IBM wins National Savings & Investment bank tech and ops deal

One of four contracts set to replace Atos arrangement going back 20 years


IBM has won a contract worth £34.2 million (c $41.2 million) as part of a tranche of technology upgrade deals from the UK's National Savings & Investment bank set to be worth hundreds of millions.

The bank, which is an Executive Agency of the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer has awarded Big Blue the contract for "Digital integration and ServiceOps", intended to be its technical and operational center.

According to a contract award notice: "The package supplier will design and deliver the integration platform, and services to implement the required system interfaces, and to undertake operational monitoring, management and maintenance of the system integrations."

An earlier contract notice said the deal would have a one-year implementation period followed by a five-year operational term. A two-year extension is also possible under the deal.

NS&I serves around 25 million people and manages funds worth £202 billion ($244 billion). It is best known for providing Premium Bonds, a form of investment that also offers winnings under a lottery system, an approach designed to persuade people to accrue long-term savings since 1956.

It is undergoing a refresh of its technology support arrangement as it exits a contract with Atos dating back nearly 20 years.

Dubbed the Rainbow Programme, it is split into four parts. Following IBM's award, three remain up for grabs.

In February 2022, NS&I launched a deal worth up to £172 million to find a supplier for "Digital Experience and Digital Enablement".

This is expected to provide "the capabilities needed to deliver digital self-service experiences and journeys to NS&I's retail banking customers, and to enable Assisted Digital support. It will deliver these services to mobile app, website and voice assistant channels."

In April, tenders for the Customer Contact and Operations packages launched in two lots worth up to £275.8 million ($333.8 million) and £480.3 million ($581.4 million) respectively.

NS&I outsourced its back office operations to Siemens IT Solutions and Services, now Atos, in 1999 under a competitively tendered public private partnership, which "appeared to be good value for money," according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

However, "Siemens Business Services and NS&I underestimated the challenge involved. Siemens Business Services has encountered a number of problems and so is unlikely to make its projected returns on the project," the NAO said in a 2003 report.

In 2014, NS&I signed deal with Atos, which, including a 2019 extension worth £305 million (c $368 million), is valued £1.1 billion (c $1.3 billion). ®

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