CommBank throws open $1.3bn telco deal

The Commonwealth Bank has confirmed it is seeking a telecommunications supplier for a 10-year deal, possibly worth AU$1.3 billion.

The Commonwealth Bank has confirmed it is seeking a telecommunications supplier for a 10-year deal, possibly worth AU$1.3 billion.

CBA has confirmed it has released a request for proposals to renew some of its telecommunications contracts, including voice and data, which is currently handled by Telecom New Zealand subsidiary Gen-i and is due for renewal in 2009.

The bank is keeping tight-lipped about exactly what services will be included in the deal, estimated to be worth around AU$130 million a year; however, mobile services, currently under Optus's management — also scheduled to be renewed this year — will not be included, according to a spokesperson for the bank.

Telstra holds the remainder of CBA's existing telecommunications contract, supplying remote access services.

CBA's total 2007 communications bill ran to AU$192 million, according to its Annual Report from August last year.

According to the bank's spokesperson, the 10-year deal is being sought to win some stability for the bank, which is in the first steps of a four-year AU$580m core banking modernisation with SAP and Accenture.

The tech revamp is aimed at removing manual processes from the bank's transaction systems, and is scheduled to start this year.

With this trial ahead, the bank needs its supplier deals to be solid, a spokesperson for the bank told ZDNet.com.au. "It's so that we have certainty of supplier. It's an important time, with the core banking modernisation," they said.

The bank is set to finish negotiations for the telco deal by the end of this year, the spokesperson said.

The telecommunications deal is the next major outsourcing contract following CBA's restructuring of its application services work that it finalised late last year. The bank signed HCL, IBM and Tata Consultancy to a panel of suppliers for work worth around AU$200 million a year over a five-year duration.

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