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ANZ has signed a five-year, A$450 million (£208 million) strategic agreement with IBM, the centrepiece of which is the establishment of a cloud-based Innovation Lab based on IBM’s Bluemix cloud development platform-as-a-service, reports Banking Technology.

The lab will allow the Bank’s developers to build, test and deploy new applications and services at “a fraction of the time and cost previously taken”.

As well as the Innovation Lab and cloud capabilities, the agreement includes access to IBM’s software portfolio and core systems infrastructure. The IBM agreement will provide common platforms across ANZ’s network as it continues to grow as a super-regional bank and will allow the bank to deliver a “more integrated and innovative banking experience for digital customers”.

IBM will deploy its newest z13 mainframe and Power8 infrastructure as part of ANZ’s private cloud environment. The infrastructure will provide the bank with the reliability, security and resiliency needed to service the needs of mobile customers across the bank’s network. IBM integration, content management, data, analytics and cloud software will support ANZ’s core banking and infrastructure needs.

“Understanding our customers’ needs and preferences around mobile and digital banking is critical to our business and to providing a superior customer experience,” said Scott Collary, ANZ’s chief information officer. “We therefore need to ensure we’re meeting these needs in an innovative, consistent and seamless way and with this partnership with IBM, we’re working to achieve this goal.”

IBM has been a strategic partner of ANZ for more than 40 years said Scott Barlow, IBM client director for ANZ Bank: “This new agreement continues to build on this by enabling ANZ access to an arsenal of leading edge technology to provide the agility, speed and innovation essential in the rapidly changing financial services marketplace.”

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