Alliance & Leicester is preparing to exploit emerging technologies, such as web telephony, after signing a deal for BT to manage its voice and data services.
From December the bank will hand over the day-to-day running of its voice and data networks to BT, which will then migrate Alliance & Leicester's network infrastructure onto a BT-owned virtualised voice over IP network during 2007.
As well as reducing the cost of maintaining its network, the deal will allow the bank to reach its customers with new technologies once they become proven, without having to build its own infrastructure to support them, said Darren McKenzie, chief technology officer at Alliance & Leicester.
"BT at Alliance & Leicester is not a commodity supplier. We have formed a partnership with a major telecoms and IT group - that is their business, so when the market is ready for web telephony or web chat, we will have the technologies in place," said McKenzie.
The deal forms part of Alliance & Leicester's recently announced three-year IT-led business transformation programme. Central to the programme is the bank's plan to replace its core banking systems with Accenture's Alnova Financial Solutions banking platform.