Services Briefs: KAZ, AOL

KAZ wins Alcoa contract extension

KAZ Group has signed a three-year IT managed services contract with Alcoa World Alumina Australia (Alcoa). The agreement will see KAZ providing technical systems support services and 24x7 mainframe systems support — it already provides applications development and support services for Alcoa as well as supporting the implementation of key projects under separate contracts. The combined contracts are worth more than $5 million this year. KAZ has delivered technical support services to Alcoa for more than four years and beat off competition from a number of other companies to win the extension. “We are committed to ensuring our clients have greater access to leading technologies and resources,” regional general manager for KAZ Technology Services, Lagis Zavros, said.

Reuters IM to ‘talk’ with AOL

Early next year, users of Reuters Messaging will be able to directly communicate with users of America Online’s AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), paving the way for easier communications between the two instant messaging (IM) systems. The move should be especially welcome in the financial services industry, where Reuters has a growing customer base. Under the deal, the two companies said the next version of Reuters Messaging client, to be released in the first quarter of 2004, would allow Reuters Messaging users to directly access and communicate with those using AIM and the separate ICQ instant messaging service. AOL instant messaging users will also be able to add Reuters Messaging users to their AOL Buddy Lists. The two IM clients will work together through a software translation layer, instead of at the server level.