Latest News  

Academic efforts to grow the employee pool


As the Business Services and Information Technology sectors are expanding very rapidly, companies already present in the market are extending their operations and new players are setting up business in Romania.

2016-07-11 13:50:25 - by Bogdan Tudorache

And finding talented individuals is becoming more and more challenging, because the output from the universities seems to be lower than the demand. But this situation is not specific to Romania, says Florin Grama, director, Microsoft Customer Service & Support Division and president of Managing Board, ABSL Romania. He leads Microsoft's largest Customer Service & Support (CSS) team in Europe, Middle East and Africa, which consists of over 600 support professionals and consultants based in Romania.


When did Microsoft come to Romania and how big was the local investment so far?

Microsoft has been operating in Romania since 1996. The service delivery centre opened in 2006 and has been growing significantly ever since becoming the biggest such centre in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Currently there are nearly 800 employees working for Microsoft across the country with the vast majority of them located in Bucharest and Timisoara. We are primarily delivering services, consulting and technical support for a widely spread portfolio of customers. We continue our growth plans in Romania and we are looking for IT specialists with strong language skills, customer orientation and deep technical understanding of Microsoft technologies and experience. We anticipate to perform investments of millions of dollars in retention and attraction of talent over the next few years. We are planning to attract hundred individuals to work for Microsoft within the current calendar year and a good few hundreds in the years to come. That is driven by the high adoption rate and use of Microsoft Cloud services and platforms – Azure and Office 365.

What geographies are you serving? What skills are predominant?

Microsoft delivers services and solutions, consulting and technical support of a high level of complexity to a large variety of customers – enterprises, public sector, partners, developers, consumers. Customers are mostly located in Europe, Middle East and Africa, however those located in other geographies are as well delivered services and support out of Romania.

Fluency in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and any other European language is key in order to make sure that our customers are receiving a global service customized to local needs. Apart from the deep technical skills related to Microsoft technologies, programming skills are of great advantage for a candidate along with a customer orientation mind-set, which are all key ingredients for a successful candidate.

Romania has a great mix of excellency in science, technology, engineering, mathematics on one hand and a priceless ability to speak foreign languages. This is a valuable mix. And its advantages span beyond the employability, which is the topic of our focus right now. In a digital world like ours such mix opens the doors to invaluable opportunities ahead of us.

Is there a threat of labour saturation in the market, especially in larger cities in Romania? Or it is still possible to expand?

If we look at the Digital Economy and Society Index figures, we understand that Europe as a whole is trying to find the best solutions for those challenges. If we are positive and have a plan, Romania can turn these into a great advantage. Microsoft and member companies of the Association of Business Services Leaders are working very closely with the academic environment to sustain the pool of talented individuals and output, mid and long term. Expansion of the sector will continue at a fast pace.

How well are employers in Romania ready to cut the attrition rate, as competition for human resources and talent intensifies?

Many factors determine attrition and vary quite a lot in the industry depending partly on the type of business, company and strategy. Microsoft has probably one of the lowest attrition rates in the sector, more specifically it is of one digit. Work and team environment, employee flexibility, great development opportunities, unique benefits and culture are amongst the determining factors that keep employees stay and grow. Companies do build their own strategies to retain their talent and more creative approaches are being determined.

What are the latest trends in employee motivation?

A flexible work environment, fair and appropriate rewards based on outcomes and impact, quick development opportunities and programs, an innovative and creative environment, choice and customizable benefits, involvement in decision making process towards the future of the company are amongst the motivating factors. The weight each of these factors have for different employees depends from one individual to another and it is of great importance that we offer such a varied mix.


Where should we to expand to?

Bucharest, Cluj and Timisoara dominate the Business Services and Information Technology labour markets as university graduates usually prefer to remain where they completed the studies. Iasi is developing very fast and many other cities such as Sibiu, Brasov, Galati are coming fast from behind, as companies look to diversify their operations in order to minimize dependency and risk of one single point of delivery and market.

What are the main KPIs that you have to accomplish?

Customer satisfaction and quality related ones are the top KPIs along with employee satisfaction at Microsoft. Revenue is usually not in scope in a pure delivery and services organization. As industry transforms at a rapid pace, different measurements might be considered in the future such as Time to Resolution to align closer with Customer expectations.

What was the biggest problem encountered so far in leading Romanian operations?

I would like to look at things from a different angle: we can see issues and problems or challenges and opportunities. One major challenge is by far attraction of talent in a labour market that has become more and more competitive. Closer relationships and joint programs with the academic environment and authorities are from our experience opportunities and winning approaches in order to overcome challenges.

What would you change about Romania?

It is nothing particular that I would change. We have a great deal and major opportunities to further expand and attract new business especially in high tech and information technology and authorities understand that well. We as a country, businesses and authorities, shall continue with public programs to attract investors, even intensify them, and invest more in education. I think it is critical for Romania to continue to build skills in this area to be able to further capitalize on a global need. We as a country are in a good position and should plan at macro level as to maintain this advantage mid and long term. A wish would be to secure predictability and continue to stimulate investment long term in infrastructure, education and technology.

What are the latest trends regarding automation, big data and internet of things (IoT) and how will they affect your company and the industry as a whole?

