NCR, the maker of cash registers and ATMs, spent the better part of a decade trying to remake itself into a modern tech and software giant.
But no move it’s made — including relocating nearly a decade ago from Ohio to metro Atlanta — reflects the physical transformation of the financial technology giant quite like its gleaming new campus in Midtown Atlanta.
On Tuesday, NCR leadership showed off the first of its two towers at Technology Square, overlooking Midtown and the Georgia Tech campus. NCR's move from Duluth to Atlanta has been among the more high-profile corporate relocations within the region, as the company spurned the suburbs to locate near transit in the heart of Midtown's growing technology hub.
NCR, meanwhile, has focused on branching out from hardware, such as cash registers and automated tellers, to software and the internet-of-things or IoT, which is when machines communicate with one another.
NCR has worked to transform itself into an “omni-channel leader,” helping merchants reach customers seamlessly in store, online and through mobile devices.
The headquarters, which NCR says will one-day house 5,000 workers, is loaded with the amenities and quirks of a Silicon Valley tech giant, including Ping Pong and air hockey tables.
The north tower has four restaurants. The south tower, to be finished later this year, will have two more.
A two-story fitness center offers a cycling and yoga studio. There’s a coffee bar and on-site medical center.
But it also embraces the workspace trends of major companies shirking closed off buildings with corner offices for modern open floorplans within buildings that embrace the street life around them.
In fact, only the most senior leadership of the company and others with sensitive jobs will have fixed offices or desks.
“Ninety percent of our workspaces are mobile,” said Kevin Finke, an NCR executive and head of campus and cultural experiences. “Only 10 percent of our workforce has a fixed location.”
Like many companies, NCR has embraced the concept of “hoteling” desks and shared workspaces that range from couches to pods that in some ways resemble business class seats on an international flight.
Workers reserve their workspace for a day or week at a time via an app. Lockers are available on each floor for workers to store personal items.
NCR opened the first tower last month. About 3,000 workers are expected to be housed there by March. The smaller second tower will open by the end of the year.
NCR’s new campus is a $450 million bet that a pair of office towers in Midtown can help the company recruit top talent from Georgia Tech and other research universities, and help kickstart a nucleus of top corporate facilities to stimulate new tech discoveries.
J. Scott Trubey is the economy and environment editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He previously served as a business reporter for the AJC covering banking, real estate and economic development. Trubey is also a former investigative reporter, with a specialty in banking, real estate and public corruption. He joined the AJC in 2010.