Even by the hyper-growth standards of the technology industry, Park Place Technologies stands out for its rapid recent rise. Last year, the company had its sixth successive ranking on the Inc. 5000 list of the USA’s fastest-growing private companies. In the past 18 months, it closed 10 acquisitions spanning Latin America, Asia and Europe. It helps to be operating in an industry that’s in high growth mode. If data centres are the engines of the digital economy, then Park Place is offering diagnostic checks and systems monitoring to make sure all the parts are oiled and never offline. The company provides post-warranty maintenance support for storage, server and networking hardware housed in data centres – a market that’s growing by close to 10 per cent per year. “When you have had the type of growth and acquisition activity that we have, you need to make sure you have the structure and operations to support that, particularly in Europe,” explains Jennifer Deutsch, chief marketing officer at Park Place. That meant putting down roots directly on the continent, so the company began looking for potential locations for a brand-new EMEA operations centre. Park Place scouted five possible locations around Europe including in the Netherlands, before deciding to set up in Cork. In November 2018, it unveiled its operation at City Quarter, Lapp’s Quay, Cork, announcing 70 new roles over a two-year period. Several key factors made Cork the destination of choice. Deutsch quickly namechecks IDA Ireland’s “incredibly impactful and helpful” role in making two visits to Park Place HQ in Cleveland, Ohio, to outline a plan for helping the company to source office space and get established in Ireland. The second critical element was the availability of skilled people in the Cork area. “The universities are doing an unbelievable job in educating students to work for organisations like Park Place Technologies. Finding the right people and the talent was huge. We’ve since met with University College Cork and they’ve asked us what skill set we will need moving forward. They’re willing to build curriculums to develop future candidates,” says Deutsch. Another consideration was that the cost of living is lower in Cork than in other locations, and housing is more affordable, which helped to make the location attractive for potential recruits. It also helped that Park Place’s senior vice president for the advanced engineering and support centre was a Cork native, Nicola Buckley. Through her network, the company identified its first 12 recruits within just 72 hours. Deutsch says that the company’s experience has been so successful and so positive that it has accelerated its expansion plans in Ireland. “We’re planning on growing faster and putting more people into Cork. It wouldn’t be out of question to bring on 20% more than we originally thought. We actually have a pipeline of people who are interested in joining the company. We have a great reputation, and people understand the growth trajectory we’re on, so they’re interested in working with us,” she says. Ireland’s membership of the European Union also weighed in Park Place’s thinking. Many of the company’s new recruits speak multiple languages, making them a strong fit for a pan-European support operation. “There are several folks who are part of the organisation now who are located in Ireland, who transitioned from other parts of the European Union to settle in Ireland. They went to Cork because there were opportunities, and that’s helped us,” says Deutsch. As fate would have it, one of Park Place’s acquisitions during 2018 was an Irish technology provider, Origina. According to Deutsch, the Origina deal was about giving the company a foothold in Ireland’s fast-growing data centre market. The decision to locate in Cork was a coincidence but Park Place made the right move twice over. “The world should know that Ireland is a wonderful place to do business. It goes above and beyond to make people feel welcome and create partnerships,” says Deutsch.