The four mega-trends, mobile, cloud, big data and social significantly influence the world and the IT/outsourcing industry and the speed of change is massive. Innovation and creativity are more important than ever and the speed to adapt to the new realities is key.

Customer expectations have changed significantly over the years and they continue to develop every day. The approach towards customer services require adaptations as well in such dynamic sector that we operate in.

In a mobile-first, cloud-first world, customers want services to run on any device, they want self-services and automation, they expect real time interaction and have their services up and running at all times, they require fast solutions to their issues. Global and standardized processes and tools, as well as similar quality standards, regardless of the point of service delivery are equally expected do drive a consistent customer experience that brings value.

Ensuring a "follow the sun" delivery models and approaches, integrated technology, platforms and automation are key ingredients to success. An example of new technology that could become standard in a few years is Skype translator which might be widely used in the future by many Customer service organizations. All these items as a matter of fact do generate more specialized jobs and Romania has a huge opportunity.







0 COMMENTS ^ Go back to Top
WRITE A COMMENT ^ Go back to Top
 
Your email address will not be published.
Nickname
Email
Comment
Validation Code
   
 
 
NEWS
CrowdStrike opens a new center of innovation in Bucharest

CrowdStrike Inc., the leader in cloud-delivered endpoint protection, announced the official opening of its new Center of Innovation in the Pipera Technology District, Bucharest, Romania.

 Read Full article »
Romania leads in top of countries with highest number of cybersecurity incidents

Romania is leader in the top of jurisdictions recording the highest number of cybersecurity incidents with 14 attacks, followed by the Czech republic (11) and Hungary (8), according to the study "The Cybersecur

 Read Full article »
Oracle and KPMG study shows data security as priority for business leaders

In August 2018, Oracle applied a questionnaire with a number of questions about transformation technologies to a total of 4,000 respondents in 21 markets. Respondents were top managers in the following markets:

 Read Full article »
Colt Technology Services expands fibre network in four CEE cities

UK-headquartered Colt Technology Services said that it is expanding its IQ fibre network in Bucharest, Zagreb, Belgrade and Sofia as part of its plan for expansion in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

 Read Full article »
SAP Romania brings the cloud procurement solution SAP Ariba on local market

SAP Romania, the local subsidiary of the world's largest business software maker, has launched the SAP Ariba Snap program for the domestic market to support the digitization of specific procurement activities.

 Read Full article »
The software industry's input in Romanian economy was 5.4 billion Euro in 2018

According to the latest analysis of KeysFin, 17,000 companies operating in the Romanian software industry generate EUR 5.4 billion in turnover and employ 106,000 people generates 5.4 billion Euro in 2018 in Rom

 Read Full article »
Atos launches construction of global R&D Lab to drive innovation in Quantum Computing

Atos, global leader in digital transformation, officially launches the start of the construction of its new global Research & Development Lab dedicated to research in quantum computing.

 Read Full article »
Softelligence launches its own Academy to form specialists in insurance and banking

Specialized in business software development, Romanian company Softelligence announced it plans to increase its team by 50 per cent in the next two years, by hiring 100 to 150 new colleagues, the company announ

 Read Full article »
Romanian IT group Bittnet issued new bonds were traded on BSE

A new series of corporate bonds issued by Romanian IT group Bittnet Systems was admitted to trading on the main market of the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB).

 Read Full article »
Deloitte report: Two billion youth risk of being left behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution workforce

Almost two billion youth worldwide risk of being left behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) workforce, which is changing at an increasingly rapid pace as a result of the emerging technologie

 Read Full article »
 
 
MOST READ ARTICLES
» Endava expands its IT team in Republic...
» Workplaces, keeping up with the times
» The most appreciated companies from th...
» CrowdStrike opens a new center of inno...
» Softelligence launches its own Academy...
» ROMANIAN OUTSOURCING AWARDS FOR EXCELL...
» Oracle goes to Oregon Park, the buildi...
» Oracle and KPMG study shows data secur...
» Romania leads in top of countries with...
» SAP grows its cloud computing team at ...
 
EDITOR CHOICE
How Tech-ready are companies?

Technology has made it easier and faster than ever to prepare, anticipate, implement, and get the job done for everyone, from the simple technology home user to all levels and departments of a corporation. Howe

 Read Full article »
Workplaces, keeping up with the times

For a company, being people-centric is a way of doing business and engaging employees in the company's operations and strategies in a way that provides a positive employment experience before and after the sell

 Read Full article »
Creating a valuable customer experience driven by core values of a company

As HR becomes more and more integrated within the company's long-term strategic business strategies, the digitalization and high-technologies impacting the processes also have to be mirrored at the level of HR

 Read Full article »
Ergonomics in practice - 5 tips for better health at work

Ergonomics is so much more than standing up during the day and sitting correctly. There are so many factors in our environment which also have an effect on our health, and influence our wellbeing at work. The

 Read Full article »
Technology, Mobility and Wellness make for the perfect workplace

The technology binge is pushing ahead the communities, businesses and all aspects related to work and workplaces in such a fast manner that we haven't noticed since the very booming of the office market. And as

 Read Full article »
Latest News  
 
about us | newsletter | contact | members area | GDPR policy
Copyright © 2015 by Diplomat Media Events Design by Diplomat Media Events