IBM Launches Multibillion-Dollar Cloud, Services Deals

IBM's 10-year, multibillion-dollar cloud deal with ABM AMRO bank follows a multiyear, multibillion-euro services deal with Lufthansa.

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IBM announced it has signed a 10-year, multibillion-dollar services agreement with ABN AMRO to manage the IT infrastructure that supports the bank's operations globally.

The agreement includes the implementation of a private IBM cloud together with further standardization and simplification of the existing IT landscape, from mobile computing to mainframe infrastructure.

Based in the Netherlands, ABN AMRO serves retail, private and corporate banking customers. This agreement extends the bank's strategic IT relationship with IBM and enables the bank to further its strategy toward becoming a leading digital bank.

The new agreement with IBM provides managed services for mainframe, servers, storage, end-user computing, help desk as well as application support, and is part of an enterprisewide transformation initiative at ABN AMRO that is focused on improving profitability by combining customer focus with operational excellence, IBM said.

Through continued optimization and transformation to cloud infrastructure, the bank looks to improve service quality, drive greater operational efficiencies, and provide new and innovative products that meet the changing digital needs of its customers globally. This agreement is expected to create financial savings over the life cycle of the contract.

"With the transformation of ABN AMRO and the strategic shift we see in the Industry, we will enable ABN AMRO in accelerating time to market, address and improve customer service," said Piet Bil, IBM's managing director for ABN AMRO, in a statement. "With this agreement we will further speed-up the transformation of ABN AMRO enabling the latest technology and services. Through our continued partnership, ABN AMRO will be able to evolve its IT infrastructure with new capabilities that leverage IBM's investments in cloud, as well as analytics and security."

Last month, IBM announced a seven-year 1 billion euro outsourcing contract to deliver IT infrastructure services for the Deutsche Lufthansa AG and its Group companies. According to the agreement, IBM said it would first optimize the airline's IT processes to increase efficiency, which is expected to generate an estimated average cost savings of approximately 70 million euro annually for the Lufthansa Group.

Over the life of the contract, IBM will bring new solutions that incorporate business analytics with mobile computing and social business to enable Lufthansa to offer new services to customers, at the same time making partners and employees more productive.

"Outsourcing the IT infrastructure to IBM will strengthen the competitiveness of the Lufthansa Group as a whole," said Simone Menne, a member of the executive board and CFO at Deutsche Lufthansa AG and chairperson of the supervisory board of Lufthansa Systems AG, in a statement. "The transformation plan will directly improve our cost base. Together with IBM we will have access to the latest IT technologies not only to lower our cost but also to continue digitalizing our business processes in order to increase efficiency and customer focus."

IBM said it will help optimize the Lufthansa IT infrastructure for cloud computing and then bring leading technologies in such areas as business analytics, mobile computing and social business to help Lufthansa meet its business objectives.

"By partnering with IBM in its digital transformation, Lufthansa Group has decided to accelerate the move to new technologies such as cloud computing to optimize efficiency," said Martina Koederitz, general manager of IBM Germany, in a statement. "The agreement provides Lufthansa constant access to IBM research and development. This will enable Lufthansa to incorporate the latest technology and innovation into the Lufthansa IT infrastructure including strategic areas such as cloud computing, big data analytics or cognitive computing systems like Watson."

IBM will begin the multistage transformation of the Lufthansa IT landscape by implementing collaboration and messaging tools for social business, new network and voice services, an optimized electronic workplace solution and IBM's security framework.

With IBM's MobileFirst device management framework, Lufthansa Group will also benefit from a global and secure mobile infrastructure, allowing Lufthansa to provision, secure and manage mobile devices and apps easily, giving Lufthansa customers and employees simplified access and new capabilities for its reservation systems and business processes.

As part of the outsourcing agreement, IBM will manage Lufthansa Systems' entire data center operations, help desk and printer services along with individual infrastructure services. Around 1,400 Lufthansa Systems employees will transfer to IBM. Infrastructure services are scheduled to begin from IBM on April 1, 2015.