he discussions I had with the major IT companies in Cluj, at the beginning of 2017, focused on their predictions for the current year. Aside from the fact that all of them predict a substantial growth in the Romanian IT sector via the development of services, products and training, each has a unique way of forging their path according to the goals at hand.
The engineering center in Cluj is keen on continuous innovation and is currently involved in state-of-the-art technology projects. Having a close collaboration with other RD centers in the global Bosch network, and the local manufacturing center in Jucu, the young team in Cluj develops products that meets high requirements in software, hardware, reliability and mechanics.
Autonomous driving, IoT, Connected Industry (a.k.a Industry 4.0) and electrical vehicles are only some examples from the Bosch engineering portfolio developed in Cluj-Napoca, a portfolio we want to expand and perfect in 2017.
- Bosch Engineering Center Cluj
2016 was an important year for us, both at group level, where we expanded in Latin America and merged with a company in New Jersey, and at local level, where we merged with ISDC, a software company registering approximately 300 employees in Romania, The Netherlands and Bulgaria, merger which contributed to a headcount growth of up to 3,500 employees at group level and over 1,000 employees in Cluj-Napoca.
For 2017, we estimate an annual 30% growth of employee numbers in Romania, continuing to offer our most talented engineers the opportunity to develop their career and contribute to the development of some innovative systems and platforms for the global leaders in industries such as Finances, Insurance, Telecomunications, Media and Technology, Retail and Goods. We have many projects which are focused on state-of-the-art technologies, with customer-centric roles, encouraging dialogue with them so as to improve the processes and systems that we deliver.
We will continue our involvement in growing the local community by organizing or being partners in events or meetups which gather IT professionals and industry experts, like the ones recently organized under the Endava Tech Flow umbrella, with David Farley and Eoin Woods (CTO Endava).
We also want to continue our Innovation Labs and Hackathon series, initiatives which stem from internal technical challenges or from customers, for which the Endava team, during a 24-48 hour sessions, suggests, defines and develosp an innovative solution.
As a result of the success of our Internship and Graduate programs, launched in 2012, in 2015 we launched a new concept targeted at young professionals, namely 'Schools for'. These programs help us encourage the improvement of technical abilities as well as of leadership and other soft skills among IT buffs. In 2017 we will continue this program series with events which include a period of intensive technical training enabling participants to acquire practical experience, so that, after this period, they may be given the possibility to join our teams as employees. Through these programs, and later on, through the technical and non-technical training of Endava University, we support professional reconversion, and we invest in educating and developing the abilities and competencies of those joining us.
- Isabela Buhai, Delivery Unit Manager @ Endava.
We expect an eventful 2017, both from the point of view of the teams, and of the projects involved. Our main goal is to orient our solutions related to mobility towards autonomous driving, and, we started this year with our 7th attendance at CES in Las Vegas where we presented our AI-based platform used in cartography.
One of the main goals of our team will be to develop our OpenSource cartography project which takes photos in order to detect speed limits, alleys and traffic signs. Our vision to enable automatic map making based on the collected images will be extended until 2017, together with the launch of our navigation systems alongside the 3 out of the 5 biggest car manufacturers which cater for millions of users.
As a result of our company's growth by 50% in 2016, we wish to enhance our skills in expertise fields such as mobile development (iOS, Android), core technologies (C++, Java, Big Data and Deep Learning), and to grow our team of map analysts.
Due to the continuous development of entrepreneurship in Cluj Napoca, Telenav is delighted to support local events such as Startup Weekend Cluj, Techsylvania and ITBrainiacs, while also pursuing its own initiatives like the Earn&Learn project - an intensive training program for people who do not have IT knowledge.
- Philipp Kandal, General Manager EU / Head of Openstreetmap @ Telenav
Paddy Power Betfair plc was created in 2016 out of the merger of two operators specializing in bets which have had the biggest growth in the online field: Paddy Power plc and Betfair Group plc. Paddy Power is an international group specializing in bets and games distributed across multiple channels, a group viewed as one of the most salient brands in Europe.
Betfair is an innovative online bet and game operator, a pioneer in betting exchange in 2000, an operator which changed the landscape of sport bets. Paddy Power Betfair is market leader in the UK, Ireland, Australia and USA, and covers a range of B2C and B2B operations across Europe.
As integral part of Paddy Power Betfair Group, Betfair Romania Development is the company's biggest RD center. Situated in Cluj, it comprises 520 professionals specializing in a variety of programming languages, infrastructure, information security & governance, project and program management, product management, business and marketing operations. This year, Betfair Romania celebrates 10 years and is proud to be the company's Excellence Center in fields such as Data Delivery, Gaming, Marketing and Customer Management Technology.
