Despite protestations to the contrary, it seems that Ireland has finally accepted EU bailout money to the tune of some £77 billion. This final humiliation sees the end of the economy dubbed “The Celtic Tiger” which was characterised by the establishment of many large IT organisations’ European offices in the country. This includes Dell, EMC, Microsoft and Intel. I’m sure there are more but they are the first that spring to mind. What first attracted these large companies was the favourable tax regime and EU subsidies, with a corporation tax level of around 12.5% (compared to over 20% in the UK). This low tax policy is now at risk as Ireland attempts to re-stabilise their economy and pay off the debts. If that happens, what impact is that likely to have on IT, particularly storage, companies?
Dell saw the writing on the wall some time ago and moved out to Poland where operations were clearly deemed to be cheaper. But what about EMC? A large amount of their manufacturing takes place in Cork; of course a lot of it is simply assembly and testing and that could be moved any cheaper alternative. EMC are moving further towards commodity hardware based on Intel technology, making the whole assembly and testing process easier and cheaper. For instance, I wonder if the same level of testing takes place with VMAX and CLARiiON as does with Symmetrix arrays? If not, could that assembly work be moved to another location where the complex and expensive testing facilities are no longer required?
Then there’s the question of stability. Ireland looks to be heading for a general election, so politics as well as economics are unstable. This could be another deciding factor on leaving for more favourable shores.
There is a lot of other investment by EMC in the Cork facility; they run helpdesk facilities from there; there’s a large customer briefing and testing centre, so perhaps the Cork investment is too much to give up. However nothing is ever guaranteed.
I wonder if Storagezilla can speak Polish?