IBM on $968m data centre defensive

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IBM on $968m data centre defensive

Texan game of jeopardy.

IBM has dismissed as inaccurate a customer's claim that the vendor breached its Master Services Agreement.

The disagreement [PDF] over Big Blue's data centre arrangement with the State of Texas was aired in July, with the US state's IT department attempting to wriggle out of an US$863 million ($968 million) data centre consolidation contract it signed with IBM in 2006.

Texas struck a deal with IBM to consolidate 27 of its data centres down to two, which IBM promised to deliver within 24 months, according to to Texas' department of information resources executive director Karen Robinson.

Robinson wrote to IBM's vice president, Cynthia McLean in July, demanding to break the contract, alleging IBM had skimped on project costs and breached its contract.

The state gave IBM 10 days to produce a plan which could deliver the terms of the contract and 30 days to amend the terms of the contract, however that sunset passed last week, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

IBM has blamed separate IT departments within Texas for the alleged breach of contract, claiming they resisted "ceding control of their individual IT environments in favor of a centralised, common system," according to US publisher, The Dallas News.

IBM's McLean went on the attack last Friday, blaming Texas' Department of Information Resources (DIR) for the project's failures, which meant that DIR did not have a right to terminate the contract, according to excerpts of a letter published by industry publication Data Center Knowledge.

IBM is also fighting a claim by US owner of the Radisson Hotels chain, Carlson, that it breached its Master Service Agreement.

Big Blue dismissed that claim as "baseless" and said it was because it had demanded payment from Carlson under its Master Services Agreement.

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