American software company Tableau is to allow its users choose where they want their data stored after unveiling its first European data centre in Dublin.
The opening of the centre gives new customers a choice between having their information held in Europe or North America while existing customers will also be able to transfer their data should they wish to do so.
The Seattle-based company’s decision marks it out from the majority of companies who determine where customers’ data is stored.
Tableau’s novel move was not motivated by the European Court of Justice’s decision to rule the Safe Harbour data sharing agreement between the US and Europe invalid last year, according to vice president of European Operations James Eiloart.
“With the opening of our European data centre, we are responding to a desire from customers to choose where they host their data,” said Mr Eiloart.
“Data protection and security for our customers are extremely important to Tableau and these will continue to be a priority for us.
"Any customer using Tableau Online and choosing to store their data in the EU, will have their data stored only in the EU.
“The work to implement the Dublin facility began in March 2015 to respond to the needs of our customers, well before the Safe Harbour ruling.”
Some 50% of the company’s Tableau Online active customers — who utilise its cloud services — are based outside of the US.
The software firm last year moved to a new office on Shelbourne Rd in Dublin to accommodate an expansion of its workforce.
The new premises can accommodate up to 100 staff.
Having existing staff in Dublin contributed to its decision to establish the data centre in Ireland, according to Mr Eiloart.
“We have technical team members in Dublin already, so it made a lot of sense to put the primary pod there,” said Mr Eiloart.
“Ireland has a long history of a business-friendly climate and has a thriving tech scene.”
The facility is one of a growing number of data centres in Ireland.
Facebook was given the green light for a major data centre in Clonee, Co Meath, by An Bord Pleanála in October 2015 which will see it invest €200m in the development of the 220 acre site.
The decision came shortly after Apple was given the go-ahead for its data project in Athenry which the company says will set it back €850m.
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