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CGI wins contract to develop England's new flood forecasting system


LONDON Jan. 10, 2017 CGI (NYSE: GIB) (TSX: GIB.A) announced it has won a new three year, £5 million, contract with England's Environment Agency to design, deliver and run England's new Future Flood Forecasting System (FFFS). FFFS will make use of the latest scalable cloud computing, enabling the Environment Agency to produce and share flood forecasts and products with greater efficiency and effectiveness. The new system will also be easier and more cost effective to maintain and develop in light of future needs.

FFFS will also improve the productivity of forecasters, through a more streamlined user experience and less need for manual intervention. Ultimately, the new system will improve the quality and lead time of forecasting products, which increases the likelihood of communities, utilities and flood risk management authorities taking more effective action to reduce the impacts of floods.

The new system will also provide a nationally consistent, single system that is highly resilient and easily configurable. It will be able to quickly scale in times of flood and maximise the use of rich data analysis technologies to improve the quality and accuracy of flood forecasts whilst future proofing the system for years to come. Map-based visualisation will allow multiple sets of data to be overlaid, enhancing the richness of information available to forecasters and improving the accuracy of flood forecasting.

"We are absolutely committed to increasing the timeliness, accuracy and usefulness of our flood forecasts in order to improve our response to flooding, and the Future Flood Forecasting System will play a key role. It will bring together regional systems into a single national system to make it quicker and easier to monitor forecasts and provide our experts with more time to analyse the data and communicate with our teams on the ground," said Craig Woolhouse, Deputy Director Flood Incident Management at the Environment Agency.

"This is a data-centric, mission-critical system and CGI is proud to have been selected to develop it. We are implementing the very best technologies, and developing using an agile methodology, to ensure that the system evolves regularly and absolutely reflects the needs of users," added Elwyn Jones, Vice President of UK Central Government and Justice at CGI. "We have married our own capabilities with extensive hydrology expertise from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the latest innovations from British SME, Mapcite. This solution will digitally transform the way floods are forecasted across the country"

The Future Flood Forecasting System is based on CGI's Digital Insight Platform, blending innovative digital technology with powerful data analytics and data management technologies. Running on Microsoft's Azure Cloud, it offers levels of scalability including 'bursting' for times of peak data processing demand during extreme weather and flood conditions.

Map-based data visualisation technology from Mapcite will enable users to understand forecast outputs and assess the likely impacts on high-risk areas and assets such as hospitals, sub-stations and schools. Mapcite is part of CGI's SME Accelerate programme designed to help innovative small and medium enterprises gain greater opportunities to access CGI's government and commercial contracts whilst delivering rapid innovation to CGI clients. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology will provide the depth and breadth of hydrology and forecast model experience required to ensure that the CGI technology solution has hydrology and forecast modelling at its core.

CGI has a strong heritage in data management and analytics deployments. Recent work includes a programme with UK Sport to help the body use powerful analytics to assign funding to individual sports in line with their chances of Olympics medal success. In addition, the company has experience providing the system for the Radioactive Incident Monitoring Network (RIMNET) that forecasts the impact of potential nuclear incidents. It also has significant Earth Observation experience gained through work with clients including the European Space Agency. Such work is focused on the management and integration of data provided by forecasts and satellites including the creation of valuable applications based on those data streams.

About CGI

Founded in 1976, CGI Group Inc. is the fifth largest independent information technology and business process services firm in the world. Approximately 68,000 professionals serve thousands of global clients from offices and delivery centers across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, leveraging a comprehensive portfolio of services, including high-end business and IT consulting, systems integration, application development and maintenance, and infrastructure management, as well as 150 IP-based services and solutions. With annual revenue in excess of C$10 billion and an order backlog exceeding C$20 billion, CGI shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB). Website:


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