Sage creates 40 jobs in €3m R&D investment

22 Feb 2006

Business software player Sage has revealed that it is to create 40 jobs in Dublin with the establishment of an international localisation centre that will carry out customer relationship management (CRM) research and development (R&D) as part of a €2m investment supported by the IDA. The company is also investing a further €1m in locating its European Data Centre in Dublin.

Sage launched its Irish operations in 1999 with two employees working from a serviced office in Harcourt Street. Following an aggressive acquisition strategy coupled with organic growth in the Irish marketplace for its accountancy, payroll and CRM software the company now employs 240 people in Ireland. The latest investment will bring staff numbers to 280 people.

The new localisation centre will serve customers in Europe and the US, while the European Data Centre will be a disaster recovery site and will host mission-critical IT infrastructure for its US and European subsidiaries. The data centre will also host current and future Sage web-based applications such as Sage CRM, Coretime and Line 50.

“Due to our increasing requirement for innovative products and solutions and our positive experience with our existing Irish operations we have decided to expand our facility in Dublin,” explained Liam Mullaney, managing director of Sage’s Irish operations.

“The other major influence on our decision was the availability of people with the key skills and the advanced technical knowledge that we require. This expansion will play a strategic role in the company’s development of its global markets and is a testament to Ireland’s highly attractive business environment. It is the ideal base to provide for the growing demand for our CRM products and services.”

Mullaney said the company will not be building its own data centre but will instead partner with an existing data centre provider in the Irish market. It is understood that negotiations with a data centre provider are at an advanced stage and the deal is likely to be valued at around €1m. “The centre will mirror Sage’s US data centre and will support European customers who opt for Sage’s software on a hosted basis.”

Dave Batt, general manager for global CRM applications with Sage, explained that the decision to select Ireland for the new operations was arrived at “following an exhaustive search” where locations like India and China were also considered.

“It was not a simple decision,” Batt said. “We looked at the cheaper labour markets in China and India. However, Dublin was so important to us and is the leading innovation area for software in Europe. We saw some good opportunities for further investment. This investment in Dublin will yield significant growth potential for Sage worldwide.”

Batt said that Sage also has European R&D operations in Madrid and Barcelona which focus on accounting software.

He said that recruitment is set to begin immediately and the company will be primarily looking for graduates to work in the areas of global product localisation and project management.

The news was welcomed by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD who said: “Sage Group’s decision to establish the localisation and data centres in Dublin will deepen Ireland’s capability and enhance our international reputation in these areas. Sage will add to a growing list of leading software companies who have chosen Ireland for similar activities.

“This is a knowledge intensive company and today’s investment is highly dependent on the IT skills and knowledge of our workforce,” the Minister said.

By John Kennedy

CAPTION – Barry O’Leary, head of ICT at IDA Ireland, Dave Batt, general manager of global CRM at Sage and Liam Mullaney, managing director, Sage Ireland.