The merger positioned the group as leader from the point of view of the products and the capabilities involved. The products include a top sport bet product, a No 1 product in global betting exchange, eGaming and B2B products. The top capabilities that lie at the basis of these products are the scalable platforms with native technology, internal product development, digital marketing expertise, risk & trading.
Growth and magnitude can only be achieved by developing the products and the technology, therefore the key objective for 2017 is to benefit from this unique opportunity: the creation of a common platform for our product line: Sportsbook, Exchange & eGaming which supports multiple brands, channels and fields. Its forthcoming architecture will be mainly based on the Betfair platform meant for account and wallet management, support and customer services, self-management and promotional systems.
Supported by SOA architecture, using mostly Jscript/Angular, Java and Oracle technologies, the current systems offer a range of challenges due to its complexity and highly transactional nature. We focus on qualitative, secure and timely development to cater for the needs of our commercial teams. The effort invested in development is supported by an investment in our staff's skills, via the training courses in technical fields (i.e. Spring, Java 8, MySQL, Reactive and Asynchronous programs, Performance testing and Benchmarking etc.) and soft skills.
Similarly, we want to build an integrated data platform with common metrical data placed in a common Datawarehouse and having a single destination for all the relevant data stemming from internal and external source systems. Our new data platform uses top technologies (cloud, big data management, integration and streaming) such as Talend, Amazon S3, Redshift, Elastic Map Reduce (Hadoop), Kafka and others. It also includes advanced analytical data and machine learning via R, Spark and Python, and facilitates data exploration and reporting via technologies such as Tableau, Qlikview, Reporting Services and SAP Business Objects.
We don't like to keep the information all to ourselves, because we believe in open source projects. Therefore, we will continue organizing events such as "Share IT" - a series of conferences where technology buffs gather to present their ideas and projects, offering a great opportunity to share their knowledge in various areas of expertise. Moreover, we will continue to get involved in the community activity by supporting projects such as "IT days" and by using technology to help our community, via projects like "Walking Month".
- Paula Țibre, Director al Centrului de Dezvoltare Cluj @ Paddy Power Betfair
Our development and growth plans are very ambitious for 2017. In the first half of the year, our job offer will comprise 150 vacancies. We are looking for consultants, client service analysts, web analysts and developers to join our 810 active employees.
Our main confirmed investment for this year is expanding the office situated on the The Office Cluj-Napoca premises. As a result, the total surface of our two Yardi România offices will reach 10.314 square meters.
- Eniko Laszlo, PR Specialist @ Yardi Romania
Accesa consolidates its 2017 position by being a partner of IT transformation, meeting innovation challenges in an Agile, mature way. In 2017, AI, machine learning and predictive analytics will be the trends the company will explore in order to expand its internal ability to innovate. The company will focus even more on people, self-management, learning opportunities, by hiring specialists willing to grow in a free, motivating environment.
- Iulian Iuga, Managing Director @ Accesa
In 2017, Small Footprint envisions a monthly growth of 2-3 people. Our growth strategy focuses on Transportation and Logistics, where there are significant opportunities and where we have powerful partner clients. DevOps practices will be the focal point in our Agile transformation alongside our partner clients. We will further pursue product innovation, intellectual property endeavors and we will test next generation solutions in VR, AI and IoT.
- Imre Miko, Managing Director @ Small Footprint
Pursuing its innovative tradition, the Software Division at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Cluj will focus on growing both its product portfolio and its employee numbers in 2017, thus consolidating its current strategic position. The merger of HPE Software and Micro Focus will create one of the world's biggest software producers.
- Cătălin Dragomir, Site Manager @ HP Enterprise Cluj
In 2017 Bittnet seeks to develop initiatives such as consolidating its market leader position in Romanian IT training, while continuing to expand geographically. Following the debut of the Cluj office in 2015, the ones in Sibiu and Brașov in 2016, the company will create offices in Timișoara and Iași in 2017. In addition to the recent partnership with Oracle University, Bittnet continues to invest in the cloud and IT security systems.
- Mihai Logofătu, CEO @ Bittnet Systems
With an experience of more than 10 years in counseling practitioners, teams and organizations on how to improve their results and their attitude towards their work, Mozaic Works has great challenges in 2017. Leaders in technical excellence, Agile, the adoption of Lean practices, business agility, we will focus even more on customizing the learning experience for our customers. We have just announced events that have an international audience which organizations, managers and software producers can benefit from. The first events we have in mind are destined for Product Leaders, Management and DevOps.
- Maria Diaconu, CEO @ Mozaic Works
For Fortech, 2017 is a year dedicated to consolidation. We have recently grown, and we continue our growth in volume. At the same time we have important initiatives at organizational and business level, initiatives which will reach maturity in 2017. Our organizational structure and our senior leadership team will fill key positions, such is the COO role. In terms of delivery, we are building a specialized Project Management Office (PMO) structure.
