The benefits of the new set up include a stronger local business presence in Northern Ireland and the ability for Sopra Steria teams to work more closely together, ultimately benefiting their customers in the region. The merger enables the combined organisation to offer its clients a true end-to-end IT service portfolio, with particular emphasis on helping clients with their digital transformation programmes.
From 16 March, the company’s 62 staff – comprising 32 former Sopra employees and 30 former Steria employees – will be based at 3 Upper Queen Street, in the heart of Belfast’s city centre.
The Sopra Steria operation in Belfast is responsible for providing key IT services to a number of organisations across the public sector. Sopra Steria has a strong track record in delivering Northern Ireland Civil Service contracts, including work on the Records NI, Electronic Document and Records Management (EDRM) programme. This work culminated in end user training for 16,000 staff working in multiple business units based at over 400 governmental buildings.
Apart from continuing to provide excellent service to their clients in the region, Sopra Steria will also carry on driving digital and sustainability programmes across Northern Ireland. Following its successful launch at the end of 2014, Sopra Steria will keep supporting the Digital Leaders Northern Ireland programme, sharing best practice, innovation and transformation experiences to support the development of the region’s skills in the digital economy.
Sopra Steria Northern Ireland will also be seeking to support local graduate and apprentice initiatives, to support the development of their business from the ground up and in turn boost local youth employment. Sopra Steria has currently committed to employ apprentices through the Northern Ireland Public/Private ICT apprenticeship programme.
Staff from the new Sopra Steria office will be attending NICS Live, the biggest event of the Northern Ireland Public Sector calendar, being held on 4 March at the Titanic Centre. This will be the first opportunity for Sopra Steria to demonstrate their combined strengths in Northern Ireland since the merger of the two European IT services leaders at the end of 2014.
Richard Potter, Sopra Steria’s Director of Innovation, will be speaking at the conference on the topic of Digital and Beyond, observing how the pace of innovation is changing. He will share key stories and insights relating to these innovative times, covering the ‘digital human’ to the challenge of ‘hyper innovation’.
Alison McLaughlin, Sopra Steria’s Director of Local & Regional Government who heads up Sopra Steria’s operations in Northern Ireland, commented: “What’s important for us is to make sure we are best placed to support both our staff and customers in Northern Ireland, which will in turn benefit Belfast’s growing economy. By joining together as one team, we know we have a huge amount to offer our Northern Ireland customers - from high level strategic advice to practical hands on services to help transform and support their operations.
Given our ambition to further develop our business in Northern Ireland, we also have a lot to offer bright individuals looking for a challenging yet rewarding career. Bringing Sopra and Steria together into one organisation really strengthens what we can offer to organisations across Northern Ireland.”