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QBE Signs IBM to Strategic Infrastructure Outsourcing Contract

The three-year contract will cover data center, network and end-user operations for QBE's U.K. and Western European operations.

QBE (Sydney, Australia) has signed a strategic outsourcing deal for IBM (Armonk, N.Y.) to transform and manage the IT infrastructure of QBE's U.K. and Western European operations, including data center, network and end-user operations. QBE declined to comment on the cost of the deal, but a spokesperson acknowledged that it represented a significant percentage of IT budget and that the duration of the deal would be three years. The deal came on the heels of an Oct. 19 announcement that Accenture will provide application development and maintenance services to QBE Europe.

A QBE source characterized the deal as undergirding a "major change program," covering development and maintenance of QBE's IT support services including helpdesk, desktop, data center, LAN, WAN and disaster recovery. The source says that IBM's data center will support the business and that server virtualization will provide higher availability and greater scalability for business growth, while reducing the carrier's carbon footprint.

"The agreement with IBM underpins QBE's European transformation of operational support services by delivering a scalable operations platform and raising the service levels for our global operating platforms, particularly in the area of disaster recovery," comments Kathy Lisson, chief operating officer, QBE European Operations. "I am delighted that, after a rigorous tender process, we have appointed a world-leading partner of the caliber of IBM to work with us at QBE."

The QBE source describes the company as a leading specialist in the London and European commercial lines insurance business offering considerable diversity to the broker community. In addition to the London market, QBE operates from seven U.K.-regional centers and has a presence in 15 European countries.

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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