IBM Signs Strategic Outsourcing Services Agreements in South America

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ARMONK, NY - 08 Jul 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has signed two strategic outsourcing contracts in emerging markets of South America.

In Venezuela, Banco Fondo Comun (BFC), a universal bank offering its customers leading customer service through its more than 170 national branches, signed a five-year agreement with IBM. The agreement with BFC includes the following information technology services: data center outsourcing, technical support and database management operations, the infrastructure of IBM's Business Innovation Center (BIC), planning services, and computer hardware relocation.

BFC executives described the strategic partnership with IBM as key to the bank's growth plans.

"In the mid-term, the bank is trying to position itself as its market segment leader," said Carmen Salazar, BFC's Operations and Systems Executive Vice President. "That is why we are looking for a strategic partner that can help us both with IT functions and with maintaining the highest operations, infrastructure, and technology standards, thus helping BFC comply with the latest SUDEBAN regulations in terms of the infrastructure of data centers. In this way, we can use our resources for projects and activities that help BFC achieve its business goals."

"Having a reliable Data Center infrastructure and an execution organization that allows us to implement system operation methodologies, and being able to use metrics to measure our administration, was a fundamental task for the company's growth; and nowadays, IBM is satisfactorily rendering all those services," added Juan Pedro Solórzano, BFC's Systems Vice President.

In Brazil, Panarello, a leading distributor of healthcare products, with 93% of the potential market of this segment, has expanded the scope of its outsourcing agreement with IBM and signed a new contract for a ten-year term. In 2004, the company transferred the responsibility of managing its IT infrastructure to IBM. Through a contract expansion, Panarello will integrate the group's financial, human resources, legal and procurement processes. The company expects significant cost reduction as a result of the implementation of a shared services model and the integration of its entire IT infrastructure.

"These agreements underscore IBM's unique capabilities and the strength of its global business model to deliver high-value services to clients around the world," said Gonzalo Escajadillo, general manager, IBM Global Technology Services, Latin America. "That ability extends to growth markets in Latin America where IBM is uniquely positioned to integrate local and global capability to help our clients succeed."

Both agreements were signed in the second quarter of 2008.

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