- Călin Văduvă, CEO @ Fortech
Colors in Projects has ambitious prospects for 2017. We want to continue our development in three fields, each with optimizations and new elements introduced, so that we can grow our current and future customers' satisfaction:
Training sessions. We believe that information cannot be learnt unless people experiment with it (and we are glad that more and more companies adhere to this). Moreover, our sessions will continue to include simulations, role play, case studies, and, obviously, Aha! moments. The 2017 Agile sessions will have a new theme of inquiry: Design Thinking, for which we are already collaborating with two experienced trainers. Our board game on topics such as project management (PM Galaxy) will be completed by a new game where the participants will be confronted with the results of their adopted strategies (PM Strategy). Obviously, the games are framed by specific workshops with well-defined learning goals.
Agile Coaching. After a series of significant results in the IT sector in 2016 and new Agile experiences in the non-IT sector, we want to pursue our coaching activity for Agile teams (or for those which switch to Agile approaches). The tool we developed, Agile Excellerate, is a useful reference for the customers who want to track their Agile teams' performance growth, which we will therefore continue to promote.
Obviously we cannot ignore our annual event which is well-known in Cluj, Agile Mammoths Games, whose 9th 2017 edition will happen on the 9th of March, at Grand Hotel Italia. Fully gamified, the event is a team adventure, destined for the acquisition of knowledge in an interactive environment, with challenges every step of the way where we will have guides (speakers, trainers and Agile coaches) with international and local experience.
- Simona Bonghez, CEO @ Colors in Projects
Starting 2017, Ve Interactive continues its changes in terms of identity, quality of service and customer satisfaction. 2016 enabled us to develop and promote our main product, to change our style, our alerts to prevent attrition and we added a sliding panel which is a complementary tool on the right-hand side of the user's web page. The adoption rate has increased, and so has the number of users who accessed the site. This year we will focus on analytical data and scientific fields with the same dedication.
Marketing technology must become intelligent and understand each user, each ecommerce company, and each trend. Having this benchmark in mind, we can customize our customers' experience. In terms of our product, VePanel, this will enable us to present you products which can kindle your interest and which can help ecommerce companies develop operations via valuable exercises, by making advertising work for all the parties involved.
Online advertising suffered greatly from Ad Blockers in recent years. Advertisements did not bring sufficient value, and they were perceived as obstructive for the user's navigation experience over the Internet. We believe that, through the data we have, we can determine users to watch the advertisements which help them get the products and services they want. Our ecommerce customers will attract more relevant customers for their sites, applications or activities. Moreover, this should help the ones who publish content to get more money for each advertisement on their site. This entails that the quality of the journalistic endeavor will grow, in the sense that there will be fewer irrelevant advertisements and fewer click baits, which will improve the user's experience.
We will achieve this by working with and challenging market trends. We will continue working at the highest standard and we will continue our adventures in BigData technologies expanding the ability set of our employees on these topics, helping them understand how to interpret data significantly.
Our development center in Cluj initiated many interesting projects in 2015. Last year we relocated some major systems, so that they are now in the sole care of the talented engineers in our teams. This year, the investment involved in updating these systems will hit the market and will open up new opportunities for content delivery, personalization, trend analysis. To meet the goals above, the Cluj team will grow in 2017 in addition to the developers that already contribute to our company's success. We will need more staff to have even more ideas and initiatives in which to invest. 2017 has a lot to offer for Ve Interactive and we already started to get things moving!
- Andrew Metcalfe, CTO @ VE Interractive
We have three global strategic lines of development for 2017: Engage, Hire, Sell. In Romania, we will focus on the Engage and Hire strategies, while also aiming at signing our first contracts with Romanian companies (Sell).
We want to triple the number of high-class Romanian collaborators via recruitment, via our collaborators engagement, and via a PR strategy meant to present the advantages we offer in a more transparent, more concise way, so that we are perceived as a "company of choice".
The use of gamification processes in our technical testing procedure will bring about an improvement in the way our recruitment experience is perceived by our candidates, which will facilitate the speed and ease with which the recruitment processes will be carried out.
We will consolidate our Crossover team of experts by offering them support in career development, by going through a quick and planned path of professional evolution ("Career training", "Advancement ladders", "Opportunity connection").
On the training side, we will launch internal paths of skill growth and development, via a combo of technical training (by coupling with a global partner we will soon announce) and productivity coaching, experience and good practice sharing in the network via a common knowledge base.
By facilitating the access to the most attractive co-working spaces at national and global level, through the partnerships that will enhance our employer brand and the events we will organize and support, we will ensure good communication as well as internal and external relationships with top talents who want to work in the most provocative and most innovative technological projects.
- Sorin Zaveliţă, Country Manager @ Crossover România