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Re: Banking News..... - January 2nd, 2008

RBI to build its IT muscle, plans data centres in Maharashtra

MUMBAI: In one of the Reserve Bank of Indiaís (RBI) largest IT implementations in recent times, the central bank is setting up two large data centres in Maharashtra and overhauling its IT infrastructure, consisting of legacy applications and software, to move to a modern, more robust system. The exercise will cost RBI close to Rs 100 crore, and the contract has been awarded to software exporter HCL Technologies, sources close to the development said.

Under the terms of the contract, HCL will set up the two centres and maintain them for RBI for a period of seven years. A part of the contract also involves moving the different applications that are running across locations and consolidating them at a single place on web and Java-based platforms. An RBI spokesperson confirmed the development, but declined to comment on the implication of the move for banks, citing security reasons. A source said this would probably be RBIís first data centres.

Of the two data centres RBI is setting up, one would be located at Navi Mumbai (where others like BSE also have their infrastructure) and the second, which will function as a disaster recovery centre, will be based at Nagpur. The implementation and maintenance of the project will be handled by HCL Comnet, the HCL Tech arm that provides infrastructure management services, the source said.

HCL Comnet officials declined to speak on the development, but said the firm was also taking on domestic clients. The development indicates that HCL Technologies is getting serious about the domestic market, which is becoming more lucrative with larger contracts from the government and private sector players.

Last year, Infosys Technologies said it would also take on select domestic contracts in a departure from its earlier stance of not taking on domestic business because it was low-margin. After telecom, the government and retail sectors are projected to make the largest IT spends in India.


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