Thursday, June 30, 2022

CN Partnering With Google Cloud to ‘Modernize’ Railroad Services

MONTRÉAL and SUNNYVALE, Calif. — The rail transportation and supply chain company CN and Google Cloud are entering a seven-year strategic partnership.

Under the deal, CN and Google Cloud will “transform” CN’s supply chain as part of digital scheduled railroading, deliver new customer experiences, and modernize its technology infrastructure in the cloud, according to the companies this month.

The partners will collaborate on new services and combine CN’s expertise in the transportation and supply chain industries with Google Cloud’s technology and “culture of innovation.”

They aim to “set a new standard for the railway system” that serves North America.

CN’s work with Google Cloud will drive the railway’s ability to achieve continued growth and execute on transformational business initiatives.

“Our partnership with Google Cloud is central to our strategic plan and reinforces our commitment to digitalizing scheduled railroading and building the premier railway of the 21st century by investing in technologies that deliver high-quality service to customers, improve safety, and create capacity,” said Dominique Malenfant, EVP and chief information and technology officer, CN. 

The companies will work together to “drive further innovation across our company,” Malenfant said.

As part of the partnership, CN and Google Cloud will collaborate on several initiatives:

  • Enabling better connectivity and collaboration with customers and supply chain partners: CN will develop an intuitive digital platform, powered by Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools, giving customers and supply chain partners more visibility into the logistics journey of planning, shipping, tracking, and payment.
  • Delivering new experiences for CN’s customers through co-innovation initiatives: Combine CN’s industry expertise with Google Cloud’s leadership in data analytics, AI, and ML to deliver new solutions and “next-generation experiences” for CN’s employees, customers, and partners, such as simplified ordering and automated tracking to further enhance predictive maintenance capabilities.
  • Modernizing CN’s infrastructure in the cloud: CN will gradually and securely move the large majority of its digital infrastructure, including SAP applications, from on-premises to Google Cloud’s global network. Moving to the cloud will allow CN to scale with customer and industry demands, simplify the company’s IT estate, create efficiencies, and reduce product delivery lead times.

“The transportation and logistics industry is evolving rapidly to build more resilient, responsive supply chains that adapt to global events and provide customers more visibility and flexibility,” said Jim Lambe, managing director, Google Cloud Canada. 

CN will leverage technology to “reimagine the future of the railway system,” Lambe said. 

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