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IBM says it has signed a 10-year, $1.1 billion contract to run computer operations for ABB Ltd., a Swiss provider of automation tools and services to the utilities industry with annual sales of more than $18 billion.
Under the deal, disclosed Monday, IBM will operate and maintain 90% of ABB's IT infrastructure, including 3,000 servers and 55,000 desktops, in 14 countries. More than 1,200 ABB staffers will move to IBM as part of the deal. Including two pilot contracts signed in late 2001, ABB will spend more than $1.7 billion with IBM over the next 10 years. "It's a very significant piece of business for us," says Todd Kirtley, a general manager at IBM Global Services.
Kirtley says the deal also gives ABB access to IBM's research labs. Under that part of the arrangement, ABB engineers will work with IBM researchers in cases where specialized equipment, such as a custom-designed computer chip, is required.
Kirtley says IBM will fulfill the contract through a mix of on-site and off-site support at ABB and IBM locations worldwide.