Inspur, an information technology company headquartered in Jinan, Shandong province, anticipates a surge in its U.S. business in 2018.
"We are looking for at least a 30 to 40 percent growth in Seattle. When we grow here, we also grow the team in China, as our delivery team is in China. Like when we get projects here, we have people work here, we also have people work in China," said Ada Grant, vice-president of Inspur USA and of Inspur Worldwide Services.
Inspur has about 150 employees in Greater Seattle focused on software and IT. In Silicon Valley in Fremont, California, the company has another team of more than 60 focusing on manufacturing and hardware R&D.
Inspur said the expansion will be not just in IT services, but also in hardware.
In 2005, Inspur became one of three global strategic partners of U.S. software giant Microsoft, which invested million in Inspur International.
Inspur has since provided solutions in the U.S. to help Microsoft build offsite facilities in China. For better communications and ease of business with Microsoft, Inspur set up the Seattle office.
Three years ago, Inspur built the factory in California and created an R&D team focusing on producing and assembling servers for North American and South American clients.
Grant joined the company because "the company does have a different strategy that I believe it will give me a bigger platform".
She mentioned that the U.S. team is managed in a Western style, which she said provided more latitude, ease of communication and team-building.
The company now has more than 27,000 employees worldwide and is involved in more than 20 vertical industries. In the past, servers dominated Inspur's business, but a month ago, Inspur released a new strategy to expand its cloud-computing products and services.
International Data Corporation recently released two reports that highlight Inspur's artificial-intelligence capabilities in products, solutions and technology innovation.
The reports detailed Inspur's product portfolio geared toward a future powered by AI. The portfolio includes reconfigurable server systems, cluster management software, performance optimization tools and open source, deep learning frameworks.
IDC reported that Inspur has developed a software-defined reconfigurable server and storage system specialized in supporting AI training and inference, in which performance can be accelerated, pooled and reconfigured.
"The role of our U.S. office is kind of like a vanguard for new technology and a bridge to link China to the outside-China market," Grant said.