Special session - Present challenges and the future in IT and outsourcing industries

According to a study carried out by Deloitte, “2015 Global Shared Services Survey”, around ten per cent of the SSCs in the world are located in CEE, compared with 17% in APAC and 16% in LATAM. Thus, as we can see, we have to catch up with other areas, which are currently perceived as more attractive than CEE as regards outsourcing. Anyway, an important fact is that for 2015 a company in three aims to outsource or build an own service center. This is an opportunity both for the region and for Romania.

Amalia Sterescu, Senior Business Consultant, Outsourcing Advisors: Over 6,100 new jobs in this industry in the next two years thanks to state aid schemes

I want us to be able to build a country brand, where outsourcing would be iconic for what happens in Romania and to have a much stronger lobby through classical channels. Besides, given the fact that in the next two years over 6,100 jobs will be created in this industry, thanks to state aid schemes, it would be wonderful if we had a resource pool in each of them, ready to go and perfectly aligned to the needs of the business environment. Thus, it will no longer be necessary to invest a lot of money in trainings to improve foreign language skills or other technical skills. It would be wonderful if we had this strategic long-term partnership with the Ministry of Education, so as to have predictability and to know we can count on well-trained resources for this industry in the long run.

Radu Puchiu, Secretary of State, Romanian Government: Efforts are being made to create a governmental platform that would contain information about the industry

Outsourcing is an important topic on our agenda, so efforts are being made to create a governmental platform that would contain information about the industry and I hope to make this come true. Reducing the health insurance fund contribution with five per cent does not influence [editor’s note: positively] only this sector, it is an important thing for everyone. Besides, the state aid scheme in 2012 is a measure taken throughout time to support the outsourcings service sector. In the future, I think we can improve the scheme if there are things to be improved. Our role, both of the Chancellery (editor’s note: of the Prime Minister), and mine, is helping and enabling an exchange of information and dialogue.

Varujan Pambuccian, Commission for information and communications technology, Chamber of Deputies: In ten years, we will probably reach 100,000 people in the software industry, but we will not be able to expand too much.

Any population has its limits for each profession. In ten years, we will probably reach 100,000 people in the software industry, but we will not be able to expand too much, because you cannot have a country of programmers. Romania was the fifth country in the world who designed and built a computer from scratch, in 1957. Since then, we have had a continuous growth both in research and in industries, and not just in Bucharest. Because an increasing number of companies want to use a workforce that grows more slowly than the business in the respective field, its cost increases. At some point, we will reach the threshold. The problem is that there is a competition growing tougher on this limited resource.

Crina Ilie, Vice-president Human Resources, Genpact Europe: Romania is not mature enough to think about what employability means

When we speak of employability, in an ideal world, all the parties concerned should win. First of all, the employees, because they should permanently receive reliable information on the trends in their profession, in the industry they work in or with various options and aspects they have no time to study more comprehensively. Second of all, the employers: if they pay attention to this aspect, they prepare their business plan for the following years, proactively, looking at the workforce and allocating investments in learning and development in order to build things that will be necessary in the future. And, last but not least, the business environment we are working in. But Romania is not mature enough to think about what employability really means.


Mihaela Apostoleanu, EMEA Premier Support Business Operations, Oracle: Cultural differences may affect the employees’ involvement in the company 

The staff fluctuation rate in outsourcing in Romania exceeds 18 per cent. Given the cost of replacing an employee per year, which is around 50,000 dollars, I think it is important to make sure our workforce is motivated and involved. Cultural differences may affect the employees’ involvement in the company, though. There are completely different manners of communicating between cultures and I believe a mere cultural awareness course could raise to people’s attention a few things that they would normally lose sight of.

