The 1st quarterly CEE Digital Services Matchmaking Summit Q2 is set for 18 June 2020, a focused 1-day event to connect global technology buyers (primarily in western Europe, Scandinavia, UK, US and Japan) with top digital services providers from Central Eastern Europe. CEE is home to some of the top tech talent in the world.
2-tiered ticket reservation system:
1) Presentations Only: All members of CEE Digital Services Partners and Partner Associations are complimentary; non-members 190euro.
2) 1-on-1 Meetings, plus Presentations. Open only for CEE-based digital services providers and global technology buyers. (190 euro).
Within 24 hours of your reservation, you will receive access to our bespoke matchmaking system that will allow you to set up 1-on-1 meetings with companies that match your requested profiles.
Meetings are limited to 15 minutes. Most companies should be able to have 5+ direct meetings during the day.
Agenda and Reserve Tickets here.
Computer Generated Solutions (CGS) Romania, the leader in the local business process outsourcing (BPO) market, says the performance of its employees hasn't been affected by the fact that most of them work from home.
About 85% of the company's almost 4,000 employees currently work from home. This transition took place in less than two weeks, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
"Even if the transition to a remote work system took place in a very short time, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, our employees adapted very quickly to the new conditions. The concept was not foreign to the company since we already had a significant percentage of colleagues who worked from home for 1-2 days a week. We were pleasantly impressed that, in the new conditions, employees have been prompter and more punctual," said Vladimir Sterescu, Country Manager CGS Romania.
CGS Romania says it registered lately a considerable increase in the volume of calls received mainly due to the rise in the level of occupancy of consultants per unit of time worked. According to the evaluations received from the clients, the quality of the interaction and meeting the clients' needs increased by 20% during this period.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, about 10% of CGS Romania employees worked from home at least for a few days a week, this share being well above the local market average. According to a Eurostat study, only 0.4% of Romanians worked remotely in 2018.
The Romanian unit of business process outsourcing company Computer Generated Solutions (CGS) said on Wednesday it will hire 450 people to cope with increasing demand for support services amid the coronavirus pandemic.The new employees will work from home and will support projects already in progress, as well as new ones added in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, CGS Romania said in a press release.
Many businesses moved operations online, while a large number of companies have support centers in Asia, which was strongly affected by the pandemic situation. This situation led to a growing need for outsourcing services, CGS Romania country manager Vladimir Sterescu said.
Most new projects come from clients who had outsourcing contracts or support centers in the Philippines, India or North-West Africa.
Currently, 80% of all 4,000 CGS Romania employees are working from home.
U.S.-based company CGS has been present on the Romanian market since 2006. It provides services in 18 languages, with support centers - in Bucharest, Brasov, Sibiu, Targu-Jiu, Miercurea-Ciuc, Galati and Constanta.
CGS was founded in 1984 in New York and currently employs over 7,500 across North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Intrum, a market leader in credit management services, has decided to expand its global business services (IGBS) team in Lithuania, hiring 70 additional professionals in 2020.
The company was established in Vilnius in 2014 as Lindorff Business Services Centre. In 2017, Lindorff joined forces with Intrum Justitia and became Intrum, the world’s leading provider of credit management services. Currently there are two Intrum Group companies operating in Lithuania – credit management company Intrum Lithuania and Intrum Global Business Services (IGBS) which currently employs 400 operation specialists, data scientists and financial controllers who support Intrum Group functions and its local country business network across Europe. Intrum provides a wide range of services, which include debt collection, credit optimisation, business analysis, accounts receivable management and others.
According to Susanne Allenberg, Head of IGBS, Intrum’s GBS centre plays an essential role in ensuring the constant improvement of the company’s services worldwide.
“Our center has been a big contributor in improving business processes across the global organization, and we are thrilled that our growing business has allowed our center to grow alongside it and hire even more people here in Lithuania. This expansion will allow us to focus on continuing to provide value and creating a Center of Excellence with harmonized, automated and standardized business processes”, says Susanne.
The company is planning on hiring an additional 70 professionals in data analytics, back office and finance control. The company does business in 24 countries and has more than 10,000 experienced employees in the Group.
The following article is by Invest Lithuania’s Investment Advisor Dalia Liesytė.
