Almost 500 jobs are to be created across four counties by three multinational technology companies.

SAP is increasing the numbers it employs in Galway and Dublin by 260, while Ericsson is to create 120 jobs in Dublin and Athlone and Wipro is adding 100 new jobs in Shannon, Co Clare. 

Global business software firm SAP operates in 130 countries, including Ireland, where it already employs 1,200.

The company announced this morning that it is to add 60 research and development roles at its R&D centre in Citywest in Dublin.

It also expects to fill a further 200 technology support positions in Dublin and Galway this year, with recruitment already under way.

Elsewhere, the fifth largest software company in the world, Ericsson, is to add 120 jobs at its Dublin and Athlone operations.

The jobs are across a range of areas, including software development, programme management and consultancy.

Both investments are supported by the Department of Jobs through the IDA.

Meanwhile, an Indian IT, consulting and outsourcing company has announced it will increase its workforce in Shannon, creating 100 jobs over the next year. 

Wipro currently employs 200 people, who deliver IT and business process services to banks and financial service businesses across Ireland and the UK. 

The company said that Ireland offers a great talent pool and infrastructural support. Wipro first opened its Irish office in 2012.

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said ICT was a sector targeted by the Action Plan for Jobs and the announcements were a huge boost for the counties concerned and the country.

He said the Government had put in place measures to support growth in the ICT sector and he was determined to see further growth.

IDA Chief Executive Barry O'Leary said the R&D carried out by Ericsson in Ireland is at the cutting edge of technology, and helps attract other ICT firms.

On the SAP announcement, he said the company's decision to invest further in Ireland is a vote of confidence in Ireland's technological capabilities and strong track record in the sector.

Liam Ryan, Managing Director of SAP operations in Ireland, echoed Mr O'Leary's comments, saying the expansion is a vote of confidence in the ability of SAP's Irish-based operations to continue to attract talent that will be a source of innovation and support.

He also urged all stakeholders in the education and employment sectors in Ireland to work together to ensure a continued healthy pipeline of talent and skills to meet demands in the ICT sector.

Traoloch Collins, Managing Director of Ericsson in Ireland, said the country is now a major research and development hub for the company globally.

He said the business is seeking highly-skilled people who want to work in a dynamic and creative environment.