Kroll Ontrack presents Katowice R&D center

Kroll Ontrack has announced today its continued expansion with the office in Katowice. This way, the branch will become one of the largest research and development centers in the area of new technologies in the Upper Silesia region. At the same time, it will be the biggest unit of data recovery and computer forensics in Poland and only one of two R&D centers of Kroll Ontrack in the world.

Kroll Ontrack's offices in Katowice
Kroll Ontrack's offices in Katowice

The Kroll Ontrack’s Katowice branch is made up of the research & development center and the data recovery laboratory.

The R&D unit creates, tests and develops a new software used by the company for their data recovery and computer forensics needs. Apart for the individual work as the independent unit, engineers in Katowice cooperate with its colleagues in the second R&D office located in the Kroll Ontrack’s headquarters in Minnesota. Works on joint projects are served on a twenty-four-hour basis – when the U.S. employees finish their working day, the Katowice center takes over the duties. There are 20 engineers hired in the company’s R&D unit in the City. The number will be increased by 70 new people to be employed by the end of 2012. The company has started the recruitment process in May.

“Our new employees will have an opportunity to use the newest data recovery technologies available presently on the global market. They will also develop the data recovery and computer forensics’ software. The decision about the extension placed the existing R&D branch in Katowice among foreign companies having the largest centers of new technologies in Poland” – said Paweł Odor, head specialist of Kroll Ontrack Poland.

The data recovery lab in Katowice is one of the eighteen Kroll Ontrack’s facilities of this kind across the globe. It offers a full suite of recovery solutions enabling recovery from virtually any operating system, storage or media type and cause of data loss. The laboratory is equipped with a cleanroom that enables to work on an “open” hard disc in a sterile environment. The clean air is necessary to keep the data safe. The employees are also equipped with stereoscopic microscopes which help to work on a small electronic components of the hard drives. The laboratory’s outfit includes anty-electrostatic tables, floor-covering and data storage containers. Even engineers wear anty-electrostatic aprons.

The Kroll Ontrack’s Katowice office is located at 11 Sobieskiego St.

Peter Böhret, vice president of European data recovery of Kroll Ontrack, talks about the extension of Katowice office:

What made the company is expanding the Katowice branch?
We have fourteen data recovery laboratories in Europe and the main purpose here is to be close to the customer but we decided to have only one research and development center (outside the U.S.) here in Katowice. With the all good experience we had already in Poland that was no question to go into any other country in Europe. Here we have good universities, we have young, motivated people that decide not to leave the country and this is very nice to work together with these young people that show motivation and try to solve the case. We started at the beginning with the development group of five people in 2004. Now the group is created by twenty people. With the good experiences we are adding another seventy. This twenty did such a good job and this is the main reason of the expansion.

How many research and development centers do you have around the globe?
Just two – in the U.S. and in Katowice. We were thinking about Malaysia as we have offices there, we were thinking about India but the culture is different. As we are close to the customer we have to understand the culture of the customer. For the decision at the end it was not so difficult to stay within Europe and not difficult to put up the already existing research and development unit in Poland.

How can such the R&D center impact on the business image of Katowice?
I think it is wonderful for the business image. The City, in my understanding, is moving from a coal center to a technology center. To make this move in a short period of time is really seldom. If you go into comparable cities around Europe, I do not know any of the cities that made this move in such a short time. Even so, I have been coming to Katowice since 2001 and what I saw in changes in these eleven years was incredible. I think the region can be extremely proud.

Kroll Ontrack is the global firm. If you have only two R&D centers, this one in Katowice has to work globally as well…
Of course, the engineers are working on international cases. We develop a technology that makes it possible. For example, a customer case takes place in Italy but logically Polish engineers are working on it. We help out on very large and difficult cases internationally since many years. Katowice is the center where we do this more often.