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EDS Wins $700 Million Bank Of America Contract

This is the second time EDS has been called on to integrate the systems of an acquired company for Bank of America.

As an add-on to its existing 10-year, $4.5 billion networking contract with Bank of America, EDS announced a six-year, $700 million agreement with the banking giant to integrate the voice and data network of the recently acquired MBNA Corp.

"Bank of America purchased MBNA a few months ago, and we've been chosen to integrate the MBNA network into the existing Bank of America network we've managed since 2002," says Tom Warsop, U.S. financial services industry vice president at EDS. "It's a significant add-on to the business we already had and a similar type of work."

Warsop says that this is actually the second time EDS has been called on to integrate an acquired company for Bank of America. In 2004, EDS was tasked with integrating the Fleet Boston network as well. "We're very pleased to continue to support Bank of America as they grow," he says.

This contract will last six years, through the end of the original contract date in 2012. While the time frame for the MBNA integration has not been finalized, Warsop expects it to be complete sometime next year. Through its Agility Alliance partners, EDS will work closely with a couple of different partners to fulfill the integration work, Warsop says.

"Cisco will be providing a lot of the network hardware, and while EDS is retaining the overall management of the project, we'll use partners where they provide the most value to the client," he adds. Upon completion of the integration work, the Bank of America network will connect more than 200,000 employees in 5,800 retail locations and 50 contact centers across 30 states and the District of Columbia.

EDS continues to work very closely with Bank of America on a daily basis, "meeting with all levels to make sure the service is good and we understand what's coming in the future from the bank as their business changes every day, and we have quite a rigorous account management governance process," Warsop says.

As for the future of large-scale network outsourcing, Warsop says for now the interest remains with the big banks. Of course, he doesn't discount this type of outsourcing for smaller banks who can benefit from similar efficiencies and cost savings. "If a utility offering could be developed, that will be interesting," Warsop says. In other words, smaller banks could be poised to take advantage of a standard, repeatable outsourced network solution down the road.

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