The Halifax Building Society – the UK’s largest – has awarded contracts to Compaq Computer Corp and Unisys Corp for the purchase of personal computers and servers and a mortgage information management system, respectively. These agreements are in the wake of Halifax’s 1995 merger with the Leeds Permanent Building Society (CI No 2,948) and in the run up to attaining plc status next year. Compaq is to supply the Society with 12,000 Deskpro 2000 personal computers and 220 ProLiant 4500 and 1500 servers, all running Windows NT, to the tune of 16.5m British pounds. This will replace a Philips Electronics NV/Digital Equipment Corp front office legacy hardware system. According to the company, a pilot implementation is currently in place, with the full project due to be delivered by autumn 1997. This represents Compaq’s biggest UK win for the Deskpro 2000, launched as a low-end corporate desktop in July (CI No 2,961). The firm bid against IBM Corp and Ing C Olivetti & Co SpA for the contract. Unisys signed up with Halifax to develop and implement a mortgage system that will manage more than 2.4 million mortgage accounts with total loan values of 75bn pounds and should be fully operational by 1998. The project involves the integration of legacy systems running in both the Halifax and the Leeds Building Society. The system will implement Unisys ClearPath Heterogeneous Multiprocessing technology HMP (CI No 3,023) to integrate applications with the NT-based client-server systems across the networks. The pact is worth 12m pounds to Unisys. In a separate agreement, Unisys has also been named by Halifax as integrator for the Compaq hardware, but no figures were given regarding its value. After the merger with Leeds, Halifax also bought a multi-million insurance management system from IBM-Huon Solutions Inc (CI No 2,948) – a joint venture between IBM Corp and Australian insurance software vendor Huon Corp – to help its foray into the insurance business.
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