Rolls-Royce has awarded IT consultant EDS a $2.1bn (£1.39bn) contract to provide an e-business, consulting and supply chain management system, which will encompass global operations in aerospace, defence, marine and energy applications.
The ambitious e-business strategy involves building three e-commerce portals to cover the entire supply chain network in each business sector, to facilitate design collaboration and transmission of information and engineering data with suppliers, clients and contractors across the globe.
In its core business, gas turbine technology, Rolls-Royce is estimated to have over 55,000 engines in service in 150 countries, including over 500 airlines, 2,400 corporate customers and 160 armed forces using fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
Its marine division has over 2,000 customers and serves over 30 navies, with considerable potential for using e-business to cut costs and reduce time-to-market through collaborative design and knowledge-sharing.
Texas-based EDS has partnered Rolls-Royce for some IT initiatives since 1996, and currently provides IT services to Rolls-Royce across the UK and North America, where it is responsible for handling IT infrastructure, network, systems, applications and end-user support.
Under the new agreement, which will run until 2012, EDS will undertake new levels of responsibility for directing a comprehensive e-business programme including development of innovative Application Service Provision offerings. ASP promise to play a major role in the future, as less and less IT management is handled within an organisation, and key software applications are sourced from an ASP as required.
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