AstraZeneca & IBM Sign Global Strategic Outsourcing Agreement Worth $1.7 BILLION

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February 1 - 01 Feb 2001: -- One of the worlds largest pharmaceutical companies - AstraZeneca - and IBM, the worlds largest information technology company, today announced that they have signed a global strategic outsourcing agreement worth $1.7 billion over seven years. The agreement, covering the provision of IT infrastructure services to 45 countries, is the largest of its kind in the pharmaceutical industry.

Under this agreement, IBM will provide a range of IT services to AstraZeneca throughout its global organization. These cover PC management, network and communications services, including e-mail, and computer operations support. AstraZeneca will retain control of its IT technical strategy and the development and support of its application systems.

Paul Burfitt, Chief Information Officer of AstraZeneca, said, "Our partnership with IBM will enable AstraZeneca to concentrate the effort of its Information Services (IS) capabilities on such strategic opportunities as e-business and informatics in R&D, and to further encourage added value from IS activities. This partnership will give AstraZeneca access to greater expertise and resource world-wide and will enhance competitive edge. It will also provide additional career and personal development opportunities for IT professionals joining IBM."

Frank Kern, General Manager, Professional Services, IBM Global Services, said, "This alliance joins two world class players. Our combined strengths, global reach and culture will enable AstraZenenca to optimize its global IT infrastructure and create business value. IBM will contribute its proven skills and expertise in leveraging technology. This will ensure a robust IT infrastructure to support AstraZeneca's fast moving business, allowing the organization to focus on strategic IS opportunities."

Up to 1200 AstraZeneca staff currently involved in the provision of IT services, principally from the UK, Sweden, and the US, will transfer to IBM. No redundancies are anticipated.


AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of ethical (prescription) pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the top five pharmaceutical companies in the world with healthcare sales of over $15 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, oncology, anaesthesia including pain management, cardiovascular, central nervous system (CNS) and respiratory products.


IBM Global Services is the worlds largest information technology services provider, with 2000 revenues of more than $33 billion. Services is the fastest growing part of IBM, with more than 148,000 professionals serving customers in 160 countries. IBM Global Services integrates IBM's broad range of capabilities -- services, hardware, software and research -- to help companies of all sizes realize the full value of information technology. For more information visit

IBM Life Sciences brings together IBM resources, from research and e-business expertise to data and storage management and high-performance computing, to offer new solutions for the life sciences market, including biotechnology, genomic, e-health, pharmaceutical, and agri-science industries.

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