FDI of the Month February 2018: Microsoft

Business, FDI of the Month | Tue 27 Feb | Author – Business & Finance
Microsoft executive vice president Peggy Johnson, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, managing director of Microsoft Ireland Cathriona Hallahan and IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan on stage at the official opening of One Microsoft Place.

Microsoft underlined their commitment to Ireland with the opening of cutting edge new office space, One Microsoft Place.

Microsoft first opened its doors in Ireland in 1985 with a small manufacturing facility employing just over 100 people. Since that time, the Irish business has grown to encompass four distinct operations, recently outgrowing its Sandyford campus, and opening the newly built €134 million One Microsoft Place site this month.

Connecting the business in one hub

Their operations in Ireland include software development and testing, localisation, operations, finance, IT, HR and sales and marketing, both here in Ireland and across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland,  joined the company over 30 years ago as an accounting technician, and took over the top role in 2013. She has previously pointed out, “We are the only place outside the US – in fact, in the world – that has that unique footprint for Microsoft, with all the different pieces in the food chain connected together in one site.”



The new purpose-built technologically advanced campus is home to 2,000 staff of 71 different nationalities and was purpose-built to foster innovation and productivity amongst staff, with fluid workspaces and staff of all levels mixing. It covers over 34,000m2. Building away from the city centre gave them the space they needed for the impressive building which has everything from a digital lake to beehives on the roof garden and its own in-house bakery. Shuttles run from transport connections to ensure staff can get there with ease. 

Education and innovation

As part of the development of the new campus, over €5 million was invested in the creation of a dedicated innovation and education hub, DreamSpace, with a supporting digital skills programme. Microsoft plan to bring 100,000 young people and their teachers to the campus over the next four years to give them an understanding of the transformational nature of technology, equip them with digital skills and encourage them to engage with technology.

This is not the first time Microsoft has put resources into digital skills for the community. During the recession they introduced a programme called New to Work, which introduced over 13,000 young people to digital skills essential to enter the workforce. They also participated in the Hour of Code programme which taught 15,000 Irish schoolchildren coding skills.

Dublin was also the site of Microsoft’s first data centre outside the US. The Grangecastle data centre opened in 2009 and the 303,000 sq ft data centre was officially recognised by the European Commission’s Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign as a “best practice” in environmental sustainability through its innovative design which has made it 50 percent more energy efficient than traditional data centres.