The impact of Salesforce’s (NYSE: CRM) decision to establish a new regional headquarters will extend far beyond downtown Indianapolis, according to state officials and technology executives. The San Francisco-based cloud computing company announced Friday it will invest $40 million and add 800 jobs as part of a massive Indianapolis expansion that includes the rebranding of the Chase Tower to Salesforce Tower. "It’s huge news, not just for the jobs, but I think the statement that it makes for the whole ecosystem in the tech sector," said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Smith said Hoosier tech companies should see an impact in their efforts to attract and retain talent.
"This is good news for Salesforce, clearly, but it’s also good news for Interactive Intelligence, it’s good news for Angie’s List and Ron Fauquher and his team in Muncie at Ontario Systems, because it puts a much brighter spotlight (on Indiana) and we need to attract talent."
Talent attraction continues to be a top priority for companies in Indiana’s tech sector and the Salesforce deal, coupled with numerous other expansion announcements, are expected to add further pressure to the talent pipeline.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Chief Executive Officer Scott McCorkle doesn’t seem overly concerned. "The universities we have in this surrounding area are incredible," McCorkle told Inside Indiana Business after last week’s announcement. "There is really an incredible amount of innovation happening here and I have high confidence that we’ll be able to grow and find those people."
And state officials expect the economic impact of the deal to be far-reaching.
According to figures released by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, at full employment the expansion will generate up to $122.7 million to the state’s GDP annually and create a ripple effect of more than 1,500 additional Hoosier jobs.
Smith expects the new Salesforce jobs to pay at a rate of about 200 percent of the state’s average.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says the Salesforce deal adds significantly to Indy’s emerging profile as a hub for entrepreneurs and innovation. "It sends a message throughout the country that Indianapolis is a city on the move, particularly as it relates to technology," said Hogsett. "A powerful message that Indianapolis has become a tech community and a tech incubator."