Axa NZ on outsourcing outer

Axa and IBM New Zealand aren't part of a $US1 billion outsourcing deal between the insurance and computing giants.

Axa and IBM New Zealand aren’t part of a $US1 billion outsourcing deal between the insurance and computing giants.

The six-year Axa-IBM deal, announced at the end of last month, involves Axa’s home country, France and other European countries, says Axa New Zealand spokesperson Jane Green.

“It involves some countries Axa operates in, but not all; it’s mainly the larger, European countries.”

The deal will involve IBM integrating Axa’s server, mainframe and storage systems in a common computing structure, allowing Axa applications to tap infrastructure resources as required. It is one of the first IBM outsourcing deals to incorporate Big Blue’s “on-demand” computing model and Axa will pay for hardware and storage capacity on a per-unit basis.

Axa expects the arrangement, under which it will retain control of most of its IT resources and employees, to save it “several hundred million” US dollars over the six years, according to Computerworld’s US sister publication Network World.

Axa will keep control over its IT strategy, vendor relationships, applications and database maintenance and development and business technology management.

The deal has been hailed by some as the beginning of a new trend in outsourcing, in which the customer retains greater control over IT assets than under standard agreements, with IBM’s on-demand model enabling that retention.

Axa New Zealand will continue to run its IT operations in-house under IT manager Heather Waugh, with some services provided from Axa Australia, Green says.