Honeywell announces division HQ, software center in Atlanta

Industrial giant Honeywell said Monday it will relocate a key division headquarters and open a new global software development center in a pair of moves that will add more than 800 jobs in Midtown Atlanta.

Morris Plains, N.J.-based Honeywell is a Fortune 500 maker of thermostats, fire systems, smart building software, aerospace systems, wireless communications and products for the energy exploration sector.

Honeywell executives, Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced the project at the State Capitol. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported on Friday plans by Honeywell for a major expansion in the region that would include a technology center.

The company said about 100 jobs will be based at the new Home and Building Technologies headquarters and about 730 high-tech workers will be hired for the new software development center, which will serve the company’s businesses worldwide. A location hasn’t been picked but will be soon, officials said.

The home technology division is a nearly $10 billion business within Honeywell.

Honeywell is perhaps best known to the public for its hardware. But like fellow Fortune 500 conglomerate GE, Honeywell has invested aggressively in software development and what’s known as the Internet of Things (IoT), or the networked communication through the cloud of machines and sensors.

The new software center will handle much of the IoT development for the company across all divisions.

“We’re proud that Atlanta will be the pan-Honeywell place to create next generation software offering that will be sitting at the center of our connected products,” said Krishna Mikkilneni, Honeywell senior vice president of engineering, operations and information technology.

Deal said Georgia Tech was a “vital” part of the recruitment of the company.

The Atlanta area’s rebound from the recession has been marked by a surge in technology jobs. Companies including Sage Software, athenahealth, Equifax, Global Payments and Worldpay are among the major corporations that have announced significant new technology operations in the metro area amid the slow but steady recovery.

NCR, the maker of ATMs, retail checkout systems and travel kiosks, is another company doing much the same thing. NCR announced plans last year to move its headquarters from Gwinnett County to Midtown to tap into the talent emerging out of Georgia Tech.

The company is also exploring plans to expand its future headquarters even as the first phase is under construction. NCR said in recent weeks its headquarters also will be home to a new innovation lab.

Honeywell has more than 1,000 workers in Georgia currently in numerous locations, including a cyber security lab in Gwinnett County.