Guinness On Tap: Beer Maker Signs Utility-Computing Deal - InformationWeek

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Guinness On Tap: Beer Maker Signs Utility-Computing Deal

IBM will provide Diageo with a range of computing services, including the management of its data-center and server operations.

The maker of Guinness beer now has IT on tap. London-based alcoholic beverage maker Diageo plc says it expects to save millions in technology costs through a pay-as-you-go computing-services deal the company has signed with IBM.

Under a seven-year contract, disclosed Friday, IBM will provide Diageo with a range of computing services, including the management of its data-center and server operations. Diageo, which also makes Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker scotch, will pay a variable rate for the services depending on its requirements over the term of the contract.

IBM will also help Diageo consolidate a host of disparate IT systems that the company acquired through a series of mergers in the past several years, including an $8 billion acquisition of Seagram's spirits and wine business in 2000 that Diageo made in concert with Pernod Ricard.

Specific financial terms of the deal weren't revealed, but IBM says the agreement brings the total value of services deals it has inked thus far in the third quarter to $3.8 billion. The company has won major contracts in the period from a number of other big companies, including ABB, Avaya, Qwest, and Raytheon. IBM signed a total of $9 billion in services deals in the third quarter of 2002.

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