Gen-i close to signing with Westpac

A month after it was revealed that gen-i had signed a 10,000-seat deal with NRMA, ARN has learned the New Zealand-based integrator is gunning for a 20,000-seat Citrix licensing contract with Westpac Bank.

Should the deal go ahead, it will be the largest Citrix licensing agreement in the region, surpassing Citrix's 10,320-seat deal with the Commonwealth Bank last year.

ARN understands the Citrix MetaFrame project is being brokered by gen-i, with the integrator expected to establish a similar enterprise licensing agreement (ELA) with Westpac as it did with IAG-owned NRMA Insurance.

With gen-i designing the server-based computing architecture and managing the licensing agreement, it is unknown at this stage which company will be used as the integration partner for the rollout. However, sources in contact with ARN speculate the deployment could be handled by EDS, which rolled out the Citrix software for CBA.

Services giant EDS also won a $1 billion, 10-year contract to outsource Westpac's mortgage processing centre in Adelaide late last year.

While officials from Citrix and gen-i played down the potential deal as being in the "early stages" of discussions, and are still assessing the concept and technology, it is believed a rollout into WestpacTrust, the New Zealand subsidiary of Westpac, is far more advanced.

A source close to the deal revealed that WestpacTrust was set to begin a Citrix MetaFrame deployment as early as last month, with gen-i leading the project and IBM Services used as the integration partner. This deal, for between 3,000 and 5,000 seats, is expected to continue despite a number of last-minute negotiations.

It is understood the project with WestpacTrust will serve in many respects as a pilot project for the much larger Citrix deployment in Westpac Australia should it proceed. WestpacTrust has 5,200 staff and 211 branches across New Zealand.

Westpac and EDS officials were unavailable for comment at press time.