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Iona decides time’s up for Perth office R&D staffers

IONA Technologies’ Perth office has axed the research and development arm of its business as part of more than 175 redundancies worldwide.

Last year, the Irish software developer chose Perth as a base for its Asia Pacific office to capitalise on the time difference between Perth and its Dublin office.

With the time difference of around seven hours, the Dublin staff are just arriving as Perth clocks off.

It’s a business model that has been proposed several times before where Perth’s geographical position can work in its favour.

Peter Krantz, managing director customer services Asia Pacific, said Iona Technologies was in a good position despite disbanding the research and development team in Perth.

“What I can say is we’re still going strong, with the customer service team we provide technological support in the Asia/Pacific region and some of the Americas,” Mr Krantz said.

The work on component parts for other Iona products which involved the Perth development team has been shifted to Iona’s other development sites around the world.

“In terms of business in Perth it depends on how you look at it… we had two missions. One was a development mission and one was a support mission, so you could say half of our mission is gone,” Mr Krantz said.

“Our mission now is to become purely service or-iented.”

He said the decision to cut the development team was made to ensure Iona remained in a strong business position.

“We needed to make some redundant roles to maintain our commercial business position,” Mr Krantz said.

“This is not a reaction to the downturn in the US economy, we’re not downsizing for the same reason as many of the US information technology companies.”

Iona Technologies claims these redundancies are simply a commercial repositioning to ensure the business can remain competitive.

“In our company’s history we have missed only one of our quarterly earnings,” Mr Krantz said.

Iona Technologies is uncertain whether a development team would be re-established in Perth in the future but it will depend on the development structure of the business.

“It’s public knowledge that the company was very pleased with the work the team were doing,” Mr Krantz said.

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