CGI Group is opening of a new security centre in Ottawa that it hopes will boost Canadian revenues by better appealing to businesses facing growing cyber security threats.
The Montreal-based information technology services company said the Centre of Excellence will be equipped to provide around the clock expertise to public and private clients from more than 200 security professionals. The centre also creates a single area to support security efforts in Canada and abroad.
CGI (TSX:GIB.A) vice-president Lorne Gorber said the change is part of the company's efforts to target new business from financial services and other sectors over the coming years to accelerate flat revenues in Canada.
"If all went well, it would certainly push the Canadian business and no doubt the Ottawa business unit well into double-digit growth territory," he said in an interview.
He said CGI earns tens of millions of dollars in revenues annually in Canada and hundreds of millions globally from its operations that target cyber security.
CGI said the centre's security operations - one of three such accredited security evaluation test centres in Canada - will protect Canada's largest corporations and deal with about 45 million potential cyber events each week.
Last year, the cost of cyber attacks in Canada grew to $1.4 billion, undermining corporate profits and reputations, the company said in a release.
Gorber said the Ottawa centre may add a few employees over time as it improves its Canadian offering to seek new clients and convince existing customers to use more of its security services, which range from product testing to making their own systems more secure and combating corporate espionage.
"This is really creating a unified global offering that now allows us to go back and knock on the doors of all of our clients," he said, adding that CGI will go after cross-border opportunities.
Among its customers is the Canadian Payments Association, which ensures that more than $170 billion of transactions are securely cleared through its systems daily.
Meanwhile, CGI said Tuesday that the World Anti-Doping Agency has signed on with its Logica subsidiary in Europe to provide a new telephone app that will allow athletes around the globe to easily notify the agency of their whereabouts to facilitate out-of-competition testing.
The new app will be available on the iPhone and Android smartphones in the third quarter.
The app was originally launched last year by the Dutch Doping Authority for its own athletes. While it brings attention to Logica's operations, the service won't generate substantial revenues, said Gorber. While CGI will work with companies to develop private apps, it has no plans to pursue a broader consumer market.
"You won't see us developing a catalogue of apps that we're out there selling for 99 cents," he said.