Bank of Ireland has entered exclusive discussions with Hewlett-Packard over a seven-year IT outsourcing contract which is likely to see 500 bank employees transferred to the vendor.
Cyrille Dunne, group chief information officer at Bank of Ireland says it will be a matter of months before a final contract is signed.
He says the decision to farm out the bank's IT infrastructure services is driven by the commercial advantages gained from outsourcing to a company whose core organisational competency is in this area.
"Staff have been kept up to date with developments and it is our intention to invite employee representatives to meet with HP at an early stage in the negotiations," says Dunne.
HP has been a supplier of IT products and services to the Bank of Ireland since 1974 and currently provides the bank's NonStop platform, high-end Alpha systems, storage subsystems and ProLiant servers as well as desktop PCs. HP also provides professional and customer support services to the bank.
Under the terms of the outsourcing agreement, HP will manage the bank's desktop environment, midrange servers, mainframes, networks, output and printing, and facilities. HP Services also will provide some customer support and consulting and integration services.
The move comes six months after BofI and neighbouring bank AIB scrapped plans to create a lower-cost joint venture technology company after the European Commission extended a probe into the proposed tie-up. The joint venture plans led to the termination of an existing Bank of Ireland outsourcing contract with Perot Systems.
Bank of Ireland says it will gain a share of any savings realised through the HP outsourcing deal.