Bank renews IBM outsourcing deal with $700M pact

The National Bank of Canada has signed a new 10-year, $700 million outsourcing deal with IBM Canada Ltd., which has held an outsourcing contract with the bank since 1994.

In an announcement today, the Montreal-based bank said IBM will continue to manage all operations of the bank's IT infrastructure, as well as take on new responsibilities for its Web presence and an expanded role in its customer call centers. The bank wants to increase its online operations, according to Rick Horton, general manager of global services at IBM Canada Ltd. "They had been doing them on their own but at a very small level," he said.

The deal includes the creation of an initiative called the "Innovation Team", a group of experts from IBM research and consulting organizations who will identify potential new leading-edge projects in e-business.

The majority of the new deal represents the renewal of base IT services for the bank. IBM has also been providing call center services for the bank in recent years, but that wasn't part of the original 1994 contract, Horton said. Under the new deal, the call center services are now under the complete outsourcing umbrella.

Michel Labonte, senior vice president of finance and control at the bank, said in a statement that a new contract was signed because the company has been satisfied with the results of the original outsourcing deal.

Real Raymond, National Bank of Canada's president and chief operating officer, said in the statement that the deal will "allow us to maintain a high-quality and secure technical infrastructure while accelerating the transformation of the bank into an e-business."

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