As reported by ARN earlier this year (July 22, page 1), services specialist EDS Australia has purchased around 11,000 Compaq PCs, primarily for deployment at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), according to well-placed sources.
The deal sees Compaq gain joint responsibility for desktop PC supply at the CBA. According to ARN's sister publication ComputerWorld, a significant number of the PCs were to replace aging, non-millennium compliant equipment at a number of CBA branches.
The remaining PCs are expected to be used across the EDS client base.
The acquisition comes as EDS moves to rationalise its desktop supplier base from more than 400 suppliers to just four or five.
It is understood that the services specialist plans to have this process completed by the end of the year, allowing it to make a fresh start on the desktop supply front in 1999. The move is believed to be one of a number of significant information systems investments at the CBA by EDS since the services specialist took over the bank's IT operations, desktop, communications and application development as part of a 10-year, $5 billion outsourcing agreement signed in 1997.
These are understood to include development of an asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) backbone to facilitate the transfer of data between the CBA's Sydney offices.
The acquisition is a significant blow to Dell, which, until earlier this year, was designated the sole supplier of PCs to the CBA.
Compaq officials declined to comment, whilst EDS officials were unavailable for comment.