“Location, location, location” is not just a catchy term used by realtors, or a key criteria to consider when setting up a new GBS centre. It’s also the decisive factor when it comes to Transport and Logistics. Positioned between three sizeable markets – Western Europe, the Nordics and the CIS – Lithuania boasts a Transport and Logistics sector that accounts for a larger percent of GDP (12%) than any other EU nation. As global companies look to centralize and streamline their Transport Management functions, a new cluster is emerging in Lithuania that is built on the foundation of engineering talent and accumulated logistics know-how the country possesses – Global Business Services centres focused on Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
The logistics of successIf we look at the Transport and Logistics sector as a whole, it is one of the definite drivers of the Lithuanian economy. In 2018, the industry showed 15% YoY growth, passing almost €10.7 billion in revenue. Today, over 7,500 companies are active in the Lithuanian Transport and Logistics sector, including global names like DSV, DHL, DB Schenker and DPD. There are also local giants like Girteka Logistics, which is likely to become the first European company to own 10,000 trucks.
The Baltic country is also well connected by every means possible – land, sea and air. Lithuania is the leader in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) for quality of roads, according to the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum. With four international airports for cargo and a well-developed Road Feeder Services infrastructure, Lithuania serves as a convenient stop for the freight forwarding business. And, in addition to high-volume land and air connectivity, Lithuania has Klaipėda – the northernmost warm-water port on the Baltic Sea. In 2019, it handled more than 46 million tons of cargo, making it the leading port by turnover in the Baltics.
Logistics meets GBS: from Automation to DigitalizationWhile a traditional GBS centre might focus on centralizing back-office processes in fields like Finance and HR, a new trend of putting all Transport Management functions under one roof is emerging.
A prime example of this strive for efficiency is Norway’s Yara – one of the world’s largest providers of fertilizers and crop nutrition solutions. In 2019, they opened their GBS centre in Vilnius, and it is set to become a crucial operational Supply Chain node in their European delivery network. The importance of the centre to the company is emphasized in its mission statement to handle every single shipment and order Yara has in Europe. “This is a huge responsibility, but we are confident that our latest addition to the Yara family will be fit for the task,” Pablo Barrera Lopez, Executive Vice President in Yara International, commented on the decision at the beginning of 2019. One year on, and Yara has built a team of more than 230 specialists and now provides services in 16 languages.
Disruptive solutions Made in LithuaniaLithuania is not only a place where orders and shipments are handled – genuinely disruptive logistics solutions are developed here as well. One of these disruptors is Carggo, a company aiming to revolutionize the US trucking market. With a development office in Vilnius, this company provides a digital freight fulfilment platform that is fair, efficient and designed to make it easier for logistics providers and carriers to experience long-lasting growth in this new digital era.
The country’s engineers are also involved in producing state-of-the-art logistics and supply chain automation solutions. Kaunas, for example, is home not only to the region’s largest technical university but also to the engineering centre of Dematic, a global leader in innovative supply chain automation technologies, software and services. Their Kaunas-based team is responsible for the design and commissioning of automatic control systems for mechatronics equipment at customer sites. In addition, Lithuanian specialists carry out detailed research on the qualitative characteristics of the newly designed systems. As Michael Baul, Head of Engineering at Dematic Northern Europe, put it: “Dematic very quickly identified Lithuania as a valuable source of educated engineers with a very positive work ethic and a motivation to succeed”.
In the decade that Dematic has been operating in Kaunas, it has cooperated closely with both Kaunas University of Technology and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, with most of their hires being graduates of one of these leading engineering schools. And they are not an outlier, as 69% of GBS centres in Lithuania declare cooperating with local universities and colleges, as shown in Lithuania’s business services report 2019 produced by Invest Lithuania. The net gain of such close co-operation is evident, with the emergence of a talent pool utilized to deliver more sophisticated and high-end functions, the field of Logistics and Supply Chain being no exception.
Austrian TGW Logistics Group, a leading systems provider of highly automated, flexible solutions supporting distribution and fulfillment for leading retailers and global brands in e-commerce, apparel, general merchandise and grocery, is another major player that chose Kaunas for their engineering operations in 2017. According to TGW Northern Europe CEO Andy Smith, the initial objective of this centre was to contribute to the company’s projects in Northern Europe. But now the company sees even more potential and new opportunities for it to contribute to projects across Europe, North America and China. It appears this automation giant will be tasking its Kaunas team with many more complex tasks in the future.
