The information technology initiative that Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corp. and IBM Corp. announced in April is receiving its fair share of scrutiny within the insurance community due to several wide-ranging implications.

Under the terms of the 10-year, $563-million agreement, IBM Global Services agreed to operate and maintain Manulife's IT infrastructure that supports the company's North American operations. The alliance entrusted IBM with assuming control of Manulife's data centers, help desks, desktop computers, and voice and data networks. Within the transition, roughly 400 Manulife employees were permanently transferred to IBM Global Services.

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