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ING Group Latest To Tap An Outsourcing Tag Team

Insurance and banking conglomerate ING Group has handed over a number of computer maintenance and support operations to a team of outsourcers under five-year deals worth a total of about $1.02 billion. ING's approach to split the work among a number of outsourcers is similar to that of its Dutch financial services peer ABN Amro and is one that more outsourcing customers are embracing.

Under the agreements disclosed Tuesday, Accenture, Atos Origin, Getronics, and KPN will oversee a number of technology functions for the insurer, including installation, maintenance, and support of desktops, laptops, printers, and telephones. ING says it expects about 490 of its full-time employees in the Netherlands to be transferred to the outsourcers.

ING's U.S. arm has already outsourced the bulk of its technology operations to IBM under a seven-year deal signed in 2003.

ING's latest outsourcing push is part of an efficiency drive launched by the company last year. It's hoping to cut annual operating costs by $584 million, including $292 million in yearly IT and operations spending reductions. The outsourcing contracts remain subject to approval by several labor groups, in accordance with Dutch and European Union laws.

Last year, ABN Amro outsourced IT operations to a team of vendors, including Accenture and Indian service providers TCS, Infosys, and Patni Computer Systems. Expressing a growing sentiment among technology chiefs, ABN Amro CIO Lars Gustavsson said at the time, "There is no single vendor who can satisfy our requirements... One size doesn't fit all."

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