Global company opens first U.S. software development center in Southpointe
Ness Software Engineering Services President Joe Lagioia stands on a chair over the crowd to toast the grand opening of Ness in Southpointe II Tuesday.
Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter
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A global software developer opened its first U.S. development center in Southpointe II Tuesday, with plans to eventually employ about 200 people there.
Ness Technologies, which develops software for a variety of industries, including financial services, education, defense and homeland security, telecommunications, utilities, health care and manufacturing, cut the ribbon on an office suite at 1000 Town Center Drive.
In addition to creating its first “onshore” development center, the company also announced that it will launch a pilot center to help area veterans earn jobs with it.
Ness’s arrival here came at the request of one of its clients, New York-based Standard & Poor’s Corp., but the company said its work here will span the full range of its client base.
During a luncheon at Southpointe Golf Club, S&P Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Joe Sniado, said his company asked Ness to consider opening a U.S. development office as a result of S&P “having too many people in expensive New York City.”
Sniado said S&P wanted Ness to locate the center somewhere requiring only a short flight from New York that was in the same time zone.
“It looks like this is going to work out really well for us,” Sniado said Tuesday.
Ness officials worked with the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance to narrow down its search to the Southpointe site.
In addition to the area having one of the least expensive places to do business when compared to other regions, one of the other major selling points from PRA was the Pittsburgh region’s renewable pool of highly skilled talent, due to the presence of 35 colleges and universities.
PRA President Dewitt Peart noted that the region’s information and communications technology industry is composed of 1,600 companies that employ more than 26,000 people.
“The tech scene here is vibrant, professionally and academically,” Peart said, noting that area colleges and universities “are producing an abundance of top-rate IT talent.
“When compared to our benchmark regions, Pittsburgh ranks second to Boston in the total number of IT degrees conferred annually,” he said.
Ness Vice President Tony Dodds said the company expects to build up to a staff of around 200 software developers within the next two years.
On Tuesday, Joe Lagioia, president of Ness Software Engineering Services, announced that the company will also use the Southpointe center as a pilot location for the Ness Returning Veterans Career Development initiative.
He said the program, will work with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh to enable veterans to intern with the company while earning degrees, “and then have a career here.”
Ness noted in a press release that the greater Pittsburgh area is one of six major regions in the United States where military veterans reside.
While Ness has big financial services and consulting firms like S&P and Deloitte Consulting as clients, Dodds said it also does work with companies with a huge online presence, including Google, Paypal and eBay.
He said the Southpointe office will perform work across its entire client base.
Privately held Ness has nearly 7,000 employees servicing customers in more than 20 countries.
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