Bombardier Aerospace, a division of Bombardier Inc., Monday agreed to outsource its help desk, data centre and infrastructure management to CGI Group Inc. for a seven-year

period.

The contract, worth $210 million, will see 210 Bombardier Aerospace employees move over to CGI starting Sept. 8. A third of those employees are currently located in Toronto, the remainder in Montreal, according to CGI spokesperson Eileen Murphy.

“”We announced a few months ago that we were entering into a phase where we were looking for cost reduction opportunities as well as efficiency gains,”” said Bombardier Aerospace spokesperson Lise St-Arnaud. “”Basically, what we’re looking at is focusing on our core businesses, which is obviously manufacturing aircraft.””

Bombardier announced its repcapitalization program in April of this year and has since divested itself of a unit of its defence services, its recreational products and sold Belfast City Airport to Ferrovial of Spain, for $77.7 million.

Murphy pegged the transition time over to CGI at approximately one month. She added that some of Bombardier Aerospace’s IT equipment may be moved into CGI’s data centre facilities, but the details haven’t been completely ironed out yet.

“”What’s going to happen with the data centre . . . that’s going to be decided in a transition period. But their people will be taking care of it, that’s for sure,”” said St-Arnaud.

The number of people that will remain in-house, but as CGI employees, has also yet to be determined, but that will be decided as e job requirements necessitate, said St-Arnaud.

The transition should be relatively smooth, she added, since the people that currently look after Bombardier Aerospace’s IT will continue to — albeit as CGI employees. “”The same people will be providing the same services. There’s no loss of expertise with this contract,”” she said.

Bombardier Aerospace already has a short history of working with CGI. The Montreal-based outsourcing company has been taking care of its legacy applications, but the deal was so small it didn’t merit a public announcement, said Murphy. She pegged the size of that contract at a few million dollars.

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