Scottish Courage, the UK’s largest brewer, is to outsource its IT infrastructure services to EDS under a 12-year, $233 million agreement. The deal follows others totalling $220 million with public and private sector clients in North America and Europe. EDS will provide data centres at its Washington and Doxford facilities and a data network linking 50 sites across the UK and covering 3,000 desktop users. EDS says Scottish Courage will get seamless, integrated services for its internal users and business partners. As part of the agreement, 70 staff have transferred to EDS. Anne Gibson, Scottish Courage IT director says, “EDS’ experience in service delivery and transition management, we believe, will greatly assist our business change programme.” EDS says that in the digital economy companies will be empowered by ‘network value chains’, which means getting away from “owned and operated infrastructure cast in concrete”. The firm believes this outsourcing agreement is indicative of the “many consolidations taking place in global food and drink industry” as family businesses get swallowed up into global companies. And it notes that the tend follows other sectors, like aerospace and defence and automotive where EDS is already a major player.