Gen-i wins Westpac data centre contract
Gen-i has won a 10 year contract to provide data centre services to Westpac - balancing out a recent win at the bank by rival IBM.
Westpac recently signed a five year ICT services contract with IBM, which Westpac chief information officer Ross Stephenson said involved running the hardware stored in the data centres.
He said Gen-i’s Airedale St centre in the Auckland CBD would provide storage facilities for this hardware, in which a new data hall was being built to house Westpac’s equipment, with the potential to extend past the 10 year contract.
Mr Stephenson said Westpac also had data storage facilities with IBM’s $80 million Mt Wellington centre to provide more rigor in terms of back up. He said this double up of storage facilities would continue with the move into Gen-i’s facility.
A release from Gen-i said the bank had selected the facility as a replacement for its current data centre in Nelson Street, Auckland.
Mr Stephenson said he did not wish to comment on who the incumbents were.
He said Westpac had chosen to use two different providers for services and storage because they were two distinct offerings and the facilities were a long term provision.
“You may wish to review your services on a more regular basis than you would your facilities, so it’s a different tenure in terms of the timing for those types of things. We made a conscious decision not to link the two.”
Mr Stephenson said Westpac had gone through a rigorous process to determine between the providers. He said the bank had gone to market with a number of vendors, whom he did not wish to name, and chose Gen-I as a robust, long term centre in a good location in relation to Westpac’s second data centre in Mt Wellington.
He said Westpac would get access to the data centre from early 2012 and would progressively move its services in to the centre, with an aim to complete the move by September 2012.
The decision to have two data centres is not a first; Air New Zealand chose to renew its services with IBM by moving from the Newton St centre to the new $80 million Mt Wellington centre, while retaining services with Gen-i’s Airedale St centre.
Gen-i said the data centre was a Tier Three carrier-grade facility and had been assessed by data centre design specialist AECOM, engaged by Wetpac.
The centre connects with Telecom’s main telecommunications exchange on the same campus, Gen-I said.
Gen-i Australasian chief executive Chris Quin said the company was a New Zealand business dedicated to understanding the needs of New Zealand businesses. He said following the Canterbury earthquakes the company had seen an increased demand from clients for resilient data centre services.
“We are committed to contributing to the success of Westpac, and our selection to provide the bank’s data centre facilities reflects the cultural alignment of people, processes and technology across the two organisations.”