Westinghouse Electric Company today officially opened its Global Shared Services Center in Krakow. With this new facility, Poland becomes a global services hub for the company. Located in Zablocie Business Park B, the facility will have nearly 160 highly qualified employees from seven business functions that will work to support the company's global operations.
"Westinghouse is committed to Poland in their energy transition goals. The establishment of the Global Shared Services Center is a testament to that commitment. Westinghouse is also implementing the activities included in the Polish American intergovernmental agreement. Starting with the Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) work combined with the opening of the Global Shared Services Center, which are two key elements of it. We want to provide Poland with the best technology to support its climate change goals and secure the energy needs of its economy" emphasized Patrick Fragman, CEO of Westinghouse, who participated in the ceremony in Krakow.
The ceremony was also attended by Mirosław Kowalik, President of Westinghouse Poland, Grzegorz Słomkowski, a member of the Management Board of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency and Patrick T. Slowinski, US General Consul Krakow.
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Westinghouse Electric Company
HWG, an Italian cybersecurity services provider, has announced plans to open a security operations centre in Vilnius this year. The company expects to hire around 20 cybersecurity analysts to work with clients around the world.
Founded in 2008, HWG started out by providing managed security services, focusing on advanced monitoring of network infrastructure. Soon branching out to mission critical application monitoring, HWG began building their first Security Operations Center (SOC) in 2011.
“Security Operations Centers are essential for continuous cyber threat monitoring and analysis as well as for prevention and mitigation of cybersecurity incidents,” explains Stefano Brusaferro, CEO at HWG Cyber Security Nordics. “We built our first SOC using our founder’s extensive experience in the cybersecurity field, but we also had to learn very fast. Developing cybersecurity competencies takes time, and HWG has made major improvements over the years. After creating our first SOC in Italy, we soon started working with clients abroad, particularly with central banks”.
HWG provides 24/7 proactive security monitoring and incident response services to companies in more than 20 countries around the world. In order to do so, it operates SOC services in Verona, Dubai, and Singapore. And from September, Vilius will be added to this list.
“Our customers are big and mid-sized corporates and institutions operating in a variety of industries: banking and finance, fashion, manufacturing, automotive, utilities, telecommunications and government services,” Brusaferro says. “By opening a SOC in Lithuania, we are looking to extend the capabilities of our Italian team and offer comprehensive security monitoring for more clients.”
HWG chose Lithuania ahead of a number of important countries in Europe and outside for its new SOC. One key factor in HGW’s decision was the availability of high-level cybersecurity talent in Lithuania. The country’s friendly business environment, coupled with possibilities for cooperation with local universities and existing industry expertise were also decisive.
The company’s expansion plans do not end with the new base in Lithuania. “Establishing a SOC in Vilnius and boosting our capabilities constitutes the first phase of our expansion project”, Brusaferro explains. “The second phase involves expanding our commercial presence in the region – the Baltics and the Nordics, Belarus, Poland, and other surrounding countries.”
HWG currently employs over 60 cybersecurity senior analysts and expects to hire another 20-25 specialists for the new SOC in Vilnius, including security analysts, security architects and consultants.
“Continuing threats to data and computer infrastructure will only increase the importance of cybersecurity across all industries,” says Vida Staskonienė acting Director of business development at Invest Lithuania. “Lithuania offers fast, reliable digital infrastructure and a strong pipeline of dedicated IT specialists, which will undoubtedly serve HWG in building effective security processes for their clients.”
Dexcom, a US medical technology company that established a business services center in Vilnius at the end of 2020, will recruit nearly 200 professionals this year. The technology leader in continuous glucose monitoring for people with diabetes also plans to expand the team to 400 employees by 2023. Most employees will join the product’s technical support, maintenance, quality and finance teams.
Dexcom’s HR manager Rūta Ivanauskienė notes that although a shortage of certain specialists can be seen in the global labour market, there is an interesting trend among potential employees. According to her, they are hesitant to accept an offer without finding out whether their position will provide not only stability but also meaning.
“In the past, fringe benefits such as health insurance, financial bonuses, events, days off and, of course, a competitive salary helped to attract employees, but now that is expected of every employer. Today, when people come to a job interview, they usually ask what our mission is. It shows that the candidates are looking for a sense of purpose in their workplace. This aspect is becoming more and more important and determines the choice the potential employees make”, she says.
According to Mrs Ivanauskienė, Dexcom’s continuous glucose monitors save countless lives of people that have diabetes. The company’s experts continuously help the product’s users who face various challenges caused by the disease every day, and they also fulfil the vital mission of enabling people to control their diabetes and live a rewarding life. That is why the company focuses on empathetic and attentive professionals when interviewing candidates, as this is the only way Dexcom can fully understand and meet its customers’ needs.
