|Itella's IT Competence Centre in Toruń|
Courtesy of Itella
Finnish BPO company Itella’s Financial Shared Service Centre & IT Competence Centre in Toruń has given a major boost to the local area by providing challenging employment opportunities for the local workforce. It has also shown that advanced service facilities can be successfully located outside of Poland’s major cities.
The Toruń center incorporates a Tier 3 data center that connects four functions: a shared services center for the Itella Group, nearshoring for customer operations in the Scandinavian countries and Germany, BPO capabilities for Polish customers, especially in finance and accounting, and IT competence center operations.
The Toruń center became operational in 2011 and currently employs 85 people, with the plan being to increase headcount to 450-600.
Itella says the investment can be characterized as innovative partly because of its location, since the northern city of Toruń is not normally associated with large outsourcing investments. Most companies choose to locate in or near major cities such as Warsaw, Kraków and Wroc³aw.
Itella also cites the center’s numerous highly developed IT platforms and systems as being among the scheme’s innovative features.
The investment is also a sustainable one in many ways. Itella says the new center has provided many new jobs in a city where there is no similar business. The center, it says, provides opportunities for young and educated people to stay in their place of origin and gain experience and grow their careers.
Moreover, the facility’s IT Competence Centre is located in a refurbished 19th century historical building.
The firm also emphasizes that the investment was carried out according to Itella Group Company Responsibility Standards, which indicate ways of operating responsibly towards customers, employees, partners and the environment.
One of the major long-term impacts the investment is expected to have on the local area is that, being the first BPO center in Toruń, it has the potential to be a big employer in the city and surrounding area. The company also says it wants to involve itself in supporting the local university with its practical knowledge, and create opportunities for students to gain experience by taking part in internship programs.
In terms of its impact on Poland, the company says its decision to locate in one of the country’s smaller cities has shown that BPO companies do not necessarily need to locate in or near big and well-known metropolises.
“Our success in this location shows that it is a good idea and creates a perspective for other middle and small cities to get investors from this sector,” Joanna Galuba, marketing manager at Itella Information, wrote in an e-mailed comment.
“It is an interesting project because Itella is a Finnish state-owned company. This means that the Finnish government gave its trust to Polish employees and accepted a reduction of employees in Finland to gain financial and operational benefits,” she added.
About the Itella Group
Itella operates in several European Union countries, as well as in Norway and Russia. The company says that its international operations account for about one-third of its business.
The company’s key customer industries include the media, as well as the trade and services industries.
Itella Group comprises three business groups: Itella Mail Communications, Itella Information and Itella Logistics. The group is wholly owned by the Finnish state.
Net sales amounted to €1.9 billion in 2011.
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