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.

2016-07-12 16:02:06 - 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
AFI Brasov Mall begins the construction with 80 per cent assigned spaces

AFI Romania announced that the leasing campaign in AFI Brasov has advanced and has already assigned 80% of the spaces, a press release informs.

 Read Full article »
Logicom to acquire Romanian IT distributor Gemini

Logicom Information Technology, a subsidiary of Logicom Public Limited signed a pre-sale purchase agreement for the acquisition of Romanian IT distribution company Gemini.

 Read Full article »
InnovMatch Competition in solving business challenges

InnovMatch aims to enable innovative companies, start-ups, developers, entrepreneurs and students from around Central and Eastern Europe to tackle specific business challenges, and by using SAP Cloud Platform,

 Read Full article »
Zitec plans 5 million Euro worth business this year

Zitec, major provider of personalized technology solutions, services and products in Romania, announced it recorded a 30 per cent increase in turnover in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period in 2

 Read Full article »
Smartree: Romanian private sector wages up 7 pct on average in H1

HR outsourcing consultancy Smartree says that wages in the private sector rose by an average of 7 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same period of last year, mainly due to the increase of t

 Read Full article »
NTT Data takes up 4,000 square meters in Unirii View office project

NTT Data Romania, the software services and solutions provider, leased 4,000 square meters in Unirii View office project, the 18th floors tower that is being under development in downtown Bucharest, only five m

 Read Full article »
Eucom Survey: 2 out of 3 Romanian employees would learn a foreign language in order to advance in their career

The interim results of the latest survey conducted by Eucom, foreign language courses provider and part of the Ascendis Group, show that 2 out of 3 Romanian employees (66per cent of all respondents) want to lea

 Read Full article »
Google offers 30.000 US dollars grant for supporting computer science in Romania

Union of Romanian Informatics Teachers - UPIR has received a 30,000 US dollars worth grant from Google to create an online community dedicated to computer science high-school teachers.

 Read Full article »
Siveco's Newton project brings top-notch technology in schools for children with special needs

A pre-testing lesson in physics using 3D, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality content develped by SIVECO Romania brought unexpected success for students with impaired hearing, within the NEWTON European proje

 Read Full article »
The IT sector in Romania anticipated to reach 12 per cent of GDP until 2025

Romania's IT&C sector will increase to 12% of the GDP in 2025, from a current value of 6% of the GDP, said Marian Popa, head of DB Global Tehnology's IT center in Bucharest, citied by Mediafax newswire.

 Read Full article »
 
MOST RECENT VIDEO
 
 
MOST READ ARTICLES
» Voxpro opens office in Bucharest and h...
» ROMANIAN OUTSOURCING AWARDS FOR EXCELL...
» AFI Brasov Mall begins the constructio...
» Logicom to acquire Romanian IT distrib...
» Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excell...
» Comdata to buy four subsidiaries of Fr...
» Genpact's COO: Staying ahead of the cu...
» Welcome onboard!
» Exclusive OT print issue: Genpact may ...
» EY: Work-life balance has become more ...
 
EDITOR CHOICE
Preparing for the new future

Business shared services in Romania is by nature a flexible, mobile and diverse community and in this context, local markets develop their own particularities to address the global changes, to adjust to new dem

 Read Full article »
EY: Work-life balance has become more difficult to be managed by one third of full-time employees in 8 large countries

EY's global survey of full-time workers in eight countries finds that one-third say managing work-life has become more difficult, with younger generations and parents hit hardest.

 Read Full article »
Welcome onboard!

By 2020, some 200.000 people are expected to work in business shared services in Romania, doubling the current employment portfolio enrolled in more than 120 companies operating BPO, SSC or ITO services. Howeve

 Read Full article »
Thierry Blain, SG EBS: Bringing teams to the next level

The journey of Societe Generale European Business Services began with the need for a strategic location to sustain and transform European operations of Societe Generale Group. The purpose was, from the early da

 Read Full article »
TELUS International Europe: Issue 3 - Customers First magazine! Strategy and innovation in travel and hospitality

The third issue of our Customers First magazine is now available! The latest edition is all about travel and hospitality, featuring insights from industry experts and top brands like JetBlue, Turo, Joie de Vivr

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