Austin, Texas based Bazaarvoice, Inc. (Nasdaq:BV) the provider of consumer-generated content (CGC), advertising, and personalisation solutions, is setting up a new European base in Northern Ireland, creating nearly 170 new jobs.
The company is making a multimillion pound investment in a new office in Belfast and will be recruiting the new staff over the next three years.
Announcing the investment, Alastair Hamilton, Invest Northern Ireland CEO said: “Bazaarvoice works with major high-street brands and retailers to provide them with precious insights on consumer purchasing habits through collecting and analysing consumer-generated content (CGC), like ratings and reviews.
“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.”
Bazaarvoice services over 5,000 customer websites across the UK, Europe and the US, including household names like Argos, Debenhams, ghd, and Philips.
Its 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.
Not only is this great for our ICT sector but will provide excellent employment opportunities..- Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI
“The majority of the roles will be technical: software engineering, support and quality assurance; plus some sales roles,” continued Alastair. “As well as offering good salaries for experienced staff, 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.
“We fought off stiff competition to secure this project for Northern Ireland. 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.
Gary Allison, Executive Vice President of Engineering at Bazaarvoice, said: “I am very excited to be announcing our investment in Northern Ireland. 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.
Northern Ireland was able to offer high quality technical staff with relevant industry skills, as well as a stable ICT sector...- Gary Allison, Bazaarvoice
“Our software ensures customer reviews and visual content are valid before they are shared on a retailer’s website, as well as providing valuable information to the retailer on consumer behaviour. We might not be visible to the consumer but we are central to the retail experience, helping brands and retailers use consumer views to build engagement and trust.
“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. We were also impressed by the low staff turnover rates here.
“We have already begun our recruitment for experienced software professionals, and have been very impressed with the quality of the people. We spent time with Queen’s and Ulster universities, learning how to get the best from their internship and graduate recruitment programmes. I am pleased that we are now able to create significant opportunities for graduates to work in software engineering, client services and sales roles.
“We are also working closely with the Department for the Economy and will be launching an Assured Skills training programme to support non-IT graduates to get the relevant ICT knowledge needed to work for us.
“I want to pay tribute to the team at Invest NI and the Department for the Economy, for all their assistance in providing valuable introductions, the financial support we are announcing today and by helping us to become part of a vibrant technology community here in Northern Ireland.”