Air NZ signs up IBM

Air New Zealand has signed a massive contract to outsource management of its mainframe and midrange systems to IBM.

Air New Zealand has signed a massive contract to outsource management of its mainframe and midrange systems to IBM.

The multi-million dollar deal is bad news for Fujitsu New Zealand, which won an outsourcing contract last year to manage the airline’s midrange systems at the Newton data centre in Auckland.

Last May Air New Zealand invited Sun Microsystems agent Solnet and Fujitsu to tender for the midrange contract. IBM, which already had the mainframe outsourcing contract with the airline dating back to 1997, was not asked to take part.

Fujitsu hired 30 extra staff to service the midrange contract, which is to provide day-to-day service and support for the airline’s Sun hardware running Oracle databases.

However, when Air New Zealand finalised its acquisition of Ansett Australia (an IBM mainframe, midrange and PC shop), it set about integrating the two companies, putting out an RFP for all data centre components. The airline wants to consolidate to one supplier for desktops, midrange and mainframe systems.

According to an industry source Air New Zealand discovered hefty penalty clauses in the existing IBM contract which have persuaded it to give the entire data centre contract to IBM, including midrange systems management.

Fujitsu marketing manager Bill Dashfield says it is still managing Air New Zealand’s midrange data centre in Auckland, but the two companies are in discussions following the Ansett acquisition.

IBM has also ousted Compaq as the supplier of Air New Zealand’s 11,000-plus desktop PCs, including those in Australia, although the outsourcing contract will remain with gen-i.

IBM will establish a data centre at Melbourne which will provide technical support for New Zealand and Australia.

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