News Release

Cisco Systems Canada and IBM Global Services Upgrade Canadian Tire's Call Centre Operations

New network quadruples capacity, increases line-speed 600%
Aug 22, 2000

TORONTO, ON - August 22, 2000 - Cisco Systems Canada and IBM Canada announce Canadian Tire Acceptance Limited's (CTAL) selection of Cisco's fast Ethernet technology for its 1,600 seat call centre.

Working with the IBM Global Services team, project managers on the installation, Cisco significantly improved network performance by unifying Canadian Tire's local-area network (LAN), quadrupling network capacity and delivering a six-fold improvement in line speeds. The LAN supports a 24/7 operation and offers CTAL the ability to expand the availability, scalability and cost-effectiveness of solutions offered by its Information Technology Products and Services (ITP&S) department.

ITP&S provides technology and services to keep Canadian Tire's call centre - which supports the Canadian Tire proprietary Retail credit card and Options MasterCard, the AutoClub professional dispatch group, as well as third-party dispatching in French, English and Spanish - running around the clock. In addition to unifying the LAN - creating an intelligent network capable of handling advanced e-commerce applications - the upgraded network will eventually support mobile workers and potentially a Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony solution.

"CTAL's call centre environment has to be available and Cisco's unified LAN platform gives CTAL the power to deliver a 24/7 solution," says Leo Heffernan, Director, Infrastructure Solution Delivery, ITP&S, CTAL. "The team of Cisco and IBM Global Services was incredibly flexible. The two companies were able to adapt to the speed of the implementation schedule without any hesitation. They are committed to our company and our long-term goals, which is in line with Canadian Tire's policy of 'Customers for Life'. Cisco and IBM Global Services have put us where we want to be."

The network solution developed for Canadian Tire represents the first Canadian project under the Cisco Systems/IBM Global Services strategic alliance to drive development of the global Internet Economy by combining mutual strengths in: rapid deployment of networking applications and joint creation and delivery of end-to-end e-business solutions.

"By combining Cisco's networking technologies with IBM's comprehensive consulting and systems integration capabilities, we are able to deliver the very best networking solutions available in the market today, regardless of the customers' size or business focus," says Phil Soper, General Manager, IT Consulting and Implementation, IBM Global Services, Canada. "The networking solution at Canadian Tire is a wonderful example of how this strategic alliance is working to help our clients cross sell, reduce costs and improve service to their customers."

"Cisco's work with our strategic partners has one goal: enabling higher levels of customer satisfaction by giving customers competitive advantage in their markets," says Nitin Kawale, Director, Enterprise Operations, Cisco Systems Canada. "Cisco's engineering and product talent, combined with IBM Global Services' service installation expertise, is an unbeatable combination. Canadian Tire benefited from our joint expertise. It's like working with one partner, not two companies with two ways of operating."

About Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited - the country's largest hardgoods retailer - offers a unique mix of products and services including Automotive, Sports and Leisure and Home Products. With 438 Canadian Tire Associate Stores serving communities nationwide, Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited with the Associate Dealers together employ more than 38,000 Canadians and form one of Canada's best-known and most successful retailers.

About IBM Global Services

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable utilities, energy services companies, and communications service providers improve their operational efficiencies and take full advantage of the new era of e-business. IBM Global Services is the world's largest information technology services provider, with 1999 revenues of more than $32 billion. Services is the fastest growing part of IBM, with 12,000 professionals in Canada and more than 138,000 employees serving customers in 160 countries. IBM Global Services integrates IBM's broad range of capabilities - services, hardware, software and research - to help companies of all sizes realize the full value of information technology. For more information visit or

About Cisco Systems Canada Co.

Cisco Systems - with $18.8 billion (US) in revenues and over 30,000 employees - is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Established in 1990, Cisco Systems Canada employs over 500 Canadians and is headquartered in Toronto, with field sales and service offices across the country. In addition, Cisco also has a state-of-the-art development centre in Kanata, ON - focusing on the development of optical internetworking solutions to build the next generation of the Internet backbone.

The Internet is changing the way people work, live, learn and play - and Cisco Systems Canada is a primary agent of this change and a compelling example of the power of this revolution. By widely deploying business solutions based on the Internet, Cisco Systems saves over $825 million (US) per year in operating costs, has grown revenues by 100% in two years and has increased customer satisfaction at the same time. Cisco produces networking solutions for enterprise organizations, service providers and small/emerging businesses.

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