IBM wins £1.07bn contract to support IT at ABN Amro

ABN Amro has awarded IBM a 1.5bn euro (£1.07bn) five year global contract to implement an on-demand IT infrastructure.

ABN Amro has awarded IBM a 1.5bn euro (£1.07bn) five year global contract to implement an on-demand IT infrastructure.

The contract is designed to reduce costs at the Dutch bank and support the rapid roll out new of IT services as they are needed.

IBM will support ABN Amro’s desktop PCs as well as associated printers and mobile personal digital assistants, freeing the bank from having to maintain and update these systems.

End users will be supported by IBM's global help desk, providing a single point of contact for all bank employees. Hugh Scott Barrett, ABN Amro chief operating officer, said, “IBM’s technology expertise, in conjunction with its knowledge of the banking industry, will underpin the value of this global IT relationship, supporting ABN Amro in building sustainable competitive growth for the organisation.”

IBM will build the new system around its Universal Management Infrastructure (UMI) data centre automation technology. UMI is an infrastructure that supports utility computing systems. According to IBM it is able to provide enough capacity to cope with variation in demand and offer stability for IT services.

Under the contract, IBM will also manage core data centres supporting the bank’s various businesses. IBM will use IBM mainframe technology and IBM, HP and Sun Microsystems UNIX servers, and IBM iSeries servers. ABN’s existing EMC and IBM storage devices will also be used.

ABN currently operates three main data centres in Amsterdam, Chicago and Sao Paolo, as well as some smaller centres. It is not clear whether IBM and ABN plan to re-locate any of these centres to India.

IBM is hiring over 14,000 new staff in India this year while making redundant around the same number in North America and Europe. ABN is also in the middle of a major redundancy programme among its IT staff, which has seen thousands of jobs go.

The IBM announcement came as Indian offshore outsourcing company Infosys Technologies announced that it has been awarded a five year multi-million pound contract to handle application development at ABM Amro.

Infosys has been guaranteed work in North America, Europe and in the Asia Pacific region as a “top five service provider” for application development at the bank.

Read more on IT legislation and regulation