Valentina Crăciun, Financial Advisor, Auditor, Noerr Finance & Tax: The new state aid scheme is addressed to all categories of companies

The new edition of the state aid schemes entered into force in the second half of 2014 and it provides an allocated budget of € 600 million (…) Compared to the old state aid scheme that aimed to create 200 jobs, GD no. 332/2014 entails a threshold of ten new jobs. Basically, it addresses all categories of companies, small, medium-sized and large, and Romanian entrepreneurs with fewer employees can access it as well. Any company that carries out its activity in a healthy manner can fulfil the conditions required by the Ministry of Public Finance.

Teodor Blidăruș, Vice President ANIS, Managing Partner Softelligence: The concept of high-end outsourcing comes to reduce the gap between what is called intellectual property development and software outsourcing development

The biggest problem that Romania is facing today, especially in the software industry, is the business model entailing a direct dependence between the company’s turnover growth and the number of human resources. The software industry in Romania could record growths of over 20, 30 per cent, but the main growth inhibitor is the workforce we have at our disposal. If we cannot make the business grow by making the resources grow, we can obviously make the turnover grow by increasing the value of the services we sell. In this context, the concept of high-end outsourcing comes to reduce the gap between what is called intellectual property development and software outsourcing development. There are a lot of trendsat a global level where companies provide a mix of outsourcing services and products. This is the explanation why Softelligence, as well as other companies, grow by over 50 per cent year after year.

Francesca Postolache, Partner, Audit Services, PwC Romania: Romania’s competitive advantages remain linguistic and technical skills, followed by lower taxes than in other European countries

Romania is the second largest talent market in Central and Eastern Europe, with over 120,000 graduates per year in the main university centers in cities with SSC/BPO service markets, which offer a critical mass of qualified labor. Romania has over 100 universities with over 450,000 students, mostly specialized in IT and engineering (approximately 140,000 students) and economic fields (approximately 90,000 students). In addition, all graduates speak at least one foreign language. The Romanian workforce is extremely receptive to Western corporate values and it proves a high degree of cultural comprehension. The current wage levels and the future wage trends remain competitive in comparison with the neighboring countries.

Marius Scuta, National Manager, Head of Office Department and Tenant Representation, JLL: A wide horizon for the outsourcing market

The office space market has changed as compared to 2009, so that, while 4 years ago rent was between 12-14 euro/sqm/month, the current level shows an average of 9-12 euro/sqm/month. In addition, a new trend is given by the attitude of landowners, who are more flexible now than 4 years ago, so that investors can plan their businesses in stages, with greater possibilities for expansion. Also, speaking of expansion in business centers, Bucharest is now in real competition against other cities in the country, like Cluj-Napoca, Iaşi, Braşov, Timişoara, Târgu-Mureş, Sibiu or Sfântu-Gheorghe. Although, in general, the rent cost element is left for the end in the equation of an investment plan, the way that the market has changed brings back to attention the necessity to take into account variables associated to business expansion, particularly in the field of outsourcing services, a market that keeps growing.

Alexandru Tulai, Preşedinte Cluj IT Cluster: The two aspects of accumulation of capital in outsourcing 

It is well-known that the city of Cluj-Napoca delivers the greatest concentration of IT services in Romania, a local market developed over the last 25 years. Cluj offers thus a workforce for IT services with excellent power of delivery, in the context of almost inexistent internal demand in the past 20 years. For lack of this local necessity, the IT service market in Cluj has rather become a platform for support services, but without generating added value, feasible and sustainable. That is why a natural move was using the workforce and talents for external projects, exporting them.

Thus, once IT specialists migrated to other markets, offering many more resources, the wide horizon of this services enjoyed their knowledge when they returned home and started to implement what they have learned in individual businesses. The least fortunate part of these entrepreneurial investments was that, as opposed to other companies that have reinvested their profit, others chose to deposit their revenues in other markets and even to invest in other business areas where they do not necessarily have expertise. Anyway, outsourcing services are weakly represented at the corporate level in Cluj-Napoca, especially because most businesses are built with local capital and workforce.