Based in Vilnius, Dexcom’s primary business operations and customer service center will provide services to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The company will recruit most employees to the technical support, product maintenance, quality and finance teams. Also, the near-term plans include the growth of project management, robotic process automation and HR teams.
Recruitment without geographical boundariesAs stated by Mrs Ivanauskienė, there is currently a severe shortage of employees both in Lithuania and worldwide. And while the pandemic has significantly altered established recruitment processes, it has also brought mutual benefits for employers and candidates because the company recruits new colleagues despite geographical borders.
“Global acceptance of working remotely has reduced the relevance of location and removed many boundaries that were restricting the recruitment of candidates. That is why we are hiring new team members all over Lithuania, offering them remote or hybrid work. And even though we prioritize local talent, we are also looking for specialists abroad and are inviting them to move here,” says Dexcom’s HR Manager.
Lithuania was chosen for its professional talent poolSpeaking about the company’s choice to locate in Lithuania, Dexcom’s HR manager highlights the wide selection of professionals, the developed life sciences sector, and further expansion opportunities.
“Dexcom is constantly looking for new opportunities to grow and expand into new markets to increase the availability of our services to existing and potential clients. Therefore, we have chosen to locate our service center in the capital city of Lithuania, which has distinguished itself by its favourable conditions for business development and its highly competent professionals. The latter is crucial for our future team growth because this year alone we plan to recruit 200 specialists”, says R. Ivanauskienė.
Dexcom is currently based in Vilnius, Business Stadium North business office building. At the beginning of 2022, the company will move to Business Stadium North East, a 6,000-square-metre business center which is being built on the territory of the former Žalgiris Stadium. The company previously announced that the office lease signed in March was the largest in the Baltics during 2021.
About Dexcom:Founded in 1999, Dexcom develops and distributes diabetes monitoring and control solutions worldwide. The company’s branches located all over the world employed a total of 3,900 professionals in 2020. Dexcom had a turnover of almost 1.93 billion USD.
Telia Global Services Lithuania is planning a new development phase in Vilnius. The company expects to hire up to 400 new employees by 2024, thus increasing the company’s total number of employees to 1,300. Most of the new staff will be IT specialists – software developers, engineers, architects, data analysts, etc.
Bigger teams will allow the Telia group to expand its operational functions in Lithuania. This will be the second-largest expansion phase of Telia Global Services Lithuania since its establishment in 2017.
“Telia’s expansion is a sign of the overall robust growth of Lithuania’s GBS sector,“ says Aušrinė Armonaitė, Lithuanian Minister of the Economy and Innovation. “The fact that such big international companies entrust more complex functions increasingly to Lithuanian teams indicates the sector’s burgeoning maturity. At the same time, it provides an obligation to continuously improve Lithuania’s talent pool, digital infrastructure, and business environment.”
According to Marius Ivanauskas, Head of Group Business Services at Telia Company, the competence centre has earned the company’s trust with innovative solutions, high-quality work, and a clear goal. Moreover, the rapid development shows a strategic approach to Lithuania.
“From the very beginning, our goal was not the number of employees, but the development of competencies, complexity and added value. We aspire to become the most advanced competence centre in the country, creating and developing new digital products and services in all areas of our activities. I am pleased that the Telia group firmly believes that we can do it here in Lithuania. The ongoing expansion marks another maturity milestone for our organization, but this does not change our goal of bringing talents together and giving the country’s specialists more improvement and career opportunities”, Ivanauskas said.
Telia Company competence centre, which employs more than 200 new employees every year, performs various IT, telecommunications network, analytics, software development, procurement, staffing, finance, etc.
The market of competitive intelligence services has tripled in the last two years in Romania, companies being much more attentive, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the fluctuations of the markets in which they operate, to the movements of competitors, to market changes and to the predictability of the political and social climate.
In this context, the need for rapid implementation of measures with major impact in the short, medium and long term, is likely to generate a higher need for intelligence products to support decision makers. Thus, company managers wanted to be more informed, to analyse faster, possibly in real time, markets, companies, trends, in a legitimate attempt to minimize the risks generated by new investments, fraud, association with new partners, or the launch of new products.
FULL STORY at Business Review.
Romanian digital business transformation services provider Connections Consult lists on Bucharest Stock Exchange
CC started trading on AeRO market, the alternative market of the Bucharest Stock Exchange, the bourse said in late September.The funds raised from the capital market will support the opening of a subsidiary in the U.S. and investments in its own products and in other sector players, the bourse said in a press release.
