IBM Global Services announced on Thursday a seven-year, $720-million services agreement with Toronto-based TD Bank Financial Group, providing both PC and network support and services to the Canadian chain of banks.
Under the deal, IBM will manage the bank’s more than 40,000 PCs within TD Bank Financial Group and over 1,200 TD Canada Trust branches.
Not only will IBM provide maintenance and upgrades for the bank’s PCs – it will also provide help-desk support and dispatch technicians to TD’s locations within Canada. Network services for the Frame Relay network, both domestically and for locations outside of Canada, will also fall within IBM’s responsibility, said Garth Issett, vice-president of strategic outsourcing, IBM Global Services Canada.
Issett said that TD Bank was looking to improve its cost effectiveness and have a newer technology environment available to its employees and their customers.
The decision to outsource its IT to IBM was based on a need to focus on core functionality, and to bring IBM’s management capabilities into an area that was previously managed in-house, said Neil Parmenter, spokesperson with TD Bank Financial Group.
“Managing these networks is not core to our business. It’s a critical function that we have, but it’s not a core business of ours,” Parmenter said. He added that through the agreement TD Bank would have access to IBM’s resources, expertise, knowledge-base, products and services.
TD has a diverse network of companies from personal commercial banking with a large number of office employees running desktop computers to a mobile mortgage workforce across Canada.
Several thousand bank employees will continue to work within the bank’s IT department and the in-house IT services will remain intact, Parmenter said.
IBM’s Issett explained that 370 of TD’s employees became IBM staffers effective September 29. They will continue to work out of the bank’s various locations, but fall under the direction and supervision of IBM.
The contract officially started at the end of September, and over the course of the seven-year agreement, IBM said it plans to upgrade the network to a higher bandwidth with newer technology. This will provide TD with more capabilities and allow it to add more robust and better applications for branch personnel and its customers, Issett added.