ICL has expanded its year-old global alliance with Microsoft whichs on web applications. will bring in more than £1bn in additional business for the services giant and create about 200 jobs over the next five years.
Under the terms of the original agreement, signed in May 1998, Microsoft helped ICL develop IT systems based on its software for business customers in the retail, government, education and knowledge management sectors.
The two will now jointly develop web and smart card-based applications to be targeted at corporates in three additional sectors - electronic business, financial services and secure systems.
The applications will include technologies to provide consumers with internet access through digital interactive television and the two vendors will also develop banking services to allow people to bank and trade shares via their PCs, televisions, personal organisers or mobile phones.
Keith Todd, chief executive of ICL, said: "The mix of Microsoft technology with our expertise in providing systems to large corporates is a formula that has helped us achieve a record order book. We aim to replicate this success across the four additional sectors using web and smart card capabilities."
He added: "This relationship will take the form of digital technologies that will enable people to shop, bank and access all the benefits of the internet from their televisions. In addition, we'll offer secure web-based electronic business systems that will simplify the way organisations order and sell goods, helping to make the internet a mainstream, indispensable tool for all types of business."
ICL revealed that it would also expand its Microsoft training programme to accredit 250 consultants as Microsoft Windows Distributed Internet Applications (Windows DNA) architecture developers. It will work with the software giant to accredit up to 2,000 ICL sales personnel on the Microsoft platform.
The two companies will also undertake joint marketing and promotional activities.
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