Amer­i­can pizze­rias to ben­e­fit from Belfast’s lat­est soft­ware cen­tre

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY MICHELLE WEIR

A NEW soft­ware en­gi­neer­ing cen­tre that pro­vides ser­vices for or­der­ing pizza in the United States will open in Belfast cre­at­ing 50 jobs.

New York com­pany Slice has de­vel­oped tech­nol­ogy to help make on­line and mo­bile or­der­ing and pay­ment eas­ier for pizze­rias.

The ser­vice caters for ap­prox­i­mately 10,000 Amer­i­can in­de­pen­dent pizze­rias en­abling them to com­pete with the on­line and dig­i­tal or­der­ing plat­forms of large na­tional pizza chains like Domino’s.

In­vest NI has of­fered £400,000 to­wards the cre­ation of the new jobs. Eleven jobs are al­ready in place. The roles will at­tract an aver­age salary of over £40,000.

Jason Ord­way, chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer at Slice, said: “Pizza is big busi­ness in the US worth $45bn an­nu­ally. Slice is the only tech­nol­ogy plat­form that part­ners with lo­cal in­de­pen­dent pizze­rias. We cur­rently have 10,000 pizze­rias us­ing the Slice plat­form.

“As part of our growth strat­egy we want to add new func­tions and im­prove­ments to our ex­ist­ing plat­form.

“The en­gi­neer­ing team in North­ern Ire­land will de­velop new in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions for the pizze­rias, im­prov­ing or­der ef­fi­ciency and cus­tomer ser­vice.

“I have had pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ences of North­ern Ire­land as an in­vest­ment lo­ca­tion and, in par­tic­u­lar, the soft­ware en­gi­neer­ing talent here.

“When I joined Slice and we be­gan talk­ing about grow­ing our en­gi­neer­ing team, along­side those based in New York, I was quick to rec­om­mend North­ern Ire­land.

“We’ve had lots of sup­port from In­vest NI through­out this process, which has en­abled us to get up and run­ning quickly. We al­ready have 11 staff on board and re­cruit­ment con­tin­ues.”

Steve Harper, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of in­ter­na­tional busi­ness, In­vest NI, said: “We are de­lighted Slice has cho­sen to es­tab­lish a soft­ware en­gi­neer­ing base in North­ern Ire­land, cre­at­ing 50 high-qual­ity jobs. The tech­nol­ogy area in which the com­pany works is in­no­va­tive and will give em­ploy­ees new skills and ex­po­sure to Ap­ple’s mo­bile App tech­nol­ogy, used in the iphone and ipad.

“This will add to the skills base in North­ern Ire­land and en­hance the re­gion’s soft­ware devel­op­ment ca­pa­bil­ity.”

Slice was re­cently voted as one of the Best Places to Work in the United States as part of Inc. Mag­a­zine’s An­nual Best Work­places sur­vey.

The com­pany says that it has had “pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ences of North­ern Ire­land as an in­vest­ment lo­ca­tion”.

This is the sec­ond US soft­ware firm to an­nounce a new of­fice in Belfast in re­cent days.

Ap­plied Sys­tems Inc, which makes prod­ucts for the in­sur­ance in­dus­try, said it will em­ploy 50 new staff dur­ing the next three years.

The in­ter­na­tional cloud-based soft­ware com­pany is based in Chicago and has re­ceived sup­port of £325,000 to­wards the cre­ation of the roles.

It said it had been at­tracted to North­ern Ire­land by the large num­ber of “tal­ented, young en­gi­neers”.

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