Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

IT firm Version 1 doubling staff in major growth drive

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A Dublin IT firm said it expects to double staffing and turnover at its Belfast base in 2014.

Version 1, which came to the city in May 2012, assists major clients in the pharmaceutical, government and utilities sectors and is also looking for a new office.

The company, which was founded just 15 years ago and employs 300 staff in Dublin headquarters and has another office in Cork, employs around 20 people in The Mount in east Belfast and was the firm which helped the Assembly become the first UK government to transfer some of its data to the 'cloud' computing system.

Last year the firm won a £4m deal with pharmaceutical firm Almac to support the company's global financial and clinical systems and also expanded into the UK market by acquiring the Kent-based Forest business operations of Northern European IT services company Tieto Corporation.

Earlier this year it added Scottish IT consultancy Rocela Group to the company stable.

Version 1's newly appointed 'head of Northern Ireland', Lorna McAdoo, who has been working in the IT industry for three decades, said that the company hopes to complete the acquisition of another UK company by the end of this summer.

Ms McAdoo said the firm is currently recruiting and is targeting Northern Ireland people who may have moved to the UK or further afield who could bring their skills back home.

"We've already experienced strong growth and our goal in Northern Ireland is to double our revenue and double the amount of people we have working for us," she said.

"Invest Northern Ireland has been very supportive and we are out with them looking at office sites this week and hope to move into new accommodation soon.

"We're working with the universities and the Belfast Met in terms of giving graduates work placement opportunities and in terms of helping them tailor their courses.

"What we are also doing is looking at the people who have gone abroad, to the UK and further afield, who wish to come back home, this will also be a huge benefit to the company in terms of teaching our existing staff members the skills they have learned," she said.

Background

Version 1 was founded in 1996 by chief executive officer Justin Keatinge and co-founder John Mullen.

The company has made key acquisitions including Prose Software in 2006, PM Centrix in 2010, Tieto UK in 2013 and Rocela Group in 2014.

The firm has doubled both profitability and revenue over the last few years, and clients include Airtricity, Irish Life, RTE and 02.

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