Shell deals key to IT restructure

Shell has unveiled more major deals with key technology partners as part of the massive restructuring of its IT network announced in the summer.

Within the last few weeks the global energy giant has signed agreements with Cable & Wireless, the UK-based telecom group, and US systems managementspecialist BMC Software.

In July, Shell announced plans to create an IT infrastructure ‘MegaCentre’, capable of supporting the roll-out of advanced e-business applications to its operations in more than 130 countries.

The project will underpin Shell’s moves to create what it calls an ‘internal applicationservice provider’ operating from a single platform.

The MegaCentre – which will also provide the infrastructure for the company’s SAP systems – will be made up of three hubs located in The Hague, Kuala Lumpur and Houston.

Shell’s three-year, $250m deal with Cable & Wireless – described by the two companies as a ‘strategic relationship’ – will see the group’s global communications consolidated under a single-supplier network.

Shell said the move will improve management of its network, give it the flexibility to introduce new technology and realise cost savings of about $50m over the first three years.

Thijs Kout, general manager of Shell IT International, said: ‘We can boost our network’s efficiency and make it easier for people to do e-business with Shell.’Kout said the consolidated communications platform would also allow it to ‘find and test those technologies which truly offer new business opportunities’.

The separate deal with BMC Software will make the US company the single supplier of systems management services for the MegaCentre hubs.

The two will work together to develop IT capabilities as they are needed, with Shell paying for them on delivery.

Cable & Wireless and BMC join IBM as key players in the MegaCentre project, described by Shell as one of the most important initiatives in its history.IBM has already signed a five-year, $100m agreement as the prime hardware suppliers for the huge new data centres.

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