Microsoft bolsters Irish investment with plan for new Dublin campus
Published 29/05/2014 | 02:30
Microsoft is on track to begin construction of a new purpose-built campus in south Dublin that could kick off an expansion of its operations here.
The company's managing director for Ireland, Cathriona Hallahan, said that the company hopes to start the project, which will rehome over 1,200 Microsoft staff, by the start of next year.
"As a company, it's a continued commitment to Ireland," said Ms Hallahan. "We have acquired some land and are in the planning process at present. That will take six months, realistically. So we should be breaking ground on it early next year."
Ms Hallahan said that the new campus, to be based close to the company's existing main office in Sandyford, will house all of the company's existing 1,200 full-time employees. She also said that the company may seek to expand its operations in Ireland.
"Our focus is to evolve the investment here and to demonstrate that we can attract European talent here in Ireland," said Ms Hallahan. "We see ourselves as a gateway into Europe."
Ms Hallahan said that Ireland's current technology boom was creating an "ecosystem" that was making it more attractive for multi-nationals such as Microsoft to consider creating more jobs.
This week, software firm SAP and telecoms networking company Ericsson announced 380 new jobs in Ireland, while companies in the 'Silicon Docks' area of Dublin are currently adding new jobs at an advanced pace.
"We're seeing this accelerating and growing," said Ms Hallahan. "That is as relevant to investment as us being able to get the skills. We need to have an ecosystem out there evolving, creating this innovation island. If we can get the other countries to see Ireland that way, I have every confidence that Microsoft will continue to invest here." Ms Hallahan said that Ireland occupies a special place among Microsoft's non-US operation centres.
"We are the only place globally for Microsoft that has all of the functions based here," she said. "There's nowhere else in the world. We have a developer centre, operations, sales, a data centre and more. When we started out, this was a manufacturing location. Now we develop some core features here."
Late last year, the company announced 95 new jobs here, many of them in engineering and software development.
"In hardware, we're responsible for the supply chain for the whole of Europe, Middle East and Africa," said Ms Hallahan. "Our Windows team here develops some of the keyboard functionality for touch on Windows. That's a core part of the engineering, not a localisation piece.
"We're also building some of the technology for Office 365 here and there's our gaming division and an MSN division looking at sports technology. These are all core features."