IBM research centers also will feed social media and cloud computing innovations to bank's IT staff.
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Inside Watson, IBM's Jeopardy Computer
IBM is the prime contractor in a $2.6 billion deal signed by the Spanish savings bank, la Caixa, to manage its IT infrastructure over the next 10 years. IBM services will account for about half of the total, with other third parties receiving the rest.
IBM will host la Caixa systems and its consultants will work with the bank's IT unit, la Serveis Informaticas la Caiza, to manage la Caixa's IT infrastructure running in Barcelona and Cerdanyola del Valles data centers. IBM also will work with the la Caixa team on developing mobile applications, cloud computing, and social media, according to an IBM announcement Thursday.
"This agreement allows us to offer better services to our clients and obtain competitive advantages in a sector in which innovation and new technologies are key to realizing growth," said Juan Maria Nin, the bank's general manager, in the IBM announcement.
The agreement also will allow la Caixa to save 400 million euros over the 10-year period, he said.
The bank expects to implement new mobile and cloud computing technologies to expand its business in Spain and other parts of the world. It aims to become recognized as using new technology to reach financial services customers, the announcement said.
The deal includes collaboration between la Caixa's Innovation Center in Barcelona and IBM's research centers. The IBM centers will funnel to the Innovation Center technologies aimed at consumer banking and innovations in business processes.
IBM has been a supplier and partner to la Caixa for 50 years, said Juan Zuiria, IBM general manager for Spain, Israel, Portugal, and Greece, in the announcement. That period makes the bank a customer of IBM's first line of general-purpose mainframes, the IBM 360, launched in 1964, or even its 1401 computer, which preceded the 360 machines.
IBM has made a series of such banking deals around the world over the last six months. They include Westpac Bank in Auckland, New Zealand; Banco Santander in Spain and Latin America, one of the largest banks in the eurozone; and MCB Bank Limited in Pakistan.
The Enterprise Connect conference program covers the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. It happens March 25-29 in Orlando, Fla. Find out more.