A large German insurer has hired an outside company to run computer operations for its U.S. subsidiaries.

Allianz S.E., Munich, has awarded a $330 million, 7.5-year contract to International Business Machines Corp., Armonk, N.Y., to run the information systems for its Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company unit and its Allianz Life Insurance Company of America unit.

Fireman’s Fund already has been relying on IBM to handle some information services, but the move to put IBM in charge of information systems for Allianz Life, Golden Valley, Minn., is new, Allianz says.

IBM will be responsible for running data centers, supporting users at their desks, printing, finishing, security monitoring, and other processes, Allianz says.

In other insurance technology news, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Little Rock, Ark., has agreed to extend its current relationship with Benefitfocus.com Inc., Charleston, S.C., for 4 more years.

Arkansas Blue has been using group insurance enrollment, billing and data exchange systems from Benefitfocus during the past 4 years and will continue to use those systems and new Benefitfocus health account systems over the next 4 years, Benefitfocus says.