This excerpt taken from the GPS 10-K filed Mar 28, 2006.
The implementation of our IT services agreement with IBM could cause disruptions in our operations and an adverse effect on our financial results.
In January 2006, we entered into a non-exclusive services agreement with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) under which IBM will operate certain significant aspects of our information technology infrastructure that historically have been operated by us, including technology services supporting our mainframe, server, network and data center, and store operations, as well as help desk, end user support, and some disaster recovery services. As a result of this agreement, we expect to enhance the capabilities of and level of service realized from our technology infrastructure, while reducing the costs associated with these functions over time. However, our ability to realize the expected benefits of this arrangement is subject to various risks, some of which are not within our complete control. These risks include the risk that we will be unable to transition these services to IBM on a timely basis, the risk that IBM will not be able to provide the anticipated levels of service initially and as our business changes over time, and the risk that IBM will be unable to maintain the security and integrity of the Companys data under the terms of the agreement. In addition, although there are certain pricing protections built into the services agreement, there is a risk that our costs under this arrangement, including the amounts that we are obligated to pay IBM, will exceed the costs that we would have incurred if we had not entered into this arrangement.
We are unable to provide assurances that some or all of these risks will not occur, in particular, because we do not have experience outsourcing these aspects of our technology infrastructure. Failure to effectively mitigate these risks if they occur could have a material adverse effect on our operations and financial results.