This year we started to capture the growth stories of some of our alumni; start-ups and enterprises who have used Galway Technology Centre as a space to build a team and grow their operations before moving into their own office. We have been capturing these stories in short videos. Inspired by the Why Galway initiative led by the city’s enterprise community, we have set out showcase the people and organisations within our technology and innovation sector.
As the videos tell only part of the story, we have gathered our interviews and discussions with the leaders of these alumni to share with our community.
The first of our series features Ipswitch, an American multinational who chose Galway as a destination for their new European operation.
John McArdle, EMEA Channel Director for Ipswitch, explains why they chose Galway
In 1991, Roger Greene began his company from his home office in Reading, Massachusetts, creating shareware for file management transfer and email. Today Ipswitch employs 250 people in offices throughout the USA, Europe, Asia and Latin America, providing IT professionals across the globe with secure managed file transfer solutions and network monitoring software.
We were founded on a simple premise:
To produce IT software that took what was possible and made it practical.
In 2016 we set up a permanent office in Galway following an initial landing into Galway Technology Centre supported by the IDA. Our Galway location will support Ipswitch’s EMEA growth strategy providing R&D and localised sales and technical support for the region.
Ipswitch has been in operation for 27 years with customers all around the globe. With 30% of our customer base is outside America, our executive team asked the question;
How can we serve our international customers better by having an international presence?
We want to be leading from the front in making a technology-enabled world a secure, safe and trusted place for our customers. The vision was to set up a centre of excellence in Europe – a multifunctional destination comprising of technical support, sales, product development, channel development and cloud operations.
This requires a mix of skills and languages – multiple business functions with multi-lingual capability. And Galway is a rich source of that.
Educated & Multilingual Talent
Infrastructure in the west of Ireland, such as the air-links between our headquarters in Boston and Shannon, is very good. But we also had a deeper insight into Galway as our executive team had prior experience setting up in the city.
We had a lot of confidence that we had access to the people that we needed in Galway.
Prior to Ipswitch, I had been in Galway for 20 years and knew the talent market that we were after. There was a lot of confidence that we could get the right talent quickly to establish a base and then to scale that up over the next few years for the organisation. In fact, the only hire from outside the region so far has been a Galway native seeking to return from Dublin with his family!
We look at the university base from a very broad perspective. We have hired our sales team from the business schools and hired graduates from the engineering and ICT schools of both colleges. That breadth of educated talent is very important to us.
If you set your standards high and you will attract the best talent to your organisation.
We want our people to be aware of next-generation technologies, so we partner with both GMIT and NUI Galway to review and influence their course content across their business and technology schools. We are open to sharing our experiences and invite people into the office to demonstrate the skills we need and to discuss what skills will be needed in the future.
Vibrant and Supportive City
There has been great support from the regional agencies and communities – the IDA, Galway Technology Centre and the local technology community made it easy to land and get set up.
We landed with three people and within 2 months we had expanded the team to 10.
We needed to quickly establish ourselves, and it was a great benefit to have had access to shared services facilities like Galway Technology Centre (GTC). GTC was a really good landing site for us; the location was great, there was a community of similar companies located there and all of our infrastructure was taken care of. As we grew, our space at GTC grew. We had expanded to two office units before we moved into our own dedicated office.
The unique DNA of Galway is that it is a compact city where people like to collaborate. Even though we compete for talent or on product, we tend to focus on what is common between us.
Galway is a compact city to collaborate… but it is also a compact city for going out and having fun!