Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Grow your business to Iasi, Romania: Cut your costs!

There are many years since outsourcing has become a great solution for cutting costs. But even if it’s a great solution many companies avoided it as it was like a Russian roulette (especially for SMBs that do not have access to means of analyzing/validating/auditing their future partners).
In the last 2 years, the business environment got worse and the market more exigent. Outsourcing became, from what was once something to consider, a necessity for those who want to survive.
Why? Obviously, it lowers company costs and same time it offers more flexibility (no need to explain more as anyone should be familiar with the model… if not Google should provide some educated search results). You can even shut down an entire department for a while and save the money. You don’t need to worry about firing or hiring people, no worries about all the paper work or infrastructure costs.

Having all this said, what has Iasi to offer?
Even if you can virtually outsource any segment of your business here, the following three are definitely the ones to take advantage of:

I worked many years with many developers, great people, constantly looking for better technologies, inventing new ones when needed, never giving up, always delivering. Extraordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Here you will find very good and reliable partners to help you with web and mobile development, building and maintaining complex database solutions, designing and building your next desktop product. Doesn’t matter if you are looking for C/C++, Java, C#, PHP or Pearl programmers, if you want to build for PC, Mac or mobile devices, in Iasi you will be able to find a partner that you can trust.

The support department (or call center) can prove to be the most expensive one. What usually happens is this: the number of customers grows so the support department has to be scaled. But there isn’t a constant flow of customers and sometime (days or even weeks) nothing happens.
This is why you have to outsource it and it’s even easy to do. And Iasi is a great location for this. If you need technical skills (i.e. MSDST, MSCE) or written/spoken language skills (i.e. IELTSCambridge, DALF), the local companies will be able to help you. They can do this as Iasi, being such a big educational hub (for more info see:, can satisfy their request for such resources.

Your product does not need a pretty UI, but one that is functional and ergonomic; you don’t need colorful box for your product… you need a box with a message that sells; you are not looking for a nice logo, but for a powerful brand that represents the very personality and beliefs of your company.
What I am trying to say is that making pretty drawings and pictures is easy… making one that will help your company sell more, is not an easy task.
Again, Iasi has what you are looking for. There are companies that will amaze you with their professionalism and quality. Personally, I had the chance to work with some of the great designers (artists… as they hate to be calledJ ) that are behind these companies.
Some of the world-wide brands, huge names that you encounter on daily basis, were created by these companies.

Here are some random names that are established in Iasi for some time and seem to do a great job:

“XL World is one of the leading and fastest-growing outsourcing companies in Eastern Europe...
The main areas of expertise are multi-lingual Contact Centre and BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) services. Support is offered in English and in more than 10 additional languages...”

“Welcome to Europe's number 1 independent IT group. With a successful heritage of 36 years of profitable, sustainable growth, SCC is well positioned to help you release immediate cost savings and get more for less out of your investment in IT infrastructure...”

“FITS is a mature software company that delivers custom made IT solutions for the financial sector, with a focus on banks and capital management companies. Our solutions are built with high flexibility to fit the customers’ needs, enabling them to optimize the costs with financial transactions...”

Grapefruit Design (
“Grapefruit was founded in 1999 in Iasi as a small creative partnership by Marius Ursache, Stefan Liute and Laurian Gridinoc. We were the first in Romania to tell and do many things about corporate and brand identity, naming, brand manuals and web sites. To this day, we show the way, set trends and get followers, big and small.”

(Note: The brief information is as found on their own websites. This info might be out of context, so please browse them if you want to find out more.)

Is it cheap? Not cheap as Asian countries. The price varies by little comparing with Ukraine and Bulgaria. But you already cut costs by outsourcing... so, at this point, are you looking for Cheap or for Quality?!

Today would be a good day to start cutting your company costs.
Grow your business to Iasi, Romania! You won't regret it!

Where is Iasi, Romania?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Grow your business to Iasi, Romania: Who is already here?

In the previous article I was inviting you to come here, to Romania, and more specifically to Iasi. I told you about the many advantages of establishing here a remote office for your business ( But this is far from being enough reason to invest here.

So, who else is here in Iasi? What other companies had the nerve to invest here, to build large offices and employ tens and hundreds of people? 

Here are some of the big names that came, in a random order... ok, except the first one which is not that random, but currently I work for them.
·         Comodo CA / Comodo Security Solutions Inc. (
“Comodo is Creating Trust Online® because none of us can realize the full potential of the Internet unless it's a trusted place to interact and conduct business...”

·         Siemens VDO / Continental Automotive Romania (
“The Automotive Group of Continental AG is one of the leading global automotive suppliers. With its three Divisions – Chassis & Safety, Powertrain and Interior – it achieved sales of approximately 15 billion € in 2008. The Automotive Group employs more than 80,000 people in more than 130 locations worldwide...”

