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IBM, Boots ink $1.1 billion contract

IBM said Tuesday that it won an information technology services contract with U.K. drugstore chain Boots, worth $1.1 billion over 10 years. IBM said it expects the deal will save Boots--which operates 1,600 stores in Britain and Ireland--more than $200 million in technology maintenance and development costs. The IT services unit of IBM will take over the management of Boots' computing infrastructure, including its data center, in-store systems, data networks and telecommunications.

As a result of the agreement, more than 400 Boots employees will join IBM. The agreement also calls for IBM and Boots to develop wireless and mobile technologies for Boots store employees. IBM also plans to install and manage new point-of-sale systems and in-store kiosks.