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Tech Industry

IBM lands business services deals

Big Blue continues its push into the area of business process outsourcing by signing multiyear contracts with Marathon Oil and the Williams Companies.

IBM on Tuesday said it has signed contracts with two energy companies to help them manage tasks such as accounting, another sign of Big Blue's progress in the growing area of so-called business process outsourcing. In total, IBM's multiyear agreements with Marathon Oil and the Williams Companies are worth nearly a half-billion dollars, IBM said. For the seven-year Marathon Oil contract, IBM will administer functions including accounts payable, fixed assets accounting and production revenue accounting. The Williams deal, which is valued around $320 million and will last for seven and a half years, calls for IBM to help manage certain accounting, finance and human resources processes. IBM also said it will manage aspects of Williams' information technology, such as application development.

The agreements are evidence of the current push among IBM and other technology companies to go beyond traditional tech services and help companies handle business functions.