Microsoft has officially opened an office in Belfast – the company’s first office in Northern Ireland (NI). The new investment, which is being supported by Invest NI, will provide e-business and other expert support to Microsoft clients on both sides of the Border.
Speaking at the event for Microsoft customers and partners, Joe Macri, general manager, Microsoft Ireland, said: “We have been operating in NI for the past four years and have now decided to invest in a dedicated team and office space. By opening an office in the NI Science Park we are positioning ourselves for future success and growth alongside the vibrant technology industry within the region and will be well positioned to help our customers, partners and the local industry realise their potential.”
Leslie Morrison, chief executive of Invest NI, commented: “Securing this project for NI will further enhance our reputation as a globally competitive location for added value mobile investments. I am delighted to welcome Microsoft to NI; it’s a name which will be extremely beneficial in encouraging other major information communications technology companies to locate here.”
Microsoft is investing in the region of £700k sterling to set up the new office while Invest NI has contributed a total of £168k sterling to the venture. Thanking the Invest NI team for its support, Macri said: “There has long been a business case to support the setting up of a Belfast based office. However, the support from Invest NI made the decision easier.”
The Belfast based employees will offer technical support and consulting services for existing and new customers throughout Ireland.
As a result of this investment, the initial team of 12 based in Belfast will be augmented by the recruitment of further personnel to fulfil all-Ireland roles.
Microsoft’s customers in the province include the NI Office for the Criminal Justice Integration Project, Causeway, and the Department of Education for the C2K schools project.
By Brian Skelly