At CGI, we prioritize the health and well-being of our professionals and their families through various local and global initiatives that support their physical, mental and social well-being.

With the unique challenges of the pandemic, we increased our focus on developing innovative new ways to support each other. In the spring of 2021, our Central and Eastern European (CEE) operations organized the April Activity Challenge. The goal was to help our professionals who were working remotely reconnect with each other while encouraging them to participate in activities that benefit their physical and mental health and well-being. In addition, the challenge aimed to convert their participation into donations to support local communities.

Putting our passion and expertise to work

For the month-long challenge, a team of CGI professionals built a custom app within Microsoft Teams and integrated it with Strava, a popular exercise tracking app, using its open API. As our professionals have access to Teams, registered participants could easily record and track their activities and performance from their desktop or mobile device.

The team comprising the organizers, a UX designer, developers, and security and data privacy experts built the app in just two and a half weeks, using a platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SasS) approach that allowed for rapid testing and release.

The Activity Challenge app offers a leaderboard that displays activity choices, total active minutes, progress views and other performance indicators using a combination of several Microsoft Azure technologies. By design, it only stores performance statistics, ensuring the highest levels of protection of our professionals’ personal data.

Breaking virtual barriers

The challenge was a success, with approximately 1,000 participants recording 1.25 million active minutes and sharing photos and experiences. It also resulted in €15,000 being donated across eight charities focused on addressing environmental or social challenges.

The app is easily configurable and has inspired similar challenges and activities across our global operations. For instance, the #CGIActive challenge in Canada reached more than 1,500 participants, with nearly 2 million active minutes recorded. The team is now looking at enhancing the app to incorporate new features to support our initiatives and those of our clients and partner organizations.