Aurelian Deaconu, Executive Manager, AROBS Transilvania Software: Highly specialization, the local advantage towards added value

While the outsourcing market is dominated by a permanent war of prices and ambiguities as regards the value of the programming services provided, the quality of software solutions distributed to Romanian companies and institutions can be evaluated more easily, by relating them to the other alternatives on the market. This reality can only bring advantages to a company that places quality and the client’s requirements first. But growth is not possible without resources. Thus, it is an impediment for AROBS, too, which can record a 10 per cent growth in business in the first trimester of the year, only due to the contracts confirmed this year. Over the last three years, AROBS has recorded an annual growth of 20 per cent, according to the company’s data.

Dan Zaharia, Senior Leasing Consultant, EXTIND Management: The new outsourcing centers in Romania 

As an ambassador of the local outsourcing market, Dan Zaharia supports the positioning of the regional cities Iaşi and Cluj-Napoca as successful cities in attracting investments in IT and outsourcing. The main advantages of these cities are: strong academic environment, with over 70,000 students, advanced telecom infrastructure and a continuous flow of new IT specialists from faculties in the industry, an economic magnet for the young people in the surrounding counties. There are already some IT Clusters in both cities, which catalyze this positioning. Globally, we should not look for competition in cities like Bucharest, Timişoara, Cluj or Iaşi, but rather in service areas like Morocco, Guatemala or Vietnam.

These are a few of the conclusions of the first edition of Romanian Outsourcing Summit 2015.

Romania is one of the most important destinations for investors in professional outsourcing services such as BPO, ITO or SSC, a segment estimated at almost € 1.2 billion and over 60,000 active professionals on the local market. However, besides constant growth recorded in Romania over the past few years, these services are also facing challenges in the expected pace of growth.

At this debate we will analyze together with our guests the main current challenges and the expected trends for the outsourcing market in Romania and in the Cluj region in particular.

In order to attend this workshop you need a valid ticket access for the event CEE Entrepreneurship Summit 2015 (it can be BASIC, PLUS, PREMIUM or VIP).

Invest in your personal and professional development! Be better than your competition! 

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List of speakers

Owner, Net BRiNEL

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CEO, Arobs

Voicu Oprean is the General Manager of AROBS Transilvania Software, a company specialized in developing software solutions for GPS navigation, apps for mobile phones and a vast experience in outsourcing for the tourism, banking, transport, health and automotive industries. He founded AROBS in June 1998 in order to prove young programmers that they can build a successful career in software development in Romania, as well, without having to emigrate. The 15 years of success and development that the company has had are due to these IT specialists who works for large-scale projects, both for foreign and Romanian clients. In 2013, AROBS means a company with 5 offices in the country and abroad (Cluj, Bucharest, Iaşi, Budapest, Chişinău) where over 350 specialists work. They permanently support and develop the activity of the 3 main lines of business: • Developing customized software solutions through outsourcing for companies of various industries (tourism, automotive, health, banking), including apps for Android and iOS mobile platforms. AROBS is one of the established suppliers of software solutions for foreign countries, which has managed to create long-term partnerships with companies in Finland, Great Britain, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, The Netherlands, Germany and the USA, in its 15 years of activity. • Software solutions dedicated to the internal market used by over 2000 business clients in Romania: GPS monitoring and car fleet management apps, SFA and CRM apps for sales automation and warehouse and storeroom management, the ticket and badge sales automation solution for public transport companies, the first TMC system in Romania to provide real-time information from traffic. • GPS navigation system distribution in Romania and Eastern Europe. Smailo, the AROBS own brand, became in January 2012 the best-selling navigation system in Romania and along with the other brands in the portfolio (Mio and Becker), it made the company the largest GPS navigator distributor in the country. The success of Smailo GPS in recent years has determined the company to make the next step, namely to increase the range of products by including Android tablets under the same brand. With 7”, 8” and 9.7” screens, the Smailo Web Energy tablets are created for users who want access to Internet and useful and entertainment apps, but they have a limited budget. “In all I am doing, I am trying to promote a model of work and life based on mutual respect among people, clients and the community, respect for life and the environment. It is a personal goal of mine to create a harmonious balance between professional and family dedication, complemented by sports activities and involvement in the community. “Voicu Oprean, general manager of AROBS Transilvania Software

