NCR CEO: Could Atlanta become the 'Silicon Valley of the East'?

Bill Nuti

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

The engineers of the future can be found in many different settings throughout the world. While we hear a lot about places like Silicon Valley and Bangalore, there's another place that should be in the conversation: U.S. universities like Georgia Tech.

I know of what I speak: The company I lead, NCR, is headquartered in Atlanta and employs hundreds of Georgia Tech and University System of Georgia graduates. It's clear to me that Georgia Tech is one of the top universities when it comes to preparing its students to succeed in the technology sector. Many other companies seem to agree with me. In a recent ranking of universities on the basis of the number of graduates hired in Silicon Valley, Georgia Tech ranked sixth, despite being about 2,500 miles away.

At NCR, we are focused on hiring the best talent we can find, and that was one reason we chose to move to the Atlanta area in 2009. Today, we are working toward having a majority of our revenue be software-generated, while also striving to further expand our leadership position in the omni-channel market. We are also maintaining a laser-like focus on disruptive innovation, solution development, and market-leading services delivery. We're confident that Georgia Tech graduates can help us meet these goals, and others.

So how do we recruit that talent? One way is by opening a state-of-the-art world headquarters adjacent to Georgia Tech's Midtown Atlanta campus. The development, when finished, will feature roughly 750,000 square feet of space, comprised of two office towers situated at the corner of 8th and Spring Streets in the heart of Midtown Atlanta.

"Atlanta is a sought-after technology hub that continues to draw leading companies like NCR looking for top technology talent, attractive business locations, and a growing cross-sector tech community," says Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta, the City of Atlanta's economic development authority. "In the last two years, company relocations and expansions in Atlanta account for more than 6,000 new technology jobs and over $600 million of capital investment in the city." And a recent survey<> projected that Atlanta ranks second, among 12 U.S. cities, in projected hiring for technology jobs in the first half of 2018.

The first phase of the NCR project includes a 20-story tower that will be complete by the first quarter of 2018. The second phase will feature a 14-story office tower that will be ready for occupancy in 2019.

Our employees will receive the kinds of amenities found on the Google and Facebook campuses, such as dining options, gyms, innovation labs, and coffee bars. There will be outdoor conference areas in the garden area so our employees can enjoy the beautiful Atlanta weather as they collaborate. We will provide robust WiFi capability throughout the campus so that workers can work from anywhere on the campus. There will be a lecture hall that rivals those you regularly see on TED Talks-and may one day host a TED Talk or two. When finished, our new headquarters will provide our workers with a world-class campus that we expect will embolden them to pursue groundbreaking innovation.

Georgia Tech graduates are going to play a vital role in enabling NCR to build on our industry-leading position. We are excited about deepening our robust partnership in ways that deliver benefits to this region, and many others, for years to come.