“The Czech Republic is an ideal place for providing global services. Prague is no longer the only attractive location. Brno (south Moravia), for example, is home to Lufthansa’s customer service centre, and last year GE Money opened its customer service centre in Ostrava (north Moravia). We eventually want to offer investors opportunities in other regional cities," says Tomas Hruda, CEO of CzechInvest. The conference, at which approximately 80 investors will share their experience in the field, is organised annually by the company IQPC. On Friday, the programme will continue with a visit to the shared-services centre of Symbol Technologies in Brno.
Investments in shared services in central and eastern Europe represent a prominant trend of the past few years. This group of investments also includes business support services. In addition to shared-services centres, this also involves multi-language customer service centres, high-tech repair centres, software-development centres and expert solution centres. For example, the companies SKYPE and Microsoft are preparing to open a software-development centres in Prague.Accenture and ExxonMobil have shared-services centres in the capital, whileTeam Trackers and ICON Communication Centres have already built customer service centres here. The projects of IBM and DHL are excellent examples of ICT expert solution centres in the Czech Republic, while high-tech repair centres are well-represented by the investments of Symbol Technologies and Olympus.
A 2006 study by the Economist Intellignece Unit ranked the Czech Republic in third place among the world’s most attractive countries for offshoring. Only China and India ranked higher. “In comparison with those countries, we have several advantages, for example our geographical and cultural proximity to western markets. Czech employees of service centres more easily understand the problems of their customesrs,” says Miriam Antonova, CzechInvest’s specialist for the business support services sector. Another advantage is knowledge of European languages in addition to English, which is the prevalent language of Asian centres.
Prague’s role as a host of important events in the field of business support services does not end with the Shared Services Eastern Europe 2007 conference. In May the city will host the largest conference in Europe – Shared Services Week, including the presentation of Excellence Awards.
CONTACT PERSON AT CZECHINVEST:
Business support services sector specialist
phone: +420 296 342 478