RealTime IT News

Scoot.com Allies with IBM in European Deal

Scoot.com Thursday entered a technology alliance with IBM that will help it develop its services throughout Europe.

Under the terms of the five-year agreement, IBM will supply web hosting and IT support while both companies will cooperate in R&D, focusing on wireless technology but also sharing in sales and marketing.

"With our rollout plans being accelerated and our changing infrastructure requirements, we chose IBM because they are best equipped to meet our challenging demands," said Scoot's Chief Technology Officer Charles Webb.

Frank Kern, general manager of Professional Services at IBM Global Services EMEA, hailed the deal as "a very significant win."

"Scoot are literally betting their business on us as they have bought full scope 'all blue' IBM," said Kern.

Up till now, Scoot has been using Compaq servers and Microsoft NT. The new contract with IBM calls for RS/6000 technology running AIX and DB.

As part of the deal, IBM Global Services will provide a turnkey solution platform designed to host both the Web application and normal business application. The two companies estimate that the contract could eventually be worth as much as $50 million as the service is rolled out across Europe.

The timescale for the project sets the end of April as the date for the live U.K. solution, with EMEA services beginning with Belgium, Holland and France during late August.

Scoot.com's services enable seamless transactions between buyers and sellers through various multi-access channels. The company currently operates in the U.K., the Netherlands and Belgium, while its pan-European venture with Vivendi S.A. is scheduled to be completed over the next three years.