Partners with Province of Manitoba, City of Winnipeg, YES! Winnipeg and Manitoba Hydro to Open Next Generation Computing and App Solution Centre
TORONTO, May 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX:CTC) (TSX:CTC.a) today announced that it is executing the next phase of its innovation strategy and will be opening the 'Canadian Tire Cloud Computing Centre' in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the fall of 2013. One of the most advanced centres of its kind in North America, the 28,000 square foot site will house a digital content warehouse, application lab, testing lab and high performance data centre. It will serve as the core digital hub for the Canadian Tire Family of Companies.
Scheduled to be operational in October of this year, the new centre will provide the Company - which includes Canadian Tire Retail, Mark's, Sport Chek, Sports Experts, National Sports, Atmosphere, Partsource, Gas+ and Financial Services - with 20-times more computing power and 10-times more network bandwidth than its existing technology infrastructure. The Canadian Tire Cloud Computing Centre, which will add 50 new Winnipeg-based employees to the Canadian Tire team in its first year, will be used to host the Company's new 'App Factory,' where advanced digital solutions will be developed.
"The Centre is a foundational piece to the digital work we're implementing across the Family of Companies. As retail evolves into e-tail, the centre will accelerate this revolution," said Eugene Roman, Chief Technology Officer, Canadian Tire Corporation. "The applications we are developing will power improvements to back-end operations as well as enhance the customers' in-store shopping experience and turbo-charge their interaction with our brands online."Canadian Tire selected Manitoba because of the region's burgeoning technology community, which are the result of significant government investments in the sector from the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg. "Despite global economic uncertainty, Manitoba continues to grow and attract investment that is creating jobs and building momentum in downtown Winnipeg," said Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger. "We are pleased to support Canadian Tire's Advanced Cloud Computing Centre, and we look forward to attracting further investment as a result of the new media and data processing business incentives in Budget 2013." "The opening of the Canadian Tire data centre will create terrific opportunities in our technology sector and will significantly advance the digital media industry in Winnipeg," said Mayor Sam Katz. "This announcement by one of Canada's top retailers also signals our success in making Winnipeg a city of choice for companies looking to make considerable investments." Canadian Tire Corporation turned to YES! Winnipeg, the city's business development team within Economic Development Winnipeg, for support with a number of critical program elements including sourcing local vendors and partners as well as liaising with the Provincial and Municipal governments. This work included playing a key role in facilitating Canadian Tire's relationship with Manitoba Hydro and working to ensure that the Canadian Tire Cloud Computing Centre meets the latest energy efficiency and green computing standards. Canadian Tire and its Family of Companies have recently made a number of significant investments in agile technology solutions that improve store operations and digitally power customer interactions in-store and online. This year, FGL Sports opened a state-of-the-art Sport Chek 'lab' store in Toronto and Canadian Tire Retail launched its new interactive online catalogue. Additionally, in March the Company became the first retail partner in Communitech with the opening of a digital development lab in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, which will be closely linked to the new data centre in Winnipeg. About Canadian Tire Corporation Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX:CTC.a) (TSX:CTC) is a Family of Companies that includes Canadian Tire Retail, Partsource, Gas+, FGL Sports (Sport Chek, Hockey Experts, Sports Experts, National Sports, Intersport and Atmosphere), Mark's and Canadian Tire Financial Services. With more than 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets from coast-to-coast, our primary retail business categories - Automotive, Living, Fixing, Playing and Apparel - are supported and strengthened by our Financial Services division. Over 85,000 people are employed across the Canadian Tire enterprise, which was founded in 1922 and remains one of Canada's most recognized and trusted brands. For more information, visit Corp.CanadianTire.ca.