Nearshore IT firm to create 20 jobs in Dublin

28 May 2007

A Slovenian IT giant is to grow its staff in Dublin from 40 to 60 by the end of this year, has learned. The local operation of Hermes Softlab reported a 28pc increase in sales to €5.4m on the back of key business wins with O2, Vodafone and BT.

Hermes Softlab specialises in IT nearshoring, which means locating outsourcing facilities closer to client firms, and the company is targeting the local telecoms, financial services and public sector IT markets.

The company has also established a critical niche in the growing gaming sector. The head of Hermes Softlab in Dublin Kevin Maher told that the company is working with US online poker giant Tiltware which is relocating to Dublin with the creation of 200 jobs.

The company is also working with Norman Crowley’s Inspired Gaming group which is building a fast-growing games and Wi-Fi network in Europe.

Maher explained that Hermes Softlab set up in Dublin five years ago to target not only the local market for outsourced IT services but also the UK and US markets. “These markets would account for about 20pc of the group’s worldwide business and this is growing.

“We are ramping up our activities substantially in Ireland and are likely to grow to 60 employees by the end of this year,” Maher said.

He added that the company is also in discussions about partnering with two of the big six IT players in the Irish market.

“When people think about outsourcing they usually think in terms of companies sucking the labour out of a market and moving it to a lower-cost location. The nearshoring strategy is a more evolved concept that involves deeper collaboration and mixed models. For example, some products we are involved in we actually earn royalties from,” Maher explained.

The Slovenia-headquartered Hermes Softlab recorded total international sales of €41.6m for 2006 with the Irish office recording sales of €5.4m, up 28pc on 2005.

In particular, Hermes in the Irish market has excelled in telecoms and has worked with O2, Vodafone and BT on advanced projects including customer-facing web portals, IVR (interactive voice response) systems and multi-channel customer support systems.

Maher explained that the company’s involvement in the Irish market goes further back than five years when the company worked in a joint venture with Irish storage hardware maker Eurologic on the creation of storage and back-up software. These systems were then rebadged by firms like Dell and HP.

When Eurologic was acquired by Adaptec for US$30m in 2003 Hermes bought back the technology and the various partnership deals.

By John Kennedy