Up to 170 jobs are to be created in Belfast with the arrival of a new investor, Texan based digital marketing firm Bazaarvoice which is setting up a new European base in the city.
The company, which operates globally as a leading provider of consumer-generated content (CGC), advertising, and personalisation solutions is to invest a multi-million sum developing its centre over the next three years.
Announcing the investment Invest Northern Ireland chief executive Alastair Hamilton said bringing the firm to Belfast was a major success for the province.
“We fought off stiff competition to secure this project for Northern Ireland,” he said.
“Not only is this great for our ICT sector but will provide excellent employment opportunities for unemployed, graduates and experienced staff.”
The company has been offered £1.3 million of government support towards the new jobs and skills development he added.
“The new office will house 168 software engineering, sales and customer service staff to help service and grow the company’s UK and European business.
“Once fully operational this will generate nearly £5.5m annually, in salaries, into the NI Economy.”
Gary Allison, executive vice president of engineering at Bazaarvoice said the move to the province had been made on sound lines.
“Northern Ireland was able to offer high quality technical staff with relevant industry skills, as well as a stable ICT sector, to support our growth plans,” he said.
“We were also impressed by the low staff turnover rates here.
“This new office will enable us to expand the delivery of cutting edge software development, provide cost effective “follow-the-sun” support to our US and EMEA customers and to drive customer growth in the UK and Europe.”
The business works with major high-street brands and retailers to provide them with insights on consumer purchasing habits through collecting and analysing consumer-generated content (CGC), like ratings and reviews.
It services over 5,000 customer websites across the UK, Europe and the US, including household names like Argos, Debenhams, ghd, and Philips.
Customer review software allows retailers and brands to collect and use consumer reviews, including product ratings, social media posts, photos and video, to influence purchasing decisions, both online and offline. On busy shopping days, like Black Friday, its network is one of the most highly-trafficked in the world.
The majority of the roles will be technical: software engineering, support and quality assurance with some sales roles and the company is also setting up an Assured Skills training programme funded by the Department for the Economy that will help unemployed and under-employed non-IT graduates enter the ICT workforce.