Rail firm signs £154m outsourcing deal with IBM

Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) has signed a $154m, seven-year IT outsourcing deal with IBM Canada.

Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) has signed a $154m, seven-year IT outsourcing deal with IBM Canada.

Under the deal, IBM Canada will operate the railway's IT infrastructure.

CPR's mainframe and data operations in Calgary and Toronto will migrate to IBM facilities, and about 100 of the railway's IT workers will become IBM Canada employees.

The move is designed to help CPR better manage its costs and improve service to customers, said Allen Borak, vice-president of information services at CPR.

IBM will provide a secure computing environment, including server, storage and disaster recovery planning. The agreement also envisions benefits to CPR from innovative business processes and applications developed at IBM's Centre for Transportation Innovation.

IBM will help CPR review its computing environment to reduce costs and make its assets more productive. It will also help the railway identify ways to enhance services for shippers, Borak said.

CPR said it relies heavily on its computing infrastructure to schedule all components of its operations, including mapping out complex interconnections of freight cars, locomotives, facilities, track and train crews to meet more than 10,000 individual customer service commitments every day.

"This deal goes beyond traditional outsourcing," said Ed Kilroy, president of IBM Canada.

"It reflects a trend we are seeing in the Canada and worldwide marketplace. Customers want more than just a technology company to provide technology support, they want a business partner with deep industry knowledge and expertise."

Linda Rosencrance writes for Computerworld

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