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CEO, iQuest

As founder and long-time CEO of iQuest, Cornelius has had a central role in shaping the company´s vision and direction for the first 16 years of its existence. During this period, he has built iQuest into a robust player in the software solutions and services market with a strong international client portfolio and an exceptional talent pool of 600 people. Along the way he helped establish a powerful company culture based on excellence, commitment and trust. Starting January 1, 2015, Cornelius switched to the role of Chairman of the Board, handing over the operational leadership of the company to its new CEO, Jürgen Samuel. “It is a great fulfilment for me to be able to hand over the reins to a man who combines the experience and strategic thinking needed for this role with an exceptional personal integrity. This makes me confident that the new roles Jürgen and I took on January 1 are the right ones for helping iQuest thrive and move towards new levels of professionalism and value creation”. Before founding iQuest, Cornelius worked as a management consultant for Gemini Consulting (Cap Gemini Group), his last position being Managing Director, Romania. Cornelius holds a Master of Sciences degree in Computer Science from the Polytechnic University in Cluj, Romania and an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

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Director, Wolters Kluwer

Technology leader, programme director and principle software architect with over 15 years’ experience, driving software design and development for products and services (SaaS) to a whole new level of efficiency. All backed up by strong consulting, human resources, start-up and entrepreneurial experience and supported by a large network of high level professional connections and valuable domain knowledge in industries like finance, banking, iGaming, online casino, ERP, CRM, retail, travel and hospitality. I lead successful technology companies into delivering the next generation industry standard products and services by creating the vision, the corporate culture and the business strategy, built upon the market needs and the value of constant and never-ending improvement. I hold a Master in Computer Engineering (top of the class), Certified Scrum Master (Scrum Alliance), Lean Six Sigma Champion, PRINCE2, PMI, CMMI practitioner, 15 year of relevant experience in EMEA and APAC regions and across multiple industries: finance, banking, iGaming, gambling/online casino, ERP, CRM, retail, travel and hospitality. Additionally I have a good mix of Application and Infrastructure Management, Consulting and Human Resources Management from start-ups to large 300+ technical departments. I am also a hands-on developer and a top software architect. I designed the architecture of patent pending highly complex software web automation solutions, ERP, CRM systems, mobile applications and scalable distributed web applications.

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Business Development Manager, Fortech

Adrian has spent the last 13 years working in sales, management and operations positions for companies such as RCS&RDS, Siemens or Vodafone. In the last 5 years he has focused specifically on software companies like SDL and Liverail where he gained product management knowledge which he now applies as Business development manager for Fortech Romania

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Chief Strategy Officer, Softvision

Sorin is Chief Strategy Officer in Softvision and was involved in the last 11 years in different activities that helped the company (+1200 professionals) increase and deliver high quality products for important clients in US and Europe. Technical but also people oriented is always eager to learn more and share his knowledge. Sorin has over 15 years of experience in IT and holds a Master of Sciences degree in Computer Science from the UBB University in Cluj and a MBA from Romanian-Canadian Program.

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Executive Director, ANIS

Valerica Dragomir has been working for ANIS since 2001 and has contributed to the development of the association, first as a Project Manager and since 2005 as Executive Director of the Association. Ms. Dragomir has been involved in strategic planning for all ANIS major programs and is currently involved hands-on in several significant projects developed by the association: · “Software and IT Services in Romania” – industry report published by ANIS yearly · Tech4Export – support program for Romanian software companies looking for partners on foreign markets · ANIS Business Meetings and ANIS Business Mixer – business and networking events addressed to members and general community of the association · ANIS Gala Awards – yearly event celebrating the industry and companies’ accomplishments Ms. Dragomir represents ANIS in public events and is acting as association’s spokesperson.

