Cognicase, HEC and National Bank of Canada establish e-commerce joint venture in higher learning field
Montreal, 24 May 2000 -
COGNICASE Inc. (TSE : "COG", Nasdaq : "COGI") today announced an agreement in principle with l'École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) for an e-commerce joint venture aimed at the creation and operation of an Internet business portal dedicated to the promotion and marketing of services, teaching materials and specialty publications. The HEC is an internationally recognized institution of higher learning known for the quality of its training and research in various business fields.
The portal will also provide access for users to personal portals and personal notification through both the Internet and wireless devices via the "Watch4Me7-24" technology developed by COGNICASE. HEC maintains a network of personal contacts with nearly 40,000 students and alumni who are potential users of the portal.
"We look forward to the benefits that this alliance will generate for our organizations. COGNICASE's leadership in e-business technologies, combined with the reputation for excellence of the HEC as an innovator in the application of cutting-edge technologies, will promote increased access to our intellectual capital for the benefit of our students, alumni and business people interested in the expertise and know-how developed by the HEC," said Jean-Marie Toulouse, director of the HEC business school.
"The dynamism of the HEC in the integration of leading-edge technologies in its teaching and administrative activities makes it a partner of choice for the implementation of innovative services offering top calibre publications and research to the business community," added Ronald Brisebois, President and Chief Executive Officer of COGNICASE. "This agreement is in line with our strategy to create portals with strong content and high value-added, allowing COGNICASE to play a leading role in this field."
National Bank of Canada will also be associated with the portal by contributing its secure electronic payment services and solutions. André Bérard, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank of Canada notes: "I am convinced that as a result of its innovative character, this agreement will establish a new vision of what can be achieved through joint efforts among the realms of higher learning, technology and business. National Bank is proud of its contribution to this unique initiative which bears witness to the creative and dynamic spirit of Quebec and Canadian institutions. It is also a prime opportunity for National Bank to demonstrate its commitment and its interest in supporting the development of knowledge technologies. "
About l'École des Hautes Études Commerciales
L'École des Hautes Études Commerciales of Montreal is recognized, in Canada and abroad, as a dynamic crossroads of teaching and research in all management disciplines. Since its founding in 1907, the HEC has been training managers capable of evolving in organizations of all sizes, from large national corporations to multinationals or SMEs. The HEC Network of alumni is an exceptional business network with 36,000 members.
COGNICASE is an innovative e-business integrator and Wireless/Internet electronic solutions provider, with offices in several major North American and European business centers. Based on its results-driven approach, technologies, international IT engineering/hosting center, COGNICASE offers innovative solutions that contribute to the business success of its customers in the digital economy. COGNICASE consists of the following four business units: Outsourcing and Integration, Electronic Business Solutions, Wireless/Internet Technologies and Internet Portals. COGNICASE employs around 3,500 professionals in several countries, including Canada, the United States, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Australia.
About National Bank
National Bank of Canada is an integrated group whose mission is to provide comprehensive financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations in its core market, while offering specialized services to its clients elsewhere in the world. The National Bank offers a full array of banking services, including all the investment banking services required by large corporations. It is an active player on international capital markets and, through its subsidiaries, is involved in securities brokerage, insurance and wealth management as well as mutual fund and retirement plan management.
The National Bank has assets of over $70 billion and, together with its subsidiaries, employs over 17,000 people. The Bank's head office is in Montreal and its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The information contained under the heading "About COGNICASE" takes into account the proposed transaction between COGNICASE Inc. and National Bank of Canada, which includes the acquisition by COGNICASE of the National Bank's IT subsidiary, scheduled to close on May 31, 2000.
For more information, please contact:
Director of Communications and Recruitment
École des Hautes Études Commerciales
Banque Nationale du Canada
Media Relations and Financial Communications Officer
Public Relations Department
National Bank of Canada