IBM gains Australian IT pact muscle

IBM Global Services New Zealand will be able to call on the resources of the massive new strategic alliance in Australia between IBM, Lend Lease and Telstra announced last week. The three partners have signed what they describe as Australia's largest IT outsourcing deal, creating an IT and tele-communications alliance, as well as a new network services company called Advantra.

IBM Global Services New Zealand will be able to call on the resources of the massive new strategic alliance in Australia between IBM, Lend Lease and Telstra announced last week.

It’s a two-way street, with New Zealand skills being used in Australia and other parts of the Asia-Pacific region, says Frank Kern, CEO of IBM Global Services Australia.

“There are 1100 services people in New Zealand [a combination of direct employees and contractors] who have excellent skills,” he says.

The three partners have signed what they describe as Australia’s largest IT outsourcing deal, creating an IT and tele-communications alliance, as well as a new network services company called Advantra.

IBM Australia will retain 51% e•uity in the alliance, to be known as IBM global services Australia (formerly ISSC), with Telstra taking a 26% share, and Lend Lease holding 23%. Previously, IBM owned 65% and Lend Lease held 35% of ISSC.

Advantra, which will be the local provider of IBM global network services in Australia, will be owned 50% by Telstra, 30% by IBM and 20% by Lend Lease.

Under the deal, Telstra will outsource selected technology services to IBM Global Services Australia, including data -centre operations and some application and enhancement services. Telstra will supply selected communications services to IBM Global Services Australia.

“From the New Zealand or Asia-Pacific perspective, it means there’s a very large infrastructure of computing capacity and skills available,” Kern says. “We’re running over 8000 mips in Australia and we now have 5000 people.” He expects IBM Global Services New Zealand will leverage on the alliance in its marketing.

Complementing the alliance announcement, Telstra plans to take an equity stake in the WorldPartners global tele-communications consortium.

Telstra is a non-equity member of the alliance, as is Telecom.

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