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By | John Oates 23rd February 2005 12:01

AA goes Blue

Picks IBM for £50m contract

The Automobile Association has chosen IBM to provide it with IT services. The AA was spun off from parent company Centrica in July last year. As part of the deal the AA has to provide its own IT services by September 2005; they were previously provided centrally by Centrica.

Trevor Didcock, director of information systems at the AA, told The Reg: "In August we went to 15 suppliers and then picked a short list of three: HP, Fujitsu and IBM. All three were good but IBM won on the quality of its people, on service and of course on price."

Didcock said there are three elements to the deal: moving services out of Centrica, which must be done by September; operating those services; and finally starting to transform the AA's infrastructure. The first stage of this is a move to a standardised desktop based on XP, followed by server consolidation.

The AA expects the deal to bring efficiency savings and lower costs as well as supporting future growth of its breakdown service and motor insurance businesses.

Staff will move from Centrica to either IBM or to the AA. Didcock said a small number of jobs were at risk but Centrica and the AA hope to redeploy people. ®

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