BPI spins off IT services

By: Doris C. Dumlao, August 1st, 2013 04:47 PM

BPI president Cezar Consing. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Bank of the Philippine Islands, Southeast Asia’s oldest bank,  has spun off its information technology infrastructure services through an outsourcing deal with IBM as part of its strategy to scale up core businesses faster.

At a press briefing on Thursday, BPI president Cezar Consing said attaining “steady and continuous” growth would be the thrust of the 815-branch BPI under his presidency.

“We are positioning the bank to support and benefit from the growth of our economy,” Consing said in his first press briefing.

Effective Thursday, BPI, which is celebrating its 162nd anniversary this year, started outsourcing IT network and data center services to American technology giant IBM.

“It affects 140 to 150 employees who will become IBM employees,” Consing said. “The transition is amazingly smooth.”

As IBM will take over BPI’s IT infrastructure activities, BPI’s internal IT team will concentrate on other strategic initiatives. In a separate statement, IBM president Mariels Almeda Winnhofer vowed to provide BPI with “smarter, scalable IT services and capabilities that will enhance and accelerate BPI’s transformation for growth.”

“It’s not driven by savings at all… it’s driven by wanting to grow faster,” Consing said.

Natividad Alejo, head of BPI’s consumer banking business, said she was looking forward to the partnership with IBM as this would stabilize IT services and allow the bank to focus on core competencies.

“Aside from that, it frees up the resources for us to focus on other technology and come up with new innovations. That’s what we’re hoping we can facilitate and accelerate,” she said.

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