RealTime IT News

EDS in Marathon Outsourcing Deal

Computer services company EDS has closed an eight-year, $63 million outsourcing contract with Marathon Oil, a pact that calls for EDS to help the oil company consolidate its servers and streamline its computing systems.

The deal is expected to help the Houston-based Marathon focus on its core energy business, which includes exploration, development, and production of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids.

Under the agreement with Marathon, EDS is expected to provide mainframe, mid-range and distributed server management services to the company. The deal adds yet another major energy company to EDS's customer base, which includes BP, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil and ENI.

EDS also announced this week the renewal of a contract with Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), an organization created by the mortgage banking industry with a goal to streamline the mortgage process by using electronic commerce as much as possible instead of paper.

Under one of two seven-year contracts awarded by MERS, EDS is expected to outsource some of the organization's computing systems and expand its platform for electronic filing of mortgage paperwork.

For example, EDS will continue to provide application maintenance and support for the MERS product portfolio from Australia, host the organizations Internet-based applications, and manage the networks that connect MERS members to applications so they can access them via the Web and/or private frame relay circuits, the companies said.

EDS said it also also added the capability to allow subscribing MERS members direct online access to their data on the MERS database for reports and analysis.

R.K. Arnold, president and CEO of MERS, said the organization is working with EDS in an ongoing focus to move the mortgage industry toward a less paper-based system by creating a universal system for electronic mortgage registrations and tracking of ownership.

"Our goal is to register every mortgage loan in the U.S. on the MERS System," he said of the platform that the organization is expanding in the EDS outsourcing contract.

The dual contract renewals with MERS are valued at about $50 million, the company said.

EDS also announced Thursday that it has become a founding member of the University of Michigan College of Engineering's Product Lifecycle Management Development Consortium (PLM DC).

The goal of the consortium is to develop research and education programs that "help companies foster innovation and proactively solve strategic issues that influence the success of a product throughout its lifecycle," said EDS, which is also contributing its own software and some staff experience to the effort.