BANK of the Philippine Islands inked a $260-million agreement with IBM. — BW FILE PHOTO

BANK OF THE Philippine Islands (BPI) signed a $260-million services agreement with IBM, providing the lender information technology (IT) infrastructure services in line with its digital transformation agenda.
In a statement on Thursday, the multinational IT firm said it tied up with the Ayala-led bank through the $260-million multi-year services agreement.
The extended partnership deal will enable BPI to leverage on the IT infrastructure and hybrid cloud management services provided by IBM to “maintain an agile and compliant IT environment.”
“The agreement will help to achieve some of the bank’s digital transformation goals which include the continual upgrades for bank branches with new technology as well as other financial services apps for customers,” the statement read.
In particular, the provided services of IBM will have a “born in the cloud experiences” in support of BPI’s hybrid cloud strategy, including Infrastructure as Code and an open consumption of application programming interface.
The hybrid cloud model is a computing environment that uses an in-house private cloud in tandem with a third-party public cloud, which can be used for non-sensitive operations.
IBM and BPI also designed an IT environment that uses the bank’s data to “create compelling customer applications and services.”
“The rapidly changing business environment requires us to accelerate the pace of our digital transformation. We need to continue to be responsive to an ever-changing market,” BPI President and Chief Executive Officer Cezar P. Consing was quoted as saying in the statement.
“Our extended agreement with IBM will help us become more agile in introducing innovations and transforming how we do things in BPI.”
Last year, BPI raised P50 billion from a stock rights offer, listing 599.7 million new common shares at the local bourse priced at P89.50 apiece. The raised funds will be used to support the bank’s digitalization push among others.
Meanwhile, IBM Global Technology Services Senior Vice-President Martin Jetter said lenders like BPI are transforming their businesses with advanced services as a response to the growing needs of its connected consumers.
“We are excited about helping one of the leading banks in South East Asia power its core IT infrastructure and bring new digital experiences with IBM Cloud in a secure and open environment to help prepare BPI for the future of banking,” Mr. Jetter said.
BPI partnered with IBM in 2013 for the bank’s IT operations.
BPI shares closed at P92.80 apiece on Thursday, gaining P1.90 or 2.09%. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal