AstraZeneca and IBM announced that they have signed a global strategic outsourcing agreement worth $1.7 billion over seven years. The agreement, covering the provision of IT infrastructure services to 45 countries, is the largest of its kind in the pharmaceuticals industry. Under the agreement, IBM will provide a range of IT services to AstraZeneca throughout its global organization. These cover PC Management, network and communications services, including e-mail, and computer operations support. AstraZeneca will retain control of its IT technical strategy and the development and support of its application systems.