If you’re a German, Austrian or Swiss company looking to extend your IT team through nearshoring, chances are that you are searching for a partner who has strong links to your country and culture. So how do we – Future Processing – score on this front?
I also had a word on Austria with Martin Kowalski (MK), from Future Processing’s partner nearshoring.io, who is an expert of the tech market there.
Q: Adam, you joined Future Processing in 2016, do you remember the beginnings of our presence in the region? How did it all start? Who was our first client? Any fond memories?
AM: Our adventure of working for German customers started years before I joined the company. First clients got in touch with us directly over 10 years ago. They were primarily software companies that needed external support for specific projects for a given period of time. We participated as a subcontractor in projects mainly from the tourism and e-commerce industries.
Our first direct customer, who partnered with us back in 2015, was ista – one of the world leaders in accounting for individual heat costs, headquartered in Essen. They were looking for a partner who would deliver a web portal for the analysis of utility consumption data for property managers. Since the beginning of our collaboration, we’ve had 5 projects together.
I joined Future Processing in March 2016, and since then we have been running active sales activities in German-speaking countries. We started building a partner network, gaining contacts, building trust. We also began participating in industry events and visiting potential customers directly at their headquarters.
Patience and hard work paid off and, over time, more and more clients from the region became interested in partnering with us. Unfortunately, we are unable to disclose all of them publicly. The ones we can are presented in the case studies section of our website.
Q: Martin, why did Future Processing choose the region in the first place? Or did perhaps clients from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland chose us? Please briefly describe our experience with clients from these countries.
MM: What could be more obvious than to choose the largest single market in the EU, which is also in the immediate vicinity? As Adam said, we have been present in the DACH market for a while now, but the recent situation has changed things a bit.
In the pandemic, the German economy and public administration recognised the enormous backlog demand the have in digitalisation. Many traditional industrial and service sectors are just realising that they must digitally transform themselves and their business models if they want to remain competitive and survive in the long term.
This realisation is accompanied by the fact that there are not enough skilled workers for this transformation at all.
Although it is traditionally more difficult to market offshoring & nearshoring services in the DACH markets than in the English-speaking regions, due to the language barrier, we are currently experiencing the beginning of a boom in the software development business as well.
Our existing customers from the German-speaking markets traditionally have no inhibitions about speaking English with us, as they are either more cosmopolitan than others or already operate globally.
Q: What about Future Processing’s physical presence in the area?
MM: I am the Future Processing’s man in Germany, based in Düsseldorf.
Düsseldorf is a good location to operate within the DACH markets. On the one hand, Düsseldorf is located in the heart of the largest metropolitan area in the overall market with excellent transport connections.
On the other hand, it is not entirely by chance that the city is also close to some of Future Processing’s important clients.
We opened an office there at the end of 2020. Despite all the virtual business relationships in the pandemic, it is important for us to have a physical location where we can meet in person once in a while in such an important market.
Future Processing also maintains an intensive relationship with the city of Düsseldorf – we are a member of the Digitale Stadt Düsseldorf which networks the future industries of the information and telecommunications industry with the traditional industries.
Q: How close is Poland to every country in the DACH region culturally? Is Poland a good match for German, Austrian and Swiss clients – if so, why?
MM: The list of connections between Germany and Poland can be spun on endlessly and there is probably no deeper and closer connection between two countries than that between Germany and Poland. This is also the basis for the strong economic ties between the two countries. Additionally, there is a lively flow of labour from Poland to Germany.
Traditionally, the rule in Germany has been the following: it has to be invented and manufactured in Germany for it to be good. Especially if it is something technically sophisticated.
When it comes to bits and bytes, however, there has been a growing gap in skilled workers for years that will not be filled in the next few years. Germany needs external help. In principle, it can buy in this help anywhere, even offshore – i.e. in Asia. This is also being done on a grand scale, for example in India.
But when it comes to getting software of the highest quality without time zone differences and without major cultural-communicative problems, there is no way around Poland.
Over the past 20 years, Poland has developed into a secret service and production location for Germany. I can only congratulate the Germans on having such a neighbour who can solve an existential problem for them.
MK: Poland is the perfect match for Austrian customers. Not only because of the cultural, but also because of the geographical proximity. Poland is only a few hours away by car or flight. In Poland, Austrian companies also find those specialists who are lacking in their own country due to the shortage of skilled workers. And all of this at an excellent price-performance ratio.
Q: So, would you say that ‘software made in Poland’ is a good choice for clients from the DACH region?
MM: There is no reason why software development Made in Poland cannot become an absolute success story in Germany!
Austria has its own history with Eastern Europe and traditionally has very good relations with all Slavic cultures.
For Switzerland, the relations with Poland are not as obvious as for Germany and Austria, but there are many good reasons there to enjoy the same advantages as for the two neighbours to the north and east.
Q: How do you see IT outsourcing’s future when it comes to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland?
AM: The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated the process of change and digitisation in enterprises. When combined with increasing competition from China, DACH companies are forced to invest in new software that will facilitate their work, save costs, etc.
I am convinced that the biblical ‘seven years of great abundance’ have started for the IT industry. A company as large as Future Processing will surely seize this opportunity and in the coming years, we will strengthen our position on the DACH market helping many more clients achieve their goals.
Q: Is there anything you would like to say to people from Germany, Austria or Switzerland who are considering nearshoring to Poland? Any advice?
AM: It is beneficial to involve us as early as possible. Our Business Analysts and User Experience Experts can run the so called discovery workshops which crystallise the customer’s idea.
I would advise our potential customers not to try to invent everything by themselves. Let the experts support you from the very beginning. Thanks to our experience in various industries and in many countries, we quickly understand the business needs of our new clients and are able to combine them with the available technology. As a result, the customer gets an optimal software solution that can be used for years.
MK: I’d say, just to give it a try. You will be amazed how good and cost-effective working with Polish companies can be.