Automation of a different kind is at the heart of the Klaipėda operations of Greencarrier Group, one of the largest privately owned Transport companies in the Nordics. Having established their centre in 2013 to provide Finance and Logistics Operations services to the company group, Greencarrier has announced that they will be starting to develop their own Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions in 2020. And although this is a first for Klaipėda, RPA solutions are widespread in Lithuanian GBS centres, with 34% of centres employing robots.
In summary, while “Location, location, location” is a clear asset for Lithuania in terms of both Logistics and GBS, this dynamic Baltic country has plenty more to offer besides its geography. It already boasts a number of success stories in the area where Logistics, Automation and Digital Services meet. And with 18,000 logistics specialists currently being trained by the education system and net positive migration (a reversal of the last decade’s trend), Lithuania has the right talent pool to serve the needs of a rapidly expanding market.
CAST AI, a Florida-based developer of cloud computing solutions, has announced the establishment of a development office in Lithuania. The company, which has already raised $4.8M at beginning of 2020, plans to expand its Vilnius-based team to 100 people in the next three years.
Established in the end of 2019, the company seeks to solve a common issue in cloud computing – running multiple clouds with several providers. The latest report by Gartner shows that 81% of cloud users rely on multiple providers, but there is no solution for seamless and simultaneous synchronization. CAST AI will allow organizations to deploy and automatically optimize applications across any combination of cloud providers, like Azure and AWS.
“With our AIOps engine, we will offer users the ability to have each workload of their application run on a different cloud, without the need to change a single line of code. By doing so, we will be able to automatically optimize this part of the equation for cost, performance, security and other factors,” states Laurent Gil, the company’s Chief Product Officer.
To advance their AI engine, the company’s co-founders made the strategic decision to establish a development centre in Lithuania. “Lithuania will be our only hub outside of US, and 95% of development will be performed there. As we have seen in our previous experience, local developers and engineers have what it takes to roll-out truly competitive global solutions,” says Yuri Frayman, the company’s CEO.
The people behind the company are known for their involvement in successful software ventures. CEO Yuri Frayman and CPO Laurent Gil were an integral part of Viewdle – a mobile-focused visual analysis company that became part of Google in 2012. Vilius Žukauskas will be leading the Lithuanian operations. A connection to Lithuania is also shared by one of the company’s first investors – Fred Sorkin, co-founder of one of Canada’s largest software firms Hummingbird, who had emigrated from Lithuania in the 1970s.
„I am sure that, with its cast of serial entrepreneurs, competences in cloud computing that will continue to be very important in technology industry, CAST AI is bound to become another successful US-Lithuanian venture to drive the IT sector in Lithuania further“, says Mantas Katinas, Managing Director of Invest Lithuania, the country’s Investment Promotion Agency.
Infogain, a Silicon Valley-headquartered leading provider of technology solutions, announced in mid-May that it has opened a new development center in Kraków, Poland. Headed by Rohit Nagpal, Senior Vice President & Global Head – Travel, Hospitality and Retail, this will be Infogain’s sixth development center globally, serving both European and US clients. The Kraków development center opened on 13 May.
“Infogain Kraków is our first European development center. We are experiencing growing demand in this region, and Krakow was an ideal choice based on the local IT talent, leading technology universities, and its reputation for R&D. We are starting with a team of 30, and hope to grow to 300 within a year,” said Eddie Chandhok, President and Global Delivery Head at Infogain.
Chandhok further added, “This center will enable us to serve European clients on a nearshore basis, while also adding to our flexibility and ability to create value globally. Infogain Kraków will work with clients to create seamless digital experiences, integrating experience design with intelligent software development.
Infogain staff in Kraków will have career growth opportunities contributing to the company’s T&H CoE and working on projects among both Infogain’s T&H customer base and its Digital customer base. The Krakow development center follows Infogain’s acquisitions of Silicus Technologies and Revel Consulting in October 2019.
Infogain is a Silicon Valley headquartered company with software platform engineering and deep domain expertise in travel, retail, insurance and high technology industries.
UiPath, the leading enterprise Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software company, today announced the launch of the UiPath Automation Awards 2020 competition. Open to emerging B2B software automation start-ups and scale-ups in the CEE region and Turkey, the competition rewards the most promising players and emerging talent in the software automation space with a EUR 50,000 cash prize offered by Microsoft, as well as mentoring hours, technical and marketing support offered by UiPath experts, and access to the company’s portfolio of global clients.
