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CGI opens global center of excellence for retail in Lille

13 Aug 2015 | ICT, A region on the move

Canada-based CGI, a global player in ICT services, helps retailers make the digital transition smoothly and successfully. In 2015, the company opened its world center of excellence for retail and consumer services in Lille, featuring the store of the future for tomorrow’s digital customers.

1st global center of excellence for retail and consumer services opens in Lille

Canada-based CGI, the world’s fifth-largest independent IT service specialist, chose Lille as the site of its first global center of excellence for retail and consumer services—an international hub designed to serve distributors around the globe.

The center’s goals:

  • show major retailers how to optimize the customer experience with innovative practices derived from new technologies
  • highlight CGI’s expertise and hands-on excellence in helping companies transition into the digital age
  • make Lille and Northern France a showcase for the retail industry.

CGI’s store of the future

Housed in CGI’s premises in Lille, the center includes a full-scale “store of tomorrow” that integrates all of the latest technologies to reframe the customer journey—from the moment shoppers set foot in a store through to check-out. Along the way Big Data technology, service-oriented architecture (SOA), near-field communication (NFC) and geolocation transform the shopping experience with customized promotions, personalized call-outs for particular products, tools to accelerate response times, and full inventory management and control. All of these benefits are now within reach for retailers—and for their customers.

“Technological advances in all-channel retail, mobility, predictive behavioral analytics and Big Data can now be used to create a varied, personalized shopping experience that heightens awareness of retailers and promotes their brand image,” says Jean-Baptiste Branquart, who heads the new CGI center in Lille. “Which lets distributors interact with customers at an individual level.”

Other solutions featured at the center include:

  • a facial recognition camera that can detect the sex, age and even the mood of the person scanned
  • technology that uses mobile phones to recognize and interact with customers in real time
  • NFC terminals displaying personalized content
  • tools that allow store employees to engage with customers more easily and advise them on products and services
  • a Services 2.0 space
  • a connected lounge

Lille—a retail powerhouse

CGI has been present in the Lille area for over 20 years and now employs more than 400 people. Its new center is designed to make the region a worldwide showcase of retail excellence. And the industry is definitely well-represented: over 70 key retailers are headquartered here, employing nearly 50,000 people and generating total sales of €65bn—making retail trade a major contributor to the vibrant business scene in Greater Lille.

“Lille and its region have a wealth of expertise in technology and in-depth understanding of the challenges facing retailers—just as Toulouse is a focus for the aerospace industry. This is the ideal place for our center of excellence, especially since Lille has been awarded official ‘French Tech’ status by the French state,” says Jean-Michel Baticle, head of CGI’s operations in France, Luxembourg and Morocco. “We’re absolutely delighted that the city is partnering with us on this project,” he adds.

Daniel Lecerf, CGI Senior Vice President for Northern France, agrees. “Our center of excellence combines CGI’s local and global expertise—our vision, the guidance we provide to clients through our consultants and engineers, our on-site production capability for software and apps, and our capacity to maintain innovative digital solutions specifically for retail and distribution,” he said.

Over the next three years, CGI plans to recruit 300 new staff for its Lille site, most of them specializing in science and technology.


Source: CGI

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