"The funding we have attracted from investors is helping us to expand into foreign markets, primarily targeting the North American market, in product development, in the area of specialised robots and the use of technology to promote green energy, as well as in the acquisition of matching companies," Connections Consult CEO and founder Bogdan Florea said.
The listing comes after a private placement in July, through which connections Consult raised 10 million lei ($2.4 million/ 2.02 million euro). The company sold 144,928 new shares, with a nominal value of 69 lei each.
Founded in 2005, Connections Consult is part of a group of technology companies specializing in digital business transformation that also includes Connections Technologies and Outsourcing Support Services.
The company operates two delivery points in Bucharest, one in Belgrade and one in Sofia and manages sales representatives in Germany, Saudi Arabia and Serbia. Connections Consult currently employs more than 300 people.
By the end of this year, the company expects a turnover of 35.9 million lei and a net profit of 2.6 million lei.
In 2020, the company booked 2.3 million lei net profit and a turnover of 32.3 million lei.
The Hungarian subsidiary of the Cosmo Consult Group will establish new IT development and service centres in Debrecen and Szeged providing business IT solutions. With an investment of some HUF 785 million, the company with a German background active in 26 countries, will create at least 50 high value-added jobs for IT professionals. Besides Hungary, the two development and service centres will provide worldwide support for the company's clients in technological development.Cosmo Consult, founded in Germany in 1996, is one of the world's leading IT companies that support the digital transformation of companies as an official Microsoft partner, and has been active on the Hungarian market for more than 20 years. The business IT group places great emphasis on providing its customers around the world with the latest technological innovations by Microsoft.
Corporate governance systems and business IT solutions distributed worldwide by Cosmo Consult have changed significantly due to the spreading of technological developments and cloud-based solutions. The group wishes to continue to provide its customers with state-of-the-art solutions; therefore, in addition to its existing units in Budapest and Sopron, the company will expand its capacities in Hungary and set up new IT development and service centres in Debrecen and Szeged.
The primary task of the new units will be to support existing and future clients worldwide in transitioning to the latest version of the corporate governance system, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, and later, in developing unique industrial solutions. The office of Cosmo Consult in Debrecen is expected to open in the next few days, whereas its unit in Szeged will most likely open early next year.
The company currently employs around 130 highly qualified IT specialists in its offices in Budapest and Sopron, and under the expansion, at least 50 new jobs will be created for IT professionals with special expertise. In order to ensure a continuous supply of professionals, strategic cooperation with vocational training centres and the University of Debrecen will be implemented.
Published at: 2021-09-01
HOA Newsletter: In the last year and a half, the pandemic has turned the world upside down and the Business Services Sector has been no exception. What challenges did the pandemic pose to the industry and how did you overcome them?
István Lenk: The most important thing that has happened in the last 1-1.5 years is that in the new situation created by the pandemic, companies have had to reorganise their operations according to new models.
The larger multinationals, SSCs, BPOs were able to do this quite easily because of the relatively high level of digitisation they had achieved up to that point. It was noticeable that the majority had adopted a similar approach and were able to react quickly to the sudden change.
The first aspect that everyone prioritised was the protection of people: "people, health and safety" became the watchword. It can be said that in the home office, in an isolated environment, the protection of people's health was successfully achieved, and this provided a very good basis. Of course, it was also a huge challenge for managers, who had to manage teams in a remote environment, with most of them having some home office experience, and now having to make a complete shift to remote working.
In the remote environment, BCP, Business Continuity Plan, proved to be the biggest challenge. In addition, it was essential to maintain and, where possible, increase performance and productivity. Of course, these areas are still very important for companies today, as the economy and business go back to similar levels in many cases as before the pandemic. There have been some companies that have seen productivity increase, but the big question is how much long-term isolation has affected performance along with psychological factors.
Remote people management has emerged as a new area of focus in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic: managers, frontline leaders, face the challenge of effectively leading a team in a hybrid and remote environment. There are many challenges to be met: focus on effective communication, team cohesion, increasing attention to the physical and mental health of employees, and last but not least, the work-life balance.
HOA Newsletter: As the pandemic progresses, another issue has come up, the return to the office. What is the state of play on this, how is the return shaping up? Do workers want it and do employers want it as well? What new solutions are emerging in the practice of centres?
István Lenk: As the pandemic progressed, as caseloads decreased and things began to stabilise, it became obvious that we should be looking more and more intensively at what the return to the office would look like. That is different company by company, and the business. The way in which the new norm is adapted, the way in which workers are expected to return, depends very much on the practices that companies had in place before the epidemic, and the extent to which the 'flexi-work solution' was already working for them.
