EMC moves to allay fears of pullout from Cork

EMC, one of the country’s biggest employers, insists it is not planning a Dell-style pullout from Ireland.

The company, which employs around 1,600 people in Cork, said it is fully committed to Ireland and will not be cutting staff numbers on a large scale.

President and managing director of EMC Ireland Bob Savage said he’s “pretty sure” that those working at corporate level within the company are not thinking about any pullout from Cork right now.

He said EMC will be in Cork for the long-haul, adding that “the great thing about EMC is they are leaving the destiny in our own hands”.

“We’ve been given a right to transform our strategy to make sure we retain the value-add to EMC so therefore it’s a fantastic place to be in.

“We’ll always be hiring but we don’t largely expect our head-count to grow,” he said.

“There’s always changes to be made here and there. As one business goes up another goes down but there’s no specific plans to cut staff numbers,” he added.

Mr Savage did, however, say that a big issue for the company is the lack of flight connections from Cork airport.

“The main issue with operating in Cork is that the company would like to see more access from the airport to other centres.

“We have executives coming from the US who would love to fly directly to Cork from Boston,” he said.

A “key thing” for the company going forward is interacting with its customers, but getting them to Cork from various parts of Europe is a challenge because it’s a two-part process, he said.

“For executives in Europe we fly them in with a jet we have at the airport to make sure we get them here and we can interact but obviously if there were more frequent flights from regions around Europe into Cork, that would make it a hell of a lot easier for us in getting our customers here,” he said.

On a national level issues affecting EMC include keeping labour and energy costs under control.

“We have to keep costs under control so we’re a value play to EMC.

“We focus on where we add value but obviously keeping the consumer price index and wage inflation under control is key for us because we do have to compete with great centres in India and China and an emerging centre in Egypt where you’re getting great talent at considerably less cost, so it’s something that we have to be cognisant of all the time.

“We have to keep offering value at a proper cost level. The cost of labour and the cost of energy are the two areas I would focus on more than anything else,” he said.

EMC Ireland, an IT and data storage firm, has been in Cork since 1988. Staff come from 36 countries and clients include the world’s largest banks.

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