing and shipping of oil and chemicals, and renewable energy products, such as wind and solar power.
Shell hopes to save $40m over the five years, with a reduced total cost of ownership in IT procurement, more efficient IT service provision and economies, resulting from convergence of software platforms.
It says it is building an 'internal ASP' which will see a consolidation of all applications at server level, starting with SAP and JD Edwards' ERP, but eventually encompassing all business functions.
Alan Matula, Shell's general manager of projects and solutions, comments, 'This model supports our ever-increasing drive for business convergence, which we believe will improve service performance, provide an extended reach, achieve greater standardisation and reduce costs, while improving quality.
"We were looking for a trusted technology partner to help us achieve aggressive TCO targets in our MegaCentre project, one of the most important IT initiatives in Shell's history."