Alcan signs $200M agreement with CGI

Canadian aluminum manufacturer Alcan Inc. has agreed to a 10-year, $200 million IT outsourcing contract with CGI Group Inc.

Under the agreement, CGI will manage Alcan’s help desk operations and provide user support, data centre management services, as well as electronic messaging systems. This will cover Alcan’s operations in Quebec, British Columbia and in parts of the U.S.

The companies signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday, with a final contract expected to be signed by October 2002. The agreement will create 60 additional positions and maintain 100 existing jobs in CGI’s Jonquiere, Que.-based application development technology support centre in the Saguenay region of Quebec.

“Our centre in Jonquiere was created 18 years ago, in 1984, to better serve Alcan,” said Eileen Murphy, spokesperson for CGI. “We currently have 200 employees there, all them touch on the Alcan project, but for what we announced yesterday, 100 of those 200 will be focused on what we announced.”

Catherine Doyle says the company wanted to be able to have more predictable costs and make its IT infrastructure more flexible. “In terms of the IT portion, it’s (CGI’s) core business. They have the knowledge base that can provide us with a more streamlined way of managing our IT functions,” said the Montreal-based external communications consultant with Alcan.

This latest agreement will extend the long relationship between Alcan and CGI that has spanned over 20 years. Over that period, CGI has provided consulting services, basic infrastructure support and IT projects to Alcan.

“By outsourcing certain IT services, we will have a more efficient IT infrastructure and a greater return on our IT investment,” said Travis Engen, president and CEO of Alcan, in a press release issued yesterday.