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Aviva Signs $1B Contract with EDS

EDS, an HP company, will transform and manage two Norwich, England-based data centers for Aviva.

London-based Aviva, the world's fifth largest insurer, has signed a major IT outsourcing contract with Plano, Texas-based EDS (an HP company), under which the global technology services provider will transform and manage two data centers for the carrier. The data centers, both based in Norwich, England, serve Aviva's businesses in the United Kingdom, India, France and Ireland.

"Partnering with EDS for data center services, in our view, supports Aviva's goals to improve flexibility, increase operational efficiency and lower costs," Igal Mayer, UK general insurance CEO at Aviva, said in a press release.

Under the $1 billion, 10-year deal, which was finalized in February 2009, EDS will provide Aviva with data center modernization services and manage the carrier's mainframe, midrange and Windows servers, according to the release.

Malcolm Simpkin, UK IT Services director at Norwich Union (Aviva's brand name in the UK), says the EDS deal will allow the carrier to maximize the initial technology investments made in the two data centers, which were built one and three years ago. "We don't use the full capacity of those data centers, but we know that EDS can," Simpkin tells I&T. "We have started the journey of virtualization and optimizing the services that we have, but we know that there is a lot more we can do around standardization, rationalization, consolidation and automation."

EDS regional VP for UK outsourcing Sean Finnan says that the two companies have discussed different server states, data center efficiency, green practices, service delivery automation and security. "This is a program that is aimed at reducing operational costs as well as expanding flexibility and access to information," Finnan says. "We talk a lot about the features and functions and so on, but these are times to be efficient and effective. That this will provide an optimal economic arrangement to Aviva, I think, is very important."

Approximately 300 Aviva employees will transfer to EDS to deliver services. Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP and San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems will provide tools, technologies and resources to EDS to support the effort.

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