Outsourcing centers – choice of location

A panel discussion relating case studies of business services in Poland and major opportunities impacting their growth took place during the Thursday’s conference “Katowice – Clean, Green and Talent-Driven SSC/BPO/ITO Hub in Central Europe”. Representatives of such companies as IBM, Ernst&Young, Capgemini, Fluor and Grupa Żywiec were invited to the discussion.

At the beginning, Jolanta Jaworska – IBM’s Governmental Programs Director CEE, mentioned main criteria while making a decision about company’s outsourcing centers locations. “At first we take a human resources’ factor into consideration. Accessibility of young, well-educated stuff is very important, however we also look for older professionals above 50. Such centers can not operate properly without their wide experience. The second very important issue is safety, both the every-day safety on streets as well as the economic security and disaster scale and frequency, floods for example” – Jolanta Jaworska explained.

Following important factors pointed out by the IBM Director are a governmental aid including the EU funds, city assistance, cooperation with academia and access to reliable, up-to-date data.

Marcin Nowak, Delivery Center Director IOS Capgemini, talked on a role of Katowice location in the Silesian agglomeration. “At the very beginning, when we were starting with our first regional center in Katowice, we thought the City was an “external district” of Kraków. We decided to locate the center here because of the excellent connection with Kraków. However, we noticed very quickly that it is a self-independent and vibrant capital of the huge agglomeration. Employees of our two present Katowice centers come from the whole region. In fact, only 17% of them live in Katowice. It is a great asset for the City to have a so strong labour market thanks to surrounding cities” – he remarked.

Capgemini hires more than 1100 people in two centers in Katowice (in Altus and Atrium office buildings) operating in the area of ITO and BPO.

Representative of Grupa Żywiec, Tomasz Jachna – Manager of Customer Service Development, expressed oneself in a similar way. “We had analyzed a dozen or so cities in Poland before we chose Katowice. The decisive factor was a great labour market with no doubts. Also I can say about a very good cooperation with the City Hall and efficient administrative procedures’ management. It took only five months to launch the center”. Grupa Żywiec already employs about 60 people in its newly opened Customer Service Center located in the Katowice Business Point office building. The company plans to hire about 250 people in the CSC.

The conference was organized by the City of Katowice, American Chamber of Commerce in Poland, Katowice Special Economic Zone and Association of Business Service Leaders in Poland.