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Big Blue is big into the black with a $1.1-billion contract extension for outsourced IT maintenance with the National Bank of Canada. Under the deal, IBM Global Services, a division of IBM Corp., will continue to care for the bank’s Web environment and call centres until 2011. The company has held this position since 1994. According to the bank’s chief operating officer, IBM will help “the transformation of the bank into an e-business.” To that end, IBM plans to create an innovation team whose job will be to “identify and build innovative strategies.” Just what those strategies will be, neither the bank nor IBM said in a joint December press release. For now, the innovation crew’s modus operandi is being mapped out. Learn more about the National Bank of Canada at

. IBM Global services is online at


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