US technology solutions provider to set up new tech centre

Safety NetAccess site lead Terry Kernan (left) and the company's vice president of software development Resham Patel (right) with Invest NI chief executive Kevin Holland
Gary McDonald Business Editor

AN American software firm and first-time investor in Northern Ireland will create 40 jobs by 2023 - nearly two years after first coming to Belfast on a fact-finding mission.

Safety NetAccess, a family-owned SME based in Massachusetts, is setting up a software development and sales centre to support its growth in the US and into Europe, helped by a £270,000 cash injection from Invest NI.

Since its creation 20 years ago, Safety NetAccess has been designing, building and supporting wireless networks and technology solutions for hotels, resorts, apartments, and other public properties.

It provides software and services every day to 4,000 properties and 125 million connected devices.

The firm's core function in Northern Ireland will be to provide technical support services to customers across the USA and Canada.

The new recruits will initially work from home, but ultimately Safety NetAccess expects to have a physical office hub.

And once all the jobs are in place, the project will generate additional annual salaries of £1.4 million.

Invest NI hosted a week-long visit to Northern Ireland for the company just before the Covid pandemic.

And according to the agency's chief executive Kevin Holland, those introductions to existing investors, universities, colleges, industry contacts and recruiters gave Safety NetAccess essential insight into the sector, the quality of the north's workforce, and the availability of future graduates.

“We have a pipeline of more than 1,400 new ICT graduates a year and a range of post-graduate conversion and training programmes available for those interested in working in a growing sector of 30,000 people,” Mr Holland said.

“We look forward to seeing Safety NetAccess grow its business and to supporting it in whatever way we can.”

The firm's software development vice-president Resham Patel, said: “We're proud of the fact that, despite the pandemic challenges, we have continued to grow our business. We are ambitious for the future, and this new software development and sales support centre will help us realise these ambitions.

“The Northern Ireland team will initially focus on software development to ensure we remain competitive in our key telecoms market. Longer-term, we plan to expand our markets and will look to recruit team members including developers, sales engineers, and salespersons in Belfast to develop the UK/Europe markets for us.

“We considered several alternative locations to establish this new centre, including the US, India and Republic of Ireland, but through our meetings with other investors, the universities, and the information provided by Invest NI, we're confident we will have access to both the skilled workforce and future graduates we need right here.”

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