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Santander strikes $700m IBM deal to support biz transformation programme

Santander strikes $700m IBM deal to support biz transformation programme

IBM continues to rack up the financial services contract wins, scoring a huge $700 million global deal with Banco Santander, as well as agreements with ICBC Argentina and the card unit of Hyundai and Kia Motors.

The five year global technology agreement with Santander is part of a business transformation programme at the Spanish lender as it seeks to move to a more open, flexible and modern IT environment that delivers better and more innovative digital services.

This will mean tapping into IBM's AI, blockchain and big data offerings; for instance, using IBM Watson to improve customer experience, enhance branch advisors expertise and increase employee productivity.

The basis of the bank's IT infrastructure will transition to a hybrid, multicloud environment. To implement its hybrid cloud strategy, the bank created its own Cloud Competence Centre, which IBM is collaborating with. Santander is also using IBM DevOps and IBM API Connect to help develop, iterate and launch applications and services more rapidly.

David Chaos, global CIO, Santander, says: "We think this agreement with IBM represents a great support to our strategy of constant progress, while protecting our investments in technology. IBM's technology will provide the bank with the flexibility needed to support the constantly evolving business of a bank."

In a busy week for Big Blue, ICBC Argentina has agreed a $63 million, five year IT service deal to support its digital transformation. Ads part of the deal, ICBC Argentina is tapping IBM AI and Cloud.

This technology, says IBM will help the bank improve response time by predicting 75% of specific system failures, understand online user behavior and preferences, reduce up to 30% of client queries through online services powered by Watson, and drive the convergence between physical and digital branches.

Guillermo Tolosa, CIO, ICBC Argentina, says: "Working with IBM Services allows us to focus on our business strengths and leverage IBM's experience in Artificial Intelligence, Cloud and Services with open and secure standards, to consolidate our growth and offer customers an easy, accessible and convenient experience, while at the same time complying with the needs of our highly regulated industry."

Finally, Hyundai Card Commercial, the FS subsidiaries of Hyundai and Kia Motors, are working with IBM to advance their use of cloud-based AI and blockchain technology in order to improve customer experience and expand business globally.

Hyundai Card has introduced an AI-based customer service chatbot that taps machine learning and natural language processing to answer common questions quickly, freeing staff to handle more complex service needs.

In addition, Hyundai Commercial, a corporate finance company that provides leasing and financial services for commercial vehicles and construction equipment, is collaborating with IBM to apply blockchain to the supply chain financing ecosystem.

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