ICL has expanded a year old global alliance with Microsoft, in a move the services company hopes will bring in more than £1 billion in new business and create about 200 new jobs over the next five years.
Under the terms of the original agreement, signed in May last year, Microsoft helped ICL develop IT systems based on its software for enterprise customers in the retail, government, education and knowledge management arenas. But the two will now jointly develop new Web and smart card based applications to be targeted at corporate customers in four new sectors - electronic business, financial services, smart cards and secure systems.
The new applications will include technologies to provide consumers with Internet access through digital interactive television, and the two companies will also develop new banking services to enable people to bank and trade shares via their PCs, televisions, personal organisers or mobile phones.
Keith Todd, ICL's chief executive, said: "The potent mix of Microsoft technology with our expertise to provide enterprise systems to large corporations is a winning formula that has helped us to achieve a record order book. We now aim to replicate this success across four new go to market sectors with the accent on leveraging both companies' formidable Internet and smart card capabilities."
He added: "The early fruit of this new relationship is coming to a television set near you. It will take the form of digital technologies that will enable people to shop, bank and access all the benefits of the Internet from their television. In addition, we'll offer secure Web based electronic business solutions that will simplify the way organisations order and sell goods, helping to make the Internet a mainstream, indispensable tool for all types of business."
In addition, ICL said it would expand its Microsoft training programme to accredit 250 consultants as Microsoft Windows Distributed Internet Applications (Windows DNA) architecture developers and work with Microsoft to accredit up to 2,000 ICL sales personnel on the Microsoft platform.
The two companies will also undertake joint marketing and promotional activities.
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