IBM clinches $970m Etihad Airways deal

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IBM clinches $970m Etihad Airways deal

Ten-year deal to transform infrastructure, services.

IBM has won a US$700 million (A$970 million) deal with Etihad Airways to provide IT infrastructure and services for the next 10 years.

The contract includes the build of a data centre running IBM's cloud services in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Etihad is a state-owned carrier for the UAE. 

Etihad will transition its existing data centre, applications and IT security operations to IBM, as well as around 100 IT staff. Disaster recovery will be managed out of an IBM data centre in Europe.

IBM will manage the entire data centre operation as well as IT helpdesk services for the airline.

The deal also includes IBM's mobile solutions, which launched mid-last year as a result of a tie-up with Apple.

It saw IBM become an enterprise reseller for iPads and iPhones, and Apple develop an enterprise-grade support option for its AppleCare program. The two also committed to develop more than 100 enterprise applications specifically for seven industries, tied in to IBM's big data and analytics services.

IBM today said it would provide mobile services to both Etihad employees and the airline's customers.

"Other solutions will enable airport operations to run more efficiently, which will improve the guest experience as a result of an enhanced end-to-end process," it said in a statement.

The pair will additionally create a joint "technology and innovation council" in Abu Dhabi to develop personalised travel solutions.

"This landmark agreement, a fundamental part of our technology and innovation strategy, will bring us a global IT delivery platform that is secure, resilient and future-ready for Etihad Airways’ companies and equity partner airlines," Etihad Airways CIO Robert Webb said in a statement.

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