Kevin Finke, right, an NCR executive and head of campus and cultural experiences, shows of some of the workstations in the financial technology company’s Midtown Atlanta headquarters, which opened in January 2017. Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. /strubey@ajc.com
Photo: J. Scott Trubey
Photo: J. Scott Trubey

NCR’s Midtown Atlanta HQ features amenities, quirks of Silicon Valley firms

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.

This rendering shows the first and second phases of Spring and 8th Street, the headquarters campus of financial technology firm NCR. The first tower, right, opened Monday, NCR said. The second is expected to open later this year. Source: Cousins Properties, NCR, Duda Paine Architects, HKS and Kimley-Horn
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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.”

NCR’s second tower along Spring Street is expected to open later this year. J. Scott Trubey/strubey@ajc.com
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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.

The company moved from Dayton, Ohio, to Gwinnett County in 2009, and announced its plans to move to Midtown in 2015.

NCR officials said they hope students at Tech venture inside the public spaces of the campus to learn about the technologies created within. The campus will also include NCR’s main innovation lab.

Most of the company’s senior team will be based in the new headquarters, though CEO Bill Nuti will continue to be based in New York.

The complex is under development by Atlanta-based Cousins Properties. It was designed by Duda Pain Architects with interior design by Gensler.

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