Etihad Airways signs $700m technology deal with IBM
Major agreement includes build-out of cloud data centre, mobility services and access to Watson
Etihad Airways has signed a 10-year technology services agreement with IBM worth around $700m, the company announced today.
The deal will see IBM provide Etihad with the latest cloud-based technologies and services, allowing the airline to migrate its IT infrastructure to a more agile, cloud-based set of systems.
The agreement includes plans for the creation of a new cloud data centre in Abu Dhabi. The centre, to be developed and operated by IBM, will be one of the most sophisticated technology facilities in the Middle East, Etihad said.
"This is a long-term, strategic partnership which will allow Etihad Airways and its partners to harness the latest technologies as we deliver our award-winning services. This is a game-changing agreement for Etihad Airways, for our partners and employees, and for Abu Dhabi," said James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways.
The airline said that it selected IBM due to its global reach and alignment with its technology and innovation strategy of deploying cloud-first initiatives.
Etihad is also looking to take advantage of IBM's mobile solutions, developed through the vendor's partnership with Apple. The agreement will also give the airline and its equity partners access to IBM's Watson cognitive technology.
The two companies will also create a joint technology and innovation council in Abu Dhabi to develop more personalised travel solutions using IBM's global research capabilities and the airline's industry expertise.
"This landmark agreement, a fundamental part of our technology and innovation strategy, will bring us a global IT delivery platform that is secure, resilient and future-ready for Etihad Airways' companies and equity partner airlines," said Robert Webb, CIO at Etihad Airways.
"We have chosen IBM as a global technology partner due to its commitment to its people, its experience in delivering such transformations, and its history of leadership and innovation in the airline industry. We are confident that this collaboration will ultimately enhance our guest experience and reinforce our competitive position further within the industry."