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IBM and Nova Scotia Team to Invest in Future Economic Growth

New investments will create up to 500 highly-skilled local jobs, establish local IBM centre of services excellence; facilitate higher-ed analytics and research collaboration to build essential skills for tomorrow's economy

HALIFAX, NS and MARKHAM, ON, Nov. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - The Government of Nova Scotia and IBM (NYSE:IBM), in close partnership with Nova Scotia Business, Inc. and a consortium of six higher education institutions, led by Nova Scotia Community College, today announced new agreements to establish an IBM Global Delivery Centre, create up to 500 new highly skilled jobs and nurture "economy of tomorrow" analytics skills within Nova Scotia.

As a result of the agreement, IBM will create a new Canadian delivery centre for application services to be located in Halifax, with services also delivered from Sydney. It is the first IBM centre of its kind in Canada. The new centre will become part of IBM's global network of delivery centres that provide application development and support services to manage and transform IT systems for local government departments, businesses and universities.

In an associated ten-year deal, IBM and the Province have agreed that IBM will provide SAP application management services for Nova Scotia's Core Competency Centre (CCC) and Health Administrative Services Program (HASP) programs. IBM will extend job offers to all seventy-five government employees who are currently managing these services. These employees will have an opportunity to grow and expand their highly valued skills within Nova Scotia as members of one the world's largest, most experienced global services teams.  

In parallel, IBM is making a multi-million dollar investment and collaborating with Nova Scotia Community College, Dalhousie University, Acadia University, Cape Breton University, Saint Francis Xavier University and St. Mary's University to create a province-wide centre of excellence in analytics education, certification, training and research. The collaboration will deliver post-secondary analytics curriculum to produce workers with the analytics skills that are in high demand, train graduates in skills to make them more employable, and retrain valuable workers with aging skill-sets.

IBM's move to bring jobs and employees to Nova Scotia as part of the new investments is intended to create up to 500 new jobs over the next eight years.

"This partnership is good news for Nova Scotia's students, families, and businesses, and it's exactly the kind of progress needed to help create jobs and grow Nova Scotia's economy of the future," said Premier Darrell Dexter. "IBM's decision to establish its only Canadian global delivery centre in Nova Scotia will create hundreds of high-paying, long-term jobs, and position Nova Scotia as a leader in innovation and analytics. The partnership between IBM, the province, and our academic institutions will attract more investment, more businesses, and more jobs of the future to Nova Scotia."

With the exponential growth of big data across industries, analytics is rapidly emerging as a competitive differentiator that generates key insights for organizations to sense, respond and predict relevant market and business trends in real-time. This insight will facilitate better decisions, more efficient operations and improved business performance. The new higher education collaboration will help equip Nova Scotia students with the high demand analytics skills necessary to drive the economy of the future - from Nova Scotia.

"These investments weave together our business insights, industry-leading software portfolio, world-class technology research and operations expertise with application development and analytics to successfully extend our long-term collaboration with Nova Scotia and its higher educational institutions," said John Lutz, president, IBM Canada. "The projects showcase Nova Scotia's continued commitment to create highly skilled job opportunities for citizens as we team to efficiently stimulate growth and prepare for the future."

Employers today are looking for a broad set of workers with the right mix of high-value skills to support transformative projects that are now underway -- modernizing health care systems, making aging buildings more energy efficient, and improving the delivery and effectiveness of public service. Students studying analytics, computer science, supply chain, and engineering will all be candidates for employment by programs in the new Canadian delivery centre.

"Today's students need continuous preparation for a digital world that blends both business and technology skills," said Don Bureaux, President, Nova Scotia Community College. "Our collaboration with IBM will spark the growth of specific skills businesses will need to grow and compete in a global marketplace. With this step, we will be providing Nova Scotia students with a home-grown opportunity to build these in-demand skills for meaningful economic impact."

IBM's global delivery centre expertise spans over three dozen countries, serving thousands of clients worldwide. Establishment of the centre will help to unify application support and increase efficiencies for clients in Atlantic Canada, across the country, and globally.  IBM has a set of integrated tools, processes and disciplines that will be transplanted to the new Canadian centre to deliver superior applications for clients.

SOURCE IBM Canada Ltd.

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