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.

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