IBM has announced a 10 year contract to deliver a cloud infrastructure to European financial services firm UniCredit, as part of a multi-billion dollar deal.
The project will see IBM transform the IT underpinning UniCredit's commercial and private banking activities in Europe, driving efficiency and flexibility in UniCredit's data centre operations as the bank works to deliver innovative new financial products. UniCredit is an Italian commercial bank operating in 22 European countries, with 9,200 branches.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but is said to run into 'billions' of dollars.
In addition to overhauling existing IT systems, IBM will form a joint venture with UniCredit's global services arm. The new company will offer IT infrastructure services to other financial services firms, with both firms contributing staff to projects based in Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Czech Republic.
Another part of the deal will involve setting up a Value Creation Center innovation lab, which will monitor new technologies that can be developed and added in to the joint services offered by IBM and UniCredit.
"UniCredit's innovation-driven approach to sourcing reflects changing motivations in the strategic sourcing marketplace," said Erich Clementi, senior vice president, IBM Global Technology Services.
"When making sourcing decisions, forward thinking organisations like UniCredit are moving beyond basic needs like cost-cutting to higher-order business outcomes such as growth, competitive advantage and, of course, innovation."
At the Cebit trade show in March UniCredit announced that it had partnered with Fujitsu Technology Solutions as the first major customer of its innovative PalmSecure authentication system. The point of sale system allows customers to pay by holding their hand over an infrared scanner.