Belfast Telegraph

Hewlett Packard on cloud nine as global centre is unveiled

By Heather McGarrigle

Hewlett Packard is to establish a global centre of excellence in Belfast, creating a significant number of high-quality jobs.

Its Belfast StorageWorks operation has been designated the company's global centre of software excellence - the first of its kind for the company in Europe.

Managing director of HP Ireland Martin Murphy said the centre's work will focus on research and development into cloud computing.

He said: "The availability of skilled graduates and experienced software engineers across Northern Ireland means that HP is building its leading storage capabilities from Belfast."

The creation of the centre comes as HP celebrates 30 years in Northern Ireland.

Project manager Greg Massey said the decision to choose Northern Ireland as the location to service its global software needs was "testament to the quality of people we have here in Belfast".

HP began its recruitment drive for the new venture on Friday, with job advertisements for experienced software and system test engineers appearing in newspapers and on the company's website.

This will continue on March 31 when the company hosts an Open Day for jobseekers.

The event takes place at its Belfast offices on Arthur Street between 12pm and 2pm, or between 5pm and 7pm.

Mr Murphy says the company is keeping an open mind with regards to the number of recruits, but that jobs are "high-value, highly technical, skilled roles".

The company currently employs over 4,000 people across Ireland, with bases at Newtownabbey and Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Public sector contracts have traditionally been an important part of its operations.

HP is currently working with C2K to provide a single educational network for Northern Ireland and it has also secured a £75m framework agreement with the Department of Health.

Mr Murphy said budgetary pressures could represent an opportunity for the company to offer efficient, waste-reducing methods of working.

"Our cloud computing could also help government develop strategies to get SMEs up and running.

"Access to this type of technology could allow smaller enterprises to reach more people. It has enormous potential."