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Programme Director, EMBA University of Hull

Andrew has nineteen years of business experience across Europe, N. America & Asia, as a head-hunter, management consultant, interim HR Director, learning facilitator, business school lecturer (University of Hull) and is currently Programme Director for UBB Executive Education. He has a Ph.D. in property rights and environmental conflict from the University of Cardiff, Wales. Andrew has worked across the world for a wide range of multinational clients such as Coca-Cola, Holcim, AIG, PwC, GSK, Deloitte, Orange, Volksbank, ING, Vodafone and many more. The founder of Connect CEE (consulting) and Endike Associates (executive search), he has also written widely for current affairs magazines, academic journals and in 2013 published his first book.

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Delivery Partner , Endava

Andrei activeaza de peste 13 ani in sectorul IT clujean, incepandu-sicarieraintr-o companie din Grupul Brinel si petrecand ultimii 7 ani in Endava, una dintre companiile de servicii IT cu cea mai rapida crestere din regiune și cu peste 2.300 de angajati full time la nivel de grup. In prezent, in rolul de Delivery Partner in cadrul Endava, el este responsabil de coordonarea livrarii serviciilor companiei catre clienti din Statele Unite, Europa de Vest si Europa Centralasi de Est. Andrei s-a alaturat echipei Endava in 2008, avand in ultimii ani o contributie semnificativa la gestionarea și cresterea companiei, atat la nivel regional, cat si international. Andrei este absolvent al Univeritatii Babes-Bolyai, are un master in Comert Exterior si unul in Management, precum si un doctorat in Economie si Afaceri Internationale, avand ca si tema de cercetare modul de monetizare la nivel international a drepturilor de proprietate intelectuala. Andrei este cadru didactic asociat al Universitatii Babes-Bolyai din 2006, autor al mai multor carti si articole referitoare la societatea informational si transferul international de tehnologie, membru al Board-ului UBB Executive Education, care propune in Transilvania un EMBA de prestigiu, impreuna cu Hull Business School.

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Office Leasing Consultant, Extind Management

De profesie economist, Dan Zaharia are peste 15 ani de experiență în management, vânzări și dezvoltare imobiliară. Trainer și speaker la diverse evenimente de afaceri sau din mediul universitar: Power L@unch, BringITOn, Startup Weekend, Romanian Outsourcing Summit & Awards, FII Practic, AIESEC – Leadership on Fire, HR Summit, Business Days. Deține firma Extind, unde se ocupă de închirierea clădirilor moderne de birouri din orașele regionale de succes (ex.: Iași, Cluj-Napoca), fiind un promotor al poziționării acestor orașe ca magnet pentru industria de IT & Outsourcing din România. De asemenea, Dan este membru fondator al filialei ROGBC Moldova în cadrul Consiliului Român al Clădirilor Verzi și site manager al Școlii Informale de IT, lansată la Iași în 2015. Din 2009 este membru fondator al Donor.ro, primul motor de căutare donatori de sânge din România.

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Asistent Universitar, Universitatea „Petru Maior” TîrguMureş

Comunic deci exist? Gresit! Exist doar in momentul in care mesajul meu ajunge la auditoriu si il influenteaza. sa nu ne ascundem dupa deget, comunicam pentru ca vrem sa influentam. Iar daca stim cum sa o facem, daca intelegem corect contextul si momentul, telul nostru poate fi atins. Din 2000 sunt prezent in fiecare zi la radio si tv. Am construit echipe pentru a invinge concurenta. Experienta practica o folosesc pentru a-mi invata studentii cum pot fi cu un pas in fata adversarilor. Sunt pasionat sa gasesc solutii acolo unde altii au dat gres si unde, aparent, totul este sortit esecului. Comunic, si cita vreme fac asta exist! La fel si tu! Lector univ.Dr. Univ. Petru maior, Tg Mures Director StiiTv Tg Mures

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