Under Cognizant, ATG of Missoula sees big year in 2019, “aggressive” job growth

Employees at Advanced Technology Group in Missoula tend to their duties on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. The company was acquired by Cognizant earlier in the day, a move ATG sees as one of opportunity. (Martin Kidston/Missoula Current)

When Tom Stergios looks back on 2018 and the year that was, it may stand as a good one.

ATG surged past the hiring of its 100th employee, made arrangements to move its office, and completed an acquisition with a global tech company.

But as Stergios, the senior vice president of strategy and corporate development for ATG, looks ahead, the year to come may be even bigger for the Missoula office.

“It’s going to be a big year,” said Stergios. “We’ll be moving about 90 of our employees into the Old Sawmill District in January. We’ve also started advertising for applicants.”

ATG announced in May that it planned to move to Cambium Place in the Old Sawmill District. The company’s decision to leave its collection of Main Street offices was prompted largely by its rapid growth and a lack of room.

In September, with construction of its new office underway, ATG was acquired by Cognizant, a global provider of Internet technology. The firm plans to add 25,000 employees in the U.S. over the next five years, including in Missoula.

While Stergios isn’t ready to name numbers, he does expect to announce them next month, along with a new partnership with the University of Montana and Missoula College. The company recently launched a series of radio commercials advertising for applicants.

“We’re really going to be ramping up our hiring,” Stergios said. “We’ll be coming up with a specific number in January. It’s going to be aggressive for sure.”

When ATG announced its acquisition by Cognizant, Stergios labeled it as one of opportunity. Cognizant, ranked high on Forbes’ list of fastest-growing technology companies, is adding 500 jobs in Mesa, Arizona, and 1,100 jobs in Texas.

During a celebration at the Wilma in October, Ronan O’Flaherty, head of strategy for enterprise application services at Cognizant, said “now the fun starts” in Missoula. Four months into that new partnership, Stergios also sees a year ripe with forward momentum.

“We couldn’t be more happy,” he said. “We’ve had Cognizant people in the office every week since the acquisition. They’ve become a great part of the team. We’ve really hit it off as colleagues and I look forward to collaboration and international expansion, and helping ATG be the best it can be.”

Others will be watching ATG in 2019.

“The ATG acquisition by Cognizant is huge to Missoula,” said Christina Henderson, executive director of the Montana High Tech Business Alliance. “Even a conservative estimate for the number of jobs that will lead to is significant. There’s this huge, global powerhouse company that’s using Missoula and the ATG office as a ramping-up point for its SalesForce operations.”