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Cognizant Opens Toronto Development Center

Service provider hopes to attract software-development work from U.S. companies despite the weakening U.S. dollar.
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. has opened an application-management and -development center in Toronto in an effort to capture business from Canadian companies and from U.S. customers looking to place IT work in a so-called near-shore location, company officials said Thursday.

The percentage of businesses that outsource software development is higher in Canada than in the United States, says Larry Gordon, VP of corporate marketing for Cognizant. "It's a growth market for us," he says.

Cognizant's Toronto operations--the company's first in Canada--will also offer services to U.S. firms looking to enjoy the benefits of outsourcing to a country within easy reach and with similar time zones. The center will house about 40 staff members and be fully operational later this month, Gordon says.

The weakening U.S. dollar, which has dropped more than 20% against the Canadian dollar over the past two years, erodes some of the cost benefits that Canada offers, Gordon concedes. But he says the country is attractive for other reasons. "The talent pool is strong, and you have a lot of political stability," Gordon says. Cognizant provides the bulk of its services from centers in India.