By | November 23, 2023
Telco standardization

Microsoft announced that it will expand its current digital infrastructure in Quebec along with new AI and cybersecurity skills initiatives that will bolster the province’s robust innovation economy, drive high-value job creation and help prepare the province for the new AI economy.

Microsoft will invest $500 million in expanding its hyperscale cloud and AI infrastructure in Quebec over the next two years. This investment will also increase the size of Microsoft’s on-premises cloud infrastructure by 750 percent across Canada.

The announcement also coincides with the release of a report by Ernst & Young LLP (EY) which found that Microsoft and its Quebec ecosystem, which includes more than 3,200 partners and significant cloud infrastructure accounts, support over 57,000 jobs and contribute more than $6.4 billion annually to Quebec’s GDP.

Expand Quebec’s digital capacity to seize the AI ​​opportunity

Microsoft’s $500 million investment in digital infrastructure in Quebec will expand its computing capacity by about 240 percent over the next three years. It will also accelerate the pace of AI innovation and allow Quebec organizations to build on the significant capacity already in place across the province – including an existing data center region, launched in 2016. Microsoft was the first company to launch enterprise-class hyper – scale cloud services in Quebec.

– Carl Viel, President and CEO of Québec International.

Microsoft will ensure that the future data center locations, which are slated to begin construction in the coming months in L’Ancienne-Lorette, Donnacona, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures and Lévis, will help meet the company’s sustainability goals of being carbon negative. water positive and zero waste by 2030. This includes the use of low-carbon materials during construction and the use of renewable energy, advanced cooling features and measures to reduce diesel fuel use during operation.

Build capabilities for the era of AI

New economic opportunities driven by digital transformation and advances in AI cannot be realized without a robust skilled workforce in place. As part of today’s announcement, Microsoft is also working with industry leaders in Quebec on a series of initiatives to help people gain the skills and abilities they need to succeed in the digital economy by providing access to learning resources, certifications and job search tools . .

Telco standardization

In the face of accelerated AI innovation and growing cybercrime, these programs are designed to help future-proof Quebec’s thriving digital economy and create new opportunities for citizens and businesses across the province.

KPMG and Microsoft launch Operational Risk Skills Development Center

KPMG International’s latest CEO Outlook revealed that a staggering 93 percent of Canadian CEOs are concerned that the rise of GenAI will make them even more vulnerable to cyber security breaches. Yet only 56 percent of them believe they are ready to face a cyber attack.

To meet this challenge, KPMG Canada and Microsoft Canada recently launched the Operational Risk Skills Development Centre, which will offer free and hands-on training to help businesses and governments build cybersecurity defenses, navigate the opportunities and challenges of GenAI, and implement it responsibly. The center represents an investment of US$1.7 million over three years and aims to train more than 11,000 students in the first phase.

“The creation of the Operational Risk Skills Development Center marks an important step in the global alliance between KPMG International and Microsoft,” said Benoit Lacoste Bienvenue, Regional Managing Partner Québec region, KPMG. ”Through this collaboration, we aim to strengthen cybersecurity and make generative AI a transformative opportunity, instead of a threat.”

Microsoft deepens collaboration with NPower Canada

NPower Canada, in partnership with Microsoft Canada, is expanding its Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator in Quebec to offer new digital education and career development opportunities, which will help Quebec’s diverse job seekers compete. With significant investment from DIGITAL, Microsoft and the CIBC Foundation, the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator expanded in the fall of 2022, enabling NPower Canada to establish its first bilingual personal training site in Quebec.

As part of the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator, NPower Canada will now leverage Microsoft’s curriculum to launch its intermediate Junior Data Analyst program in the province, including the Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals certification, which prepares job seekers with the necessary skills for digitally enabled careers. Applications are now open for the inaugural cohort starting in May 2024.

Chris Barry, President of Microsoft Canada

Today’s announcement builds on the significant investments Microsoft has made in Quebec and is just the latest example of our deep commitment to this province. These investments will not only give Quebec’s private and public sector organizations more capacity and increased resilience to transform operations, but will also enable a reliable and secure foundation to scale solutions faster to market and compete globally, securing Quebec’s future in the the digital economy.

The Honorable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quebec is at the forefront of global innovation in artificial intelligence, with one of the highest concentrations of deep learning researchers in the world. Our government is committed to working with partners, such as Microsoft, to ensure that all players in the Canadian AI ecosystem have access to the resources and computing infrastructure they need to advance the commercialization of AI systems here at home, and to advance AI that provide social and economic benefits to all Canadians,

Julia Blackburn, CEO, NPower Canada

Microsoft has played a critical role in our mission to provide in-demand digital skills and professional development to Quebec’s job seekers. We are excited to continue our alliance with Microsoft to offer even more opportunities in the province and continue to equip Canadians with the skills they need to thrive in digitally enabled roles,

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