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Global IT and business consulting services firm CGI is one of the new faces at High Tech Campus Eindhoven (HTCE) this year. They recently moved into HTC5, where they transformed their office space into an attractive modern working environment. Tessy van Stuijvenberg, Sector Vice President for the South of The Netherlands at CGI, tells us more about their local focus and activities, the challenges and opportunities brought on by the pandemic and why CGI chose HTCE as their new location.

CGI is among the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world. With 78.000 employees working at 400 locations worldwide, and a revenue of 10.5 billion euro the Canadian corporate has a successful track record of many decades. In The Netherlands CGI has 2500 employees and 7 local offices, the latest of which opened here at High Tech Campus Eindhoven. CGI was already based in Eindhoven for some time, their previous office located at Flight Forum. Local clients include well known manufacturing and high tech brands like Philips, Signify, NXP and ASML.

Tessy van Stuijvenberg_CGI
Innovation vibe with clients
Tessy van Stuijvenberg is Sector Vice President of CGI in the South of The Netherlands, responsible for CGI’s business around the Arnhem, Eindhoven and Maastricht office locations with around 300 employees. “Over the course of the pandemic all of us have experienced that working from home and meeting via Teams can be quite useful”, says van Stuijvenberg. “But it is missing out on the social engagement we need and are used to. Our newly set up office is a place you really enjoy going to. Partly for that human interaction, but also for the atmosphere and the synergy. We renovated the space in HTC5 ourselves and made it very personal and homey. There are comfortable couches and armchairs, a bar element and photos of iconic Eindhoven locations made by one of our own employees. It’s really targeted to social interaction, because we really missed each other working from home. In our people oriented business it is important to meet, learn and inspire through social meetings and gatherings.”

The move to HTCE made sense in many ways, Van Stuijvenberg says. “Our experts already spent a lot of time there, working with clients like Philips, Signify and NXP. And I really like the innovation vibe on Campus with clients, partners and students all mixing together. HTCE is the ideal place to work on innovative projects, such as 5G and Artificial Intelligence where we are already very active. So you can feel the Campus is a happening place. I wanted our own people to experience that as well. And they simply love the place. It’s also wonderful to be so close to our clients and to be able to just walk into their offices when needed. We’ve received very positive feedback already from companies working or interested in working with CGI visiting our new office space. We kindly invite others to do so as well and to contact myself or anyone in my local management team to start the conversation.”

Insights you can act on
One of CGI’s unique selling points is its so called ‘client proximity model’. As a global ICT service provider with an end-to-end portfolio CGI works closely with their clients in a unique embedded relationship. This empowers local teams, like the teams located at HTCE, to build strong, trusted, in-person relationships and ensure accountability for delivering client success. Through this proximity CGI gains deep knowledge of their clients’ businesses and industries and stays attuned to market and cultural needs. It also enables them to deliver innovative solutions proactively and to grow alongside their clients.

“We believe that we can be of most value when we operate close to our clients, so in the same geographical region”, says van Stuijvenberg. “With clients accelerating their digital transformation, looking for the best talent and solutions in the market, we are just around the corner. We understand your language, culture and the complexity of the transformation processes you’re dealing with. Clients can utilise our local expertise while also having access to CGI’s global delivery capability with its multitude of best practices and solutions.”

CGI's end-to-end service portfolio includes Consultancy, Systems Integrations and Managed Services, but CGI also offers so called Intellectual Property to help accelerate digital transformation. “We focus on industrial analytics, cloud transformation, operational cybersecurity and sustainability,” says van Stuijvenberg. “We help our clients unlock the power of data to become more insight-driven and reinvent their business. We build future-proof data analytics and AI platforms that are secure, scalable and enable innovation. Our solutions focus on cloud computing or developing new services in blockchain and RPA.”

During the pandemic CGI actively worked with their clients to respond, rebound and reinvent the best way to utilise the opportunities of technological innovation, Van Stuijvenberg says. “In the covid era digitisation accelerated. Companies were wondering how they could keep servicing their clients with their employees working from home. We were able to support that, anticipating the situation and helping our clients get ready for the future.”

Uncertain times
The pandemic offers both challenges and opportunities, says van Stuijvenberg. “Our clients and the industries we work in have been navigating the impact of the pandemic at varying paces. CGI has helped address immediate needs to operate in industries like Aviation, Manufacturing and Retail, where clients were most heavily impacted. We were able to rapidly focus on new business requirements and reengineer operation models to enable new ways of interactions with clients, employees and suppliers. So whereas 2020 was challenging, we managed to stay close to our clients. And I’m so proud of our employees who were able to make it work and stayed focused in these uncertain times of working from home and anticipating things that were happening in their private life.”

The pandemic inspired a new, hybrid way of working implemented at HTCE, Van Stuijvenberg explains. “We are all exploring and anticipating how to best accommodate the mix of working from home, at our clients and at CGI’s offices. Clients come first, so where we are welcome or needed to work at the client site we will do so, of course within the guidelines of local regulations. Our employees are welcome at our offices and we encourage them to choose wisely. Our new office space is really meant for social interactions and things like collaborative working, such as team sessions. When working from home people are often better able to focus and they experience a better life-work balance. Personally I also noticed that bringing my daughter of eight to school is much nicer than being held up in a traffic jam.”

Lots of opportunities for talent to build their career
CGI is continuously looking to attract new talent. In Eindhoven they have set up collaborations with Fontys college, Avans college and the Technical University. Students get to experience the opportunity and impact from the latest technologies and innovations across the industry. CGI also offers internships to third years and teaches Masterclasses to students in different IT disciplines.

Being a worldwide global player makes CGI attractive to young graduates, says Van Stuijvenberg. “Our company allows you to work across many markets worldwide. If students want to follow an internship abroad I can call my colleagues in Canada or Portugal to arrange it. You can really build your own career here.”