Version 1 invests six figures in quality units

14 May 2004

IT services firm Version 1 Software has embarked on a quality drive that will see it invest hundreds of thousands of euro in a string of ‘centres of excellence’ within its business.

The first of these, the Centre of Oracle Excellence, is being unveiled this morning. According to managing director Justin Keatinge there are several other centres in the pipeline both in technical disciplines such as J2EE, internet architecture and performance testing and in business ones, such as business process improvement and project management.

Version 1 has been an Oracle business partner since 1998 and has completed a number of major projects in recent years based on Oracle technologies. Keatinge estimated that Oracle projects account for between 40 and 50pc of the company’s revenues, which have doubled in the past year.

Version 1 has also doubled its headcount in the same period to 55 and taken more office space within its headquarters in Temple Bar. The company competes directly against large multinational organisations in a number of niche areas and has recently won contracts in competitive pitches against Accenture, CGE&Y, Futjitsu and HP. It has been particularly successful in the government space, winning contracts with the Department of the Marine, Department of Defence and Ordnance Survey Ireland.

“One of the key drivers of this success has been achieving excellence in a number of carefully selected competencies. In this way we have competed and beaten larger, more established organisations by having greater experience, expertise and credibility in certain areas,” said Keatinge.

The centres of excellence will have a strong skills and training ethos and will be equipped with the latest technologies to ensure that products and systems are used in a ‘test lab’ environment before they are implemented at client sites.

John Mullen, technical director, Version 1, believed the centres would help the company stay sharp and focused as it grows. “We’ve been experiencing phenomenal growth and it’s difficult to find ways of retaining your competitive edge. We have been successful because we’ve stayed close to customers and have paid attention to detail. Creating these autonomous groups will help us do that.”

By Brian Skelly