US-based engineering group Montgomery Watson Harza has chosen New Zealand to set up a captive IT outsourcing arm, which is expected to employ approximately 20 people by the end of 2004.
According to reports, Broomfield, Colorado-based MWH will relocate senior IT staff from the US and Europe to the new location in Christchurch in order to provide IT support services to the company’s global operations that include some 6,100 employees across 37 countries. The center will become one of three such global IT support facilities that MWH has located worldwide, and the company plans to work with a number of New Zealand-based IT companies for the delivery.
The announcement is a significant step for New Zealand which is promoting itself as a viable alternative to other low-cost offshore software services destinations such as India, the Philippines and China. New Zealand’s advantages to these however is the cultural similarity to the west, and the high standards of living. Apparently, all but one of the MWH people affected by the move had yet to accept the relocation plan.