IBM spin-off Kyndryl is hiring hundreds for new Montreal hub





The 350 new employees over the next five years will join the 150 employees already working for the company in the city.

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A new name in tech is expanding in Montreal.

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Kyndryl, the former managed services company that IBM just spun off, plans to hire about 350 people in the city over the next five years to staff the new cloud innovation center. New York-based Kyndryl expects to sign a downtown office lease before the end of the month, said Xerxes Cooper, president of the company’s Canadian division.

IBM cut ties with Kyndryl in November after it decided to focus more on software after its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat two years ago. Kyndryl, a $19 billion company, has approximately 90,000 employees worldwide, including approximately 2,000 in Canada. Key customers here include airlines, banks, insurers, airlines, the federal government, and several provincial governments.

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“This new center is about building capacity and building bilingual skills, because the federal government is a very big customer of ours,” Cooper, a 20-year IBM veteran, said in an interview. “We’re going to hire people from different demographics and partner with universities to bring in young talent that we can train and develop.”

About 150 people already work for Kyndryl’s cloud center in Montreal, Cooper said. The company is looking for information technology professionals with skills in cloud computing, cyber, artificial intelligence and development activities, he said.

“Our customers need the cloud architecture skills,” Cooper says. “Managing all systems, helping to secure systems and help transform them, especially with the cloud — that’s basically our business.”

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Kyndryl’s urge to expand comes as Quebec grapples with an unprecedented workforce shortage, especially in information technology. Half of all IT professions currently face labor shortages, a trend likely to extend through 2023, according to Emploi Québec forecasts.

Despite the ultra-competitive market, Cooper is unfazed.

“We are the largest IT services provider in this country and that in itself attracts a lot of talent,” he says. “Our employees love the scale. They like being able to work on very complex programs. When they work for our company, people have the opportunity to work in multiple industries and multiple technologies. You get the chance to develop your skills.”

Kyndryl’s cloud center will be located “within a few blocks” of Place Ville Marie, where IBM recently relocated its Montreal offices, Cooper said.

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“Place Ville Marie was a good hub, so this is the neighborhood we’re going to look at,” he said. “We are very close to making a decision.”

In keeping with the times, Kyndryl wants to emphasize a flexible work structure, with an important part at a distance.

“This location won’t have 500 desks, not even close,” Cooper said. “That’s just not necessary for our people. It will be a collaborative space. People are very receptive to that model. Work used to be the place where you put your photo on your desk, but the workplace of the future will look very different. It gets smaller. Priority #1 is where your customers are and what you need to do to support them.”

ftomesco@postmedia.com

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