Building on last year’s successful first edition, which attracted applications from more than 16 countries, the competition aims to identify new technologies and companies in the region that can have a global impact and strengthen the larger ecosystem of automation solutions. Furthermore, UiPath is keen to reinforce its commitment to supporting the startup ecosystem throughout the CEE and Turkey, and foster innovation in the ever-growing automation space and particularly so at a time of crisis.
Over the past months, automation has proven to be a key factor in supporting public sector organizations and companies across many sectors to ensure business continuity amid the COVID-19 crisis. From enabling remote onboarding to support HR professionals, to helping doctors and nurses gain more time for their patients, to clearing up backlogs for airline carriers, automation has cemented its place in enterprises as a reliable, scalable, and cost-effective tool.
Automation startups and early stage companies can now submit their applications in two categories:
Vargha Moayed, UiPath Chief Strategy Officer, said: “All great technologies have shown resilience and proven their value in times of crisis. As the leader of the global RPA market, we have been driven by a mission to democratize access to automation technology and strengthen the global automation ecosystem. We are happy to be able to provide tangible support to the emerging automation champions in the CEE and Turkey.”
Violeta Luca, General Manager Microsoft Romania, said: “At Microsoft, we strive for what I call ‘meaningful innovation’ - products and services that improve our lives on a daily basis but also have the potential to change the world. This is why we feel both honored and excited to be part of 2020 edition of UiPath CEE Automation Awards, at a moment when society and economy need innovation more than ever to shape, through new opportunities, the journey towards a future we can all benefit from.”
Tomasz Wesołowski, co-founder and CEO of Edward.ai, winner of the 2019 Start-up Automation Award, said: "Participating in the UiPath Automation Awards has been a highly valuable experience for Edward.ai. Since winning the start-up prize, we have seen tremendous interest from investors all over Europe. What's more, the UiPath team's support has been instrumental in developing a joint POC that we are showcasing in the UiPath Immersion Labs.”
Adrian Daniel Cernat, founder and CEO of SmartDreamers, winner of the 2019 Scale-up Automation Award, said: "Winning the UiPath CEE Automation awards has given us the recognition of the RPA market leader for our automation module in talent acquisition. The support that we have received from the UiPath team has been essential in developing and democratizing automation for our customers, but also in consolidating our go-to-market strategies and other key areas."
The competition is open to start-ups and scale-ups from Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Turkey.
Summary Bullet Points:
JTI Polska (a member of the Japan Tobacco International group) has signed a lease agreement with Capital Park Group for 8,500 sq m of the Norblin Factory modern offices located in Warsaw's new business center, City Center West. The office will seat JTI’s Global Business Service (GBS) center, which will support JTI’s operations worldwide. GBS employees will move to the new office in the second quarter of 2021.
The new offices of Global Business Service center will seat 850 employees of GBS and will be located on three levels of the building. JTI’s staff will also have access to a terrace on the roof of the building. The contract with JTI Polska is currently Norblin's largest lease agreement.
“Global Business Service Center is yet another strategic investment of JTI in Poland. We are currently recruiting GBS employees, and choosing Norblin Factory for GBS main office was well-considered”, said Paulo Lopes, JTI GBS Warsaw Delivery Centre General Manager. “JTI is a top employer globally and in Poland – this year we were again ranked nr 1 in the Top Employers Poland certification. Norblin factory provides us high quality office, tailored for our needs, and great location in city center, which strengthens our Top Employer position.” .
JTI announced in November 2019 plans to employ 850 people in Warsaw. The Warsaw JTI centre will be recruiting economists, finance, marketing, sales and HR specialists. Although JTI will launch similar centres in Saint Petersburg and Manila, the Warsaw-based office will outmatch them in size.
With the operations of Japan Tobacco’s 28,000-square-meter plant in Stare Gostkowo near Łódź and other facilities, the company’s share in the Polish cigarettes market amounts to 18 percent. Moreover, the company has enjoyed nearly 19 percent share in Poland’s market of smokable tobacco products, Rzeczpospolita reported.
Having its business activities going on in over 130 countries, JTI employs 45,000 individuals and its 2019 annual operating income is expected to reach USD 4.65 bln.