US firm Puppet Labs is establishing a software engineering centre in Belfast, creating 100 jobs with the financial help of Invest Northern Ireland.

Puppet Labs develops software that enables system administrators to easily automate the configuration and management of machines and the software running on them.

Using the technology businesses can make rapid, repeatable changes and automatically enforce the consistency of systems and devices across physical and virtual machines, on premise or in the cloud, says Puppet.

Puppet Labs' says its software is used by more than 20,000 organisations worldwide, including Cisco, CERN, Salesforce.com, Twitter and the London Stock Exchange.

Announcing the investment, Northern Ireland enterprise, trade and investment minister Arlene Foster said, “Against competition from several other sites, Northern Ireland has again proved to be the location of choice for a global trading company with ambitious growth plans. Puppet Labs is an innovative company who are committed to product research and development."

She said, “I am pleased Invest Northern Ireland was able to offer £1 million of support for the creation of these new positions. I understand recruitment is already underway and the 100 jobs should be in place within the next three years."

The majority of the jobs are in software engineering and quality assurance positions. The remainder of the roles are in areas including customer support and sales development.

“Once filled, these posts will collectively deliver annual salaries of over £3.7 million to the local economy,” said Foster.

Luke Kanies, CEO and founder of Puppet Labs, said, “Puppet Labs has been growing rapidly as IT automation is critical for any company that uses technology to compete. This new centre will expand our engineering capacity to support our plans for growth, particularly in the European and Middle Eastern markets."

He said, “Northern Ireland has strong software engineering talent and offers quality and cost advantages to support our growth. We are also looking forward to working closely with Invest NI to continue to develop the software industry in Northern Ireland.”

Puppet Labs’ Northern Ireland operation will work alongside the US-based engineering teams to continue to develop the core product Puppet Enterprise. Puppet is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

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