Typically, companies that did not have a home office practice before Covid are now, once conditions have stabilised, usually going to a 2–3-day home office, and are also using different part-time solutions, or remote working. Location and physical proximity are no longer an issue, as employees can easily do the job from a rural location. This can also work in a hybrid way in the new environment.
One of the most striking changes we are witnessing is the complete transformation of the office function: according to the new norm, offices are becoming the main venues for socialisation, training and onboarding, where teams can meet, or where new staff arrive for their onboarding.
However, there are also companies where, because of the interdependence of the different teams' processes and tasks, it is essential that teams meet regularly in an environment defined by business function – e.g. those that are working close and as part of the supply chain. Therefore, the future must be a company-specific hybrid model that serves the business needs, which can both serve the company's business perfectly and make use of the different recruitment opportunities in a much more open and flexible way than ever before. In parallel with these changes, opportunities are becoming available in the labour market that make it possible to attract staff from more remote, rural locations and thus to tap into a wider talent pool. Of course, in addition to attraction, retention is a new challenge for the company due to the remote environment.
HOA Newsletter: Let us now turn to Hungary. Where are we in the region now in terms of capacity, competitiveness, what can we do to be even more on the map for investors?
István Lenk: It is clear that we have got a boost from the shift towards nearshoring. The attractiveness of the environment for nearshore investors depends on the cost-quality balance, in other words the value for money of the activities. Investors are looking at many factors at once, but typically the most important aspect is where can we have a good operation, where is it possible to work remotely? These generally work well in the CEE region, unlike in India, for example, where the widespread implementation of home offices is virtually impossible.
Apart from the cost factor, other important elements in the investor decision include support for the sector, proximity (where difficult to travel in case of pandemic travel restrictions), the legal environment and government subsidies - these are the things that motivate investors. Budapest is an attractive environment for companies, but the country as a whole has much greater potential. So far, the big cities in the provinces remain untapped. While some of the conditions for successful centres, such as high-quality education, skilled labour, language skills and infrastructure are clearly present, awareness, visibility and readiness to manage centres in potential provincial locations are not yet fully recognised there.
This is why the HOA has set itself the goal of supporting the development of provincial towns and cities. By bringing together local governments, universities and industry players, a large city can become a more attractive destination.
For development, strong sector awareness and sector presence are needed, and for this the attractive operating model of Budapest is not enough. We need to get to the point where we can provide more investment options for investors, necessarily in places where the talent from universities in the region is available, because Hungary has a relative advantage in terms of a strong undergraduate education with a high volume of students. The HOA is making a major effort to enhance rural locations and help create a more attractive investment environment. The Municipality of Pécs and the HOA have recently signed a strategic agreement to help achieve these goals, and we are launching similar initiatives in several other large cities.
HOA Newsletter: What other activities and initiatives does the HOA undertake to serve the sector and the effective operation of its member companies?
István Lenk: The HOA, as the professional organisation representing the Business Services Sector, provides a platform and networking opportunity, which is in fact best practice sharing, and can also help existing and potential new members on the international scene.
This could be the basis for a sector awareness and sector representation to foreign investors and to the government.
And finally, let us highlight a very important initiative that the HOA is developing and implementing in a hands-on way in the provincial context: the HOA Leadership Academy, which will integrate with universities to access the provinces, and thus increase competitiveness. As part of this, a postgraduate leadership training programme is already underway with the University of Pécs, where senior practitioners with extensive experience in the sector will provide a gap-filling, practical knowledge transfer for future leaders.
One of the leading independent IT service providers, British company Computacenter, which started its operations in Poznań in August 2018, expands its office and extends its clients portfolio.
Computacenter Poland has been successfully operating on the Poznań market since 2018 - currently the company employs around 200 employees. The new office space, which is an extension of the existing one, will enable the creation of an additional 100 workplaces.
Computacenter is a leading independent IT service provider, offering support to customers and their companies in navigating in the digital world. The company advises organizations on building IT strategies, implementing appropriate technological solutions, optimizing performance and supports clients in infrastructure management. Computacenter cooperates with IT departments and external experts to maximize the productivity and the internal and external IT potential that builds the value of its clients businesses.
Computacenter's ambitions are:
“We successfully employ and support the development of people who are fluent in German and English, as well as in other languages such as Swedish, Italian and Russian. Our employees are the people who want to start working in an international environment, using foreign language skills. Our success comes from the enthusiasm and freshness of the candidates who are given the opportunity to start their career and be trained in the IT area. We do not require any technical knowledge at the beginning, what counts for us is the willingness to learn. We are a very interesting alternative for people who want to use foreign languages on a daily basis, get to know the international work environment and work with the client. ”- Agnieszka Żmijko, HR Manager, Computacenter Poland.
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