EDS's $4.5B Optical Bandwagon
EDS has been picked by the bank to oversee its entire voice and data services infrastructure, including a "redesign... to optimize Bank of America's optical network," according to EDS's press release.
An EDS spokesman says the outsourcing company tested a range of networking products in preparing the Bank of America bid and will make final decisions on equipment to implement at the bank within the next month. Neither EDS nor the bank will say which vendors have been tested or which ones are currently part of Bank of America's networks, optical or otherwise.
Still, some names come to mind. Bank of America announced another 10-year agreement in October to buy wavelength services from Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) (see Wave Services: Is Growth for Real?). One of Sprint's optical suppliers is Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN). Neither Sprint nor Ciena would comment on the EDS deal at press time.
The bank also has a $70 million, 10-year deal with Broadwing Inc. (NYSE: BRW), which the bank has said will work in tandem with Sprint to offer dark fiber and load-balancing alongside Sprint's services (see Bank of America Picks Broadwing). Broadwing has acknowledged using gear from Corvis Corp. (Nasdaq: CORV) for wavelength services. Broadwing also has announced that its network includes gear from Ciena and Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT).
A Bank of America spokeswoman confirmed today that EDS will take over the supervision of the Sprint and Broadwing services, along with offerings from a range of other carriers.
Clearly, the jury's out on which specific vendors will continue to be part of Bank of America's network. But with $450 million annually to spend, it's likely EDS hasn't been lacking in pitches from the usual suspects. Not all of that money will be going to equipment. EDS says it's "all-inclusive," covering personnel costs (including 1,000 bank employees who will be moving over to work for EDS) and other service expenses.
— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading