Software giant Oracle has announced that it is establishing a Consulting Centre at East Point Business Park in Dublin as well as its first Northern Ireland (NI) office. Between them the new facilities will lead to the creation of 70 new jobs – 50 in the Consulting Centre and 20 in the new Belfast office.
The former will act as the hub for the deployment of consultants throughout the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, starting with Ireland, UK and South Africa. The facility is opening this month and will immediately begin recruiting to fill the roles.
In a statement, the company said that the increased requirement for consulting staff had stemmed from the recent launch of Oracle Expert Services, a soft of ‘Swat team’ of Oracle’s top consultants who are dispatched to work with customers or partners on delivering high-value Oracle-based systems.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, Nicky Sheridan, vice-president and managing director, Oracle Ireland, said the consulting centre would focus on “high-end, high-value-add business consulting to design, develop and implement projects that deliver a high return on investment for customers” and that the demand was growing for business solutions that marry IT and business skills. Roles being hired include functional consultants, project managers, technical architects, solution architects and developers.
He added that he saw the development as a vote of confidence in Ireland’s flexibility and skills profile. “The main benefit is that we can increase the number of consulting staff working on Irish projects at very short notice, making us more reactive and flexible for our customers. It is a strategic move by Oracle and a major endorsement for Ireland that the division is to be based here.”
Sheridan added that Ireland was benefiting from being seen as the least regulated country in Europe and that it would continue to attract investment on this basis. Just days ahead of the Budget, however, he warned Minister of Finance, Brian Cowen TD, about the danger of meddling with Ireland’s 12.5pc corporate tax rate – either up or down. “The message is: don’t mess with it. We can’t give an impression of economic instability, which our friends in California and other places will take advantage of.”
Commenting on the opening of the Belfast office in January 2005, Sheridan said, “The NI market is one in which Oracle already has an extensive base of customers. However, with a focused office in Belfast we will be in a better position in the future to provide our services to cater for strong demand from the established public sector as well as the emerging commercial and private sector.”
Sheridan said the large pool of skilled employees in the North, allied to the increased stability of the business climate, created significant opportunities for the expansion of Oracle’s business. While 20-plus employees would be hired within the Belfast office to begin with, Sheridan said this number could “increase substantially” if new venture is successful.
By Brian Skelly