Although precise details of the contract are not known, IBM has confirmed that it will supply the infrastructure that powers Colgate-Palmolive's critical business operations, beginning with its global SAP applications.
SAP manages the manufacturer's business operations in 51 countries, which represents 90% of Colgate-Palmolive's revenue. Applications include supply chain, order entry, accounts receivable, human resources and datawarehousing.
The IBM systems running SAP are expected to be fully installed by 2003, said an IBM executive.
As part of the agreement, IBM will also build a datacentre for Colgate-Palmolive in New Jersey, US, that will form an integral part of the manufacturer's global operations.
IBM said the datacentre will be capable of storing up to 50Tbytes of data.
Colgate-Palmolive has already begun phasing in IBM pSeries Unix servers, Shark storage servers and Tivoli enterprise management software. It is also implementing storage area networks supported by multiple Shark storage servers.
The New York-based manufacturing company has also confirmed that it will standardise worldwide on IBM notebook and desktop computers.
Colgate-Palmolive's decision to choose IBM was based in part on the supplier's future technology roadmap.