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Bank of America Taps Cisco For VoIP

Cisco announced today that it would be supplying 180,000 Cisco IP phones to Bank of America. As part of an ongoing multibillion-dollar network outsourcing deal, EDS will assist Bank of America with the network backbone and implementation of the VoIP phones in 5,800 locations across the United States.

"Cisco is a key strategic alliance partner for EDS," says Mike Littell, EDS enterprise client delivery executive for the Bank of America project. "Cisco brought the knowledge and the technology of VoIP to the table, which was pleasing to both EDS and Bank of America."

More specifically, EDS evaluated vendors in the market capable of delivering the type of VoIP solution that Bank of America required, Littell says. EDS chose the Cisco solution, which was then presented to the bank for evaluation and feedback, and ultimately green lighted. EDS expects the rollout to take somewhere between 18 months and 24 months.

EDS will also be looking to an additional third-party provider to help with installations nationwide, although that partner has yet to be named. "It's a competitive bidding process," Littell explains. "The decision is based on the ability to meet certain [service-level agreement] criteria,based on their track record and performance." He adds that price/performance will also be an obvious factor.

The Cisco VoIP installation will eliminate more than 300 separate PBX systems and bring Bank of America onto a converged Cisco IP Communications system. The system will also bring together more than 100,000 employees' voice-mail boxes onto a single Cisco Unity voice-messaging solution.