IBM Inks $700M Deal With a Multinational Bank, Further Expands Its Blockchain Health Utility Network


 International Business Machines (IBM) inked a $700 million deal with the multinational bank Banco Santander, according to the company’s announcement on their website.

The contract will last five years with an aim to enable Santander to accelerate and deepen its business transformation. IBM will provide its services to Santander with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and big data fields. In addition, Santander will start using IBM’s Watson program, a question-answering computer system with the aim of “improving customer experience, enhance branch advisors expertise and increase employee productivity”.

Banco Santander is a multinational bank based in Spain. It has more than 200,000 employees and almost 145,000 customers. Last year, the bank recorded a profit of 7.81 billion EUR.

“This agreement will allow us to have a global partner with the best technology to help accelerate the IT transformation. We think this agreement with IBM represents great support to our strategy of constant progress while protecting our investments in technology. IBM’s technology will provide the bank with the flexibility needed to support the constantly evolving business of a bank,” says David Chaos, the gChief Information Officer at Santander Global.

As a result, Santander Group is expected to realize annual savings on IT spend. The ultimate goal of the partnership is a further development of an open, flexible and modern IT environment for Santander.

“Santander Group is leveraging IBM technologies to support their security and regulatory work, and to rapidly develop new services that meet emerging customer demand by tapping into IBM’s unique technology and industry expertise,” said David Soto, IBM General Manager for Santander Group.

On the other hand, two major healthcare organizations – Cigna and Sentara – have joined IBM’s Blockchain Health Utility Network.

The network was created last month after Aetna, Anthem, Health Care Service Corporation, PNC Bank, and IBM entered into partnership “to design and create a network using blockchain technology to improve transparency and interoperability in the healthcare industry”.

The goal of the network is the development of “an inclusive blockchain network that can benefit multiple members of the healthcare ecosystem in a highly secure, shared environment.”

Cigna, one of the world’s largest health services organizations, has joined the network with the aim to create a more efficient business model.

“Cigna sees enormous potential for blockchain to improve the way we harness insights across the healthcare ecosystem to better serve our customers and communities,” said Mark Boxer, the Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Cigna.

Sentara, the US-based not-for-profit healthcare organization, is keen on using blockchain technology to improve its data security and IT interoperability.

“Sentara is dedicated to leveraging Information Technology to continuously improve health every day. Blockchain is poised to help solve some of healthcare’s most crucial data security, and IT interoperability issues as we look to implement new customer-centric healthcare delivery models,” said Mike Reagin, Senior Vice President and Chief Information and Innovation Officer at Sentara.

World’s healthcare spending was recorded at $7.7 trillion in 2017 and is expected to rise to more than $10 trillion by 2022.