·         Pentalog (
“Since 1999, Pentalog has been implementing a high-performance service offer based upon the right mix of local and offshore services for each and every project…” 

Endava (
“Endava is a leading European IT services organisation, with offices in London, New York, Romania and Moldova. Our dedicated delivery centres in Eastern Europe support the full project lifecycle, from application delivery and testing through to support, hosting and managed services…”

·         Embarcadero (
“Embarcadero is committed to providing the industry’s broadest and deepest set of software tools for developers, DBAs, and architects...”

·         Synygy (
“Synygy Inc. is the largest and most experienced provider of sales compensation management (SCM) software and services. Synygy also provides a set of related sales performance management (SPM) solutions, including sales data management, sales reporting and analytics, sales workflow process automation, and sales performance planning…”

·         Mind CTI (
“MIND is a leading provider of convergent real-time end-to-end billing and customer care product based solutions as well as call accounting solutions for organizations and large multinational corporates…”

·         Amazon (
“At, we believe that innovation has the power to change the world. As we strive to become Earth's most customer-centric company, we constantly look for new ways to innovate on behalf of our different customers…”

But this is not all. There are also local companies that got in the big league, expanding their business world-wide:

·         Infoworld (
"The quality and reliability of Info World software soon prompted our company to penetrate the international market, with customers in locations such as United Kingdom, South Africa, Bulgaria and the Republic of Moldova.
Over the years, Info World has broadened its interests and began designing software for other areas, such as e-learning, process management, occupational health and safety, psychological testing, striving to meet the growing need for intelligent information systems…”

·         BitDefender (
"BitDefender® is the creator of award-winning, internationally certified Internet Security and Antivirus software.
Since its inception in 2001, BitDefender® has continued to raise the bar to set new standards in proactive threat prevention, in many cases leading the way in the best Internet security detection techniques to prevent the spread of malicious threats..." 

Softpedia (

Also, you might want to try the quality of service here, and what is a better way of doing it than outsourcing some of your R&D work to our local companies? I am not getting into details because at the moment I don’t know them all, and I would hate to get them wrong. What can I tell you is that we have so many of them, developing for all known platforms, OSes, and using all the programming languages and environments you know.
I will reserve one of the next articles, exclusively for 100% outsourcing.

If you wish to find out more, just send me a message.

Note: The brief information is as found on their own websites. This info might be out of context, so please browse them if you want to find out more.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Grow your business to Iasi, Romania: The perfect place to expand your R&D operation!

If you are looking for the perfect location to build your new R&D center probably the best choice is Iasi, one of the biggest cities of Romania (, well connected to the rest of the world. Romania is in the EU, so an European country.
Why is that?

1) First of all you are interested in human resources availability.
"Alexandru Ioan Cuza" ( is the oldest and currently the best university of Romania (576 place in the international hierarchy).
"Gheorghe Asachi" Technical University of Iasi ( is not far from this position. There are other several universities.
All these make Iasi a huge learning center, that serves a very large region of Romania (counties: Iasi, Vaslui, Botosani, Bacau, Neamt, Suceava) and it is capable to offer you all the human resources you need to build your R&D center.
We are talking about highly qualified programmers at lower salaries than in the rest of Eastern Europe, high level of foreign languages speaking: English, French, Italian, Spanish etc. 

2) Now, you would like to hear about salaries. I won't give exact numbers, but their level is the lowest compared to the other big cities in Romania like Bucharest, Arad, Timisoara, Brasov, Cluj.
Of course, this does not mean that it will stay like this, but will give you enough time to grow, adapt and adjust smoothly.
What about the quality of this resource? I can only tell you what I learned about this in the last 4 years ( Our company hired 100+ people: developers, support technicians, designers, antivirus analysts, etc. I worked with most of them and with proper management and motivation they will do magic. They are eager to learn and are constantly looking to improve themselves, they work hard and “I cannot do it” is not in their vocabulary. They stay focused as long as needed and always deliver.

3) At this point you need to hear about one more thing, Taxes. Well, this is not a simple topic and needs a separate thread. But one thing that you need to hear is this: tax exemption for employees working in IT companies (and have graduated the faculty), so the company does not pay the 16% tax from gross salary (which means attractive net wages can be paid with a lot less expense for the company).

4) Another concern is where to establish the office. There are plenty of buildings where you can rent space for your office. And in case this wasn't enough, there is a big business center being built right now, that will double availability. We are talking of course about A and A+ office building (,
The prices vary from 5 to 15 EUR per square meter.

5) Internet connections are great and will couple of hundreds EURs per month you can buy 15 up to 50 Mbytes per second broadband connection, fiber optic all the way. When we talk about broadband networks, Romania is occupying a place in the top 5 in the world, among countries like South Korea and Japan.

I told you a lot of pros... But what about cons? I can think to only one right now, the airport. It's a small one and does not have direct flights to common international locations, just couple of big Europe cities.
But I think you will not really care about this, with all the money you save from everything that is much cheaper here (that we discussed above).

Having all these said, the city of Iasi is looking forward for you to expand you business here.

If any questions, do not hesitate to ask... and you'll have to excuse me if I don't answer immediately.

Where is Iasi, Romania?

(The credits for dark red text go to Radu - Thank you!)