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IBM’s Client Innovation Centre expands into AI

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Montréal facility grows mission with artificial intelligence and salesforce focus creating 100 jobs in 2019

IBM announced the company is partnering with Montréal-based data science expert IVADO, the Institute for Data Valorization, to combine research and industry expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that will drive transformational innovation for IBM clients. Additionally, IBM is planning to create 100 high-skilled jobs as part of its Client Innovation Centre – Montréal to be focused on AI and Salesforce, another key area of expertise for growth in Canada and globally. 

IBM Canada launched its IBM Client Innovation Centre in Montréal (CIC) in 2016 – the second from IBM Services in Canada – with the goal of fast tracking the digital transformation of both public and private Canadian organizations. Today’s announcement commits IBM to further accelerating the delivery of innovation with Artificial Intelligence and Salesforce expertise.

Building AI bench strength to deliver value to Canadian clients

“It is no secret Montréal has established itself as a global hub in AI. The city is a magnet for talent and investments. Research in AI is quickly expanding worldwide – and particularly in Montréal – but AI is far from having reached its full potential in delivering concrete results for businesses,” said Claude Guay, General Manager, IBM Services, Canada. “IBM’s CIC in Montréal will focus on delivering value to its clients through applied AI and bringing real solutions to real problems.”

In the next year, IBM will be looking to expand its AI practice in Montréal by hiring people – from recent graduates to more experienced workers – for roles such as machine learning engineers, data scientists, full stack developers and data engineers.


To deepen its AI expertise, IBM will also be teaming with IVADO and its pool of more than 1,100 affiliated scientists from Université de Montréal, HEC Montréal, and Polytechnique Montréal who will bring an incredible depth of expertise in AI to the IBM-IVADO collaboration and ultimately deliver better value to clients.

IVADO’s CEO Pr. Gilles Savard says this partnership with IBM Canada will strengthen Montréal’s position as an AI powerhouse. “The strength of our local business and research community is a key reason why Montréal has become a global hub in AI.  IVADO is pleased to see a leader like IBM invest in – and partner with – our ecosystem as IVADO believes in the importance of strong collaboration between academia and businesses. IBM already delivers value to its clients through AI and, moving forward, we are thrilled to have our top minds work with IBM to deliver even more innovation and value.”

Today, IBM Canada and Canadian mining company Goldcorp also announced a significant milestone in their AI collaboration – the launch of a first of a kind technology product co-authored by IBM Canada and Goldcorp. ‘IBM Exploration with Watson’ uses artificial intelligence to improve predictability for gold mineralization. IBM Canada started working with Goldcorp in 2017 to bring Artificial Intelligence to the Canadian mining industry for the first time. Earlier this year, IBM shared news that initial results indicated IBM Watson Explorer had helped improve the efficiency of geological data analysis by 97%.

“AI has the potential to be a game changer for us in terms of access to and analysis of the data we need in improving exploration efforts,” said Robin Fell, Director, Strategic Technology Solutions, Goldcorp. “Our AI collaboration with IBM Canada has borne promising results already and we are expanding the scope of our project to test data from other geographies. Having access to IBM’s depth and breadth of AI expertise in Canada has been integral to the success of this work.”

Salesforce: A key area of growth

IBM’s announcement builds off Salesforce being named the #1 CRM provider for fifth consecutive year by International Data Corporation (IDC), and Salesforce’s recent commitment to invest $2B in its Canadian business over 5 years. IBM and Bluewolf, an IBM company, provide strategy, creative and technology talent to help thousands of clients digitally reinvent their business with Salesforce.

“As a Salesforce Global Strategic Partner with over 17 years of Salesforce expertise, we are excited about expanding our practice in Canada and supporting clients to deliver digital transformation with Salesforce,” said Eric Berridge, CEO, Bluewolf, an IBM Company.

“IBM and Salesforce have been strategic partners to TELUS, supporting us in our B2B transformation and evolving the customer experience,” said Steve Rhodes, senior program manager with TELUS. “IBM’s commitment to build capacity and develop its Salesforce practice at their CIC Montréal is great news, and we are excited about the prospects for both our organizations.”

Today, IBM serves a number of North American clients through Salesforce certified talent in the Montreal CIC. In the next year, IBM will continue to significantly increase its talent in Montreal and hire more Salesforce Consultants, Developers, and Architects.

“IBM Canada has been successful in developing new expertise and delivering digital transformation for our clients through our innovative model for collaborative, client-focused work at the Client Innovation Centre,” said Claude Guay of IBM. “We are now strengthening that commitment to focus on two new practices: AI and Salesforce. In the coming year, we will be increasing capacity and developing these two Canadian practices right here in Montréal.”




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