The Everest publishing house closed in 2015, closing a stage of more than 50 years in which it became one of the most important in Spain. In its plant in León, more than 400 people came to work printing books of all kinds, especially educational ones. After his disappearance the building was abandoned, but a second life awaits him. The multinational Hewlett-Packard, better known as HP, will close the circle of the property by establishing there one of the divisions that are responsible for the software of its large format printers.
IBM also chooses Spain as the regional pole of its cloud and announces “hundreds of jobs”
HP already had a presence in León, but what is striking about the decision is that it is a relocation. The brand has decided to bring the equipment that it had exported there from India, renouncing this cost reduction. “The main reason is the excellence of all the work that has been done in León. We have been here for many years and although in terms of costs it cannot compete with India, what has been seen in the corporation is that the results are very good, the quality is exceptional “, Miguel Ángel Turrado, general director of HP in León, explains to elDiario.es.
The division of the Castilian-Leon capital is in charge of the firmware of the brand’s professional printers. Firmware is the computer program that controls the movement of the machine. “It is the brain of the printer”, details Turrado: “The tricky thing about firmware development is that it has to be very fast and accurate. With other types of software, such as the printer’s control panel, if it takes a second longer to loading nothing happens, maybe the user doesn’t even know. The firmware, on the other hand, has to work very fast to tell the printer carriage how to move, when to take the paper, where to drop the drop … it has to be very high performance”.
Until now, this work was carried out between León, Barcelona and Bangalore, in the southeast of India. The Spanish team was in charge of the R&D and development of the programs that control the new HP printers. The Bangalore division was tasked with designing patches, upgrades, and correcting small errors in the operation of the machines.
Now that role is also assumed by León, for which HP has announced the hiring of 30 highly qualified workers and the move to the old Everest headquarters, measuring 750 square meters. The company has a total of 200 workers in the city and hopes to continue expanding its presence. “What we liked about that building is that it gave us a lot of expansion capabilities,” reveals Turrado.
Change of trend
In recent months, technology companies that bet on Spain have accumulated. IBM has joined Google, Amazon and Microsoft this week, who have announced significant investments to build data centers, a basic infrastructure for their cloud services. The software sector has not been left behind: Vodafone will create an R&D center of 600 workers in Malaga, a city in which Google will also invest, which will establish a center of excellence in cybersecurity. Last week, Microsoft announced the creation of an artificial intelligence laboratory in Barcelona.
“Years ago there was a policy of wanting to reduce costs and relocate services that can be provided remotely, not only to Asia but to Latin American countries. This dynamic has been cut and there is a tendency to repatriate those services,” he says in conversation with this means Raúl de la Torre, general secretary of Information Technologies of CCOO, the representative union in HP León.
Years ago there was a policy of reducing costs and relocating services that can be provided remotely to Asia and Latin America. That dynamic has been cut
Raúl de la Torre
– Secretary General of Information Technologies of CCOO
“One of the reasons is that in the end the level of service is not as expected. In Spain we have very well-trained people, who technically measure up. Cultural differences are also important. It is true that that level of service must be guaranteed because if you lower costs a little and then the customer is not happy … in the end you end up losing it, “he adds.
De la Torre explains that some dynamics forced by the pandemic have also given a push to the change in strategy of companies, especially teleworking. Although it was not a strange practice in technology before the pandemic, the coronavirus has shown that it is sustainable. “There has been a change in mentality not only in service providers, consultancy or information technology companies, but also in our clients, who no longer require face-to-face work.”
In this way, companies have also stopped considering Madrid and Barcelona as the only options to establish themselves in Spain. Malaga has established itself as a top-level technological pole and cities like León are also opposed to taking this type of investment. In the case of the Castilian-Leon capital, the presence of the National Cybersecurity Institute (Incibe) has worked like a tractor, since a good number of SMEs in the same sector have been created in its orbit.
“The problem we have, not only in León, but I would tell you that in Spain and even in Europe, is the lack of engineers,” says Turrado, from HP. “If you ask me what keeps me awake, I answer that it is not finding people. It is an immense problem. We could bring more things to Spain if we had more people to do them, it is very difficult to find qualified personnel.”