ANZ bank has extended its collaboration with IBM by signing a new five-year, $450 million contract with the tech giant to drive productivity and assist in the bank’s regional Asian expansion.
The new contract, which includes access to IBM’s entire software portfolio, is to help the bank in terms of capacity to deal with the rapidly growing number of customers and transactions across the bank’s multiple channels.
As part of the agreement, both ANZ and IBM are investing in a new ‘innovation lab’. The lab, powered by IBM’s Bluemix platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering, will allow the bank’s developers to build, test and deploy new applications and services faster and cheaper.
ANZ’s strategy also includes next generation cloud development capabilities and core systems infrastructure. IBM will deploy its newest z13 mainframe and POWER8 infrastructure as part of the bank's private cloud environment.
The extended alliance will provide common platforms across ANZ’s network as it continues to grow as a super-regional bank, and will allow ANZ to deliver a more integrated and innovative banking experience for digital customers, the firms said in a joint release.
IBM and ANZ have held a 40-year commercial partnership, which has included utilising IBM's Watson machine learning technology to create personalised product recommendations for ANZ customers.
ANZ has chosen to focus its IT investment on a $1.5 billion upgrade of its online and mobile front-end system, rather than opting for a complete IT overhaul like competitors Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank. ANZ also recently announced it had appointed four external technology executives to serve as an international technology and digital business advisory panel.
Commenting on the contract with IBM, ANZ CIO Scott Collary said: “Understanding our customers’ needs and preferences around mobile and digital banking is critical to our business and to providing a superior customer experience.
“We therefore need to ensure we’re meeting these needs in an innovative, consistent and seamless way and with this partnership with IBM, we’re working to achieve this goal.”