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Westpac NZ Selects IBM to Support Transformation to NZ's Leading Digital Bank

IBM Private Modular Cloud will support the bank's digital transformation

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Westpac New Zealand, part of one of the world's largest financial services institutions, has selected IBM's private cloud technology to support its goal to be New Zealand's leading digital bank. The new five year agreement is part of an extensive services and technology contract which includes Westpac migrating some of its business critical IT systems into IBM's state-of-the-art Auckland data center, enabling enhanced customer service. 

IBM Corporation logo.

The agreement supports Westpac as it embarks on a significant transformation from a traditional bank to one that uses cloud computing enabling it to address key market trends such as social and mobile adoption to influence the way consumers prefer to bank today.  Westpac is also one of IBM's long-term strategic outsourcing clients.

With almost 4,700 employees looking after 1.27 million customers Westpac is one of New Zealand's largest banks. Westpac Banking Corporation Group is one of the strongest banks in the world measured by earnings, capital ratios and credit ratings -  rated AA-/Stable by Standard & Poor's, Aa3/Stable by Moody's and AA-/Stable by Fitch Ratings. Earlier this year Westpac Banking Corporation Group was ranked number one in 'Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World' at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

By adopting IBM private cloud capabilities to develop and test tools within a dedicated environment, Westpac will be able to deploy new online and mobile banking services faster and across multiple devices and platforms in response to customer demand. As customers' digital footprints expand and the bank's security demands change, IBM is helping Westpac respond with enhanced online security features, such as the ability to manage identity and access through a single user ID.

Westpac's Interim Chief Information Officer Jason Millett said IBM's private cloud platform would further enable increased development of Westpac's digital capabilities as it responds to customer demands for a more personalised, convenient way of banking.  According to Gartner, "by 2016, poor return on equity will drive more than 60 percent of banks worldwide to process the majority of their transactions in the cloud."

"The platform provides a robust and advanced infrastructure enabling a seamless online banking experience across multiple devices. This supports our goal of being New Zealand's leading digital bank," Millett said. "In addition, IBM's local and global expertise, commitment to work within our regulatory framework, deep knowledge of our business and industry, and responsive commercial models provide a market leading offering that can support our changing needs over time."

Westpac will also optimise its IT infrastructure by renewing IBM mainframe services, midrange and storage platforms and migrating some services to IBM's Level 3 data center providing even greater data resiliency.

To meet Westpac's optimisation objectives, IBM leveraged its global Research team and Distinguished Engineers who advised on new technology, business processes and IT governance, including more flexible, cost effective and agile approaches to IT service delivery.   

"Westpac's underlying IT systems must operate uninterrupted, be secure and be able to support future needs as customers increasingly engage on mobiles and tablet devices," said Rob Lee, IBM New Zealand Managing Director. "Our relationship with Westpac New Zealand is one of our longest and closest, marked by a high degree of innovation and collaboration. We continue to invest in skills and advanced technologies including our cloud solutions to help deliver on their vision to be New Zealand's leading digital bank."

IBM has prime responsibility for managing Westpac's key infrastructure services, under an agreement that was first signed in 2000. In 2013 Westpac became one of the first clients of IBM New Zealand's Delivery Center at Unitec in Auckland, employing post-graduate and under-graduate computer science studentsWestpac extended its strategic outsourcing agreement with IBM based on the strength of the relationship and IBM's ability to bring new innovations such as cloud technology to the IT infrastructure.

IBM New Zealand launched its hybrid cloud in March to offer local customers greater visibility, transparency and control of data security and placement. This followed an announcement earlier in the year that IBM will invest $1.2 billion globally into comprehensively expanding its cloud footprint.  IBM's global data center network is key to helping enterprise clients move operations into the cloud in a hybrid model that preserves existing IT investments and connects on premises systems of record with new cloud-based systems of engagement achieving the best of both worlds.   

About IBM Cloud Computing
Today, IBM has 100+ cloud SaaS solutions, thousands of experts with deep industry knowledge helping clients transform and a network of 40 data centers worldwide. Since 2007, IBM has invested more than $7 billion in 17 acquisitions to accelerate its cloud initiatives and build a high value cloud portfolio. IBM holds 1,560 cloud patents focused on driving innovation. In fact, IBM for the 21st consecutive year topped the annual list of US patent leaders. IBM processes more than 5.5M client transactions daily through IBM's public cloud. For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com/cloud. Follow us on Twitter at @IBMcloud and on our blog at http://www.thoughtsoncloud.com. Join the conversation #ibmcloud.

About Westpac New Zealand
Westpac New Zealand has been helping Kiwis find the right financial solutions for 152 years. With almost 4,700 employees looking after 1.27 million customers Westpac is one of New Zealand's largest banks.

Westpac Banking Corporation Group is one of the strongest banks in the world measured by earnings, capital ratios and credit ratings -  rated AA-/Stable by Standard & Poor's, Aa3/Stable by Moody's and AA-/Stable by Fitch Ratings. Earlier this year Westpac Banking Corporation Group was ranked number one in 'Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World' at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Media Contact
Nicholas Smith
IBM External Communications
Phone: 212 671 9653
Email: nssmith@us.ibm.com

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