IBM secures Westpac deal despite doubts

Late last year, Westpac CEO, Gail Kelly, suggested the contract with IBM would not be renewed

IBM has secured a five-year deal with the Westpac Group for the supply of infrastructure services as the major bank continues its technology transformation.

The agreement follows doubts from Westpac chief executive, Gail Kelly late last year about whether the decade-long relationship would continue as mainstream opinion on IT outsourcing models moved from decade-long mega-deals toward a best-of-breed approach over shorter timeframes.

Under the deal, officially signed on 19 November this year, IBM will be responsible for operating the bank’s services related to its new data centre, mainframe, midrange, storage, desktop, print and security operations and will focus on service quality for bank staff and customers, with the aim of lowering risk, increasing cost control and supporting Westpac’s business.

Westpac Group group executive of technology, Bob McKinnon, said the company was pleased to continue its relationship with IBM throughout the IT overhaul.

According to McKinnon, IBM has worked closely with Westpac over the past two years to improve its system reliability and service, with the new agreement continuing that relationship.

The new contract comes as IBM lost out on a tender for the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) centralised computing project, which was instead awarded to HP Enterprise Services.

The ATO had shortlisted both HP and IBM, ultimately choosing the former as the preferred supplier.

The contract will include the provision, management and support services for the mainframe, midrange, data warehouse, storage and secure gateway, and also the provision of data centres, data centre networks and facilities management.

The ATO released an Expression of Interest (EOI) on 30 June 2008, and shortlisted four organisations including IBM, Lockheed Martin, CSC Australia and HP (formerly EDS Australia).

HP will continue to provide centralised computing services until the transition phase is complete, sometime in June 2012.

As reported by <i>Computerworld Australia’s</i> the ATO’s IT systems Change Program recently resulted in a number of Centrelink customers having their Family Tax Benefit (FTB) payments suspended as it affected the ATO’s ability to advise Centrelink that it had received tax returns.

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAu

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Tags infrastructureIBMWestpacATOchange program

More about Australian Taxation OfficeCentrelinkCSC AustraliaEDS AustraliaHewlett-Packard AustraliaHPIBM AustraliaIBM AustraliaLockheed MartinWestpacWestpac

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