I.T. Co. Group has launched its first regional resource center in Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan Republic. In the nearest future I.T. Co. Group is planning to create several regional resource centers within the territory of Russia. Expansion of its resource bases into the regions, thus bringing services closer to the clients, is one of the major strategy developing stages in service-providing industry, which I.T. Co. Groups has been consistently pursuing.
Regional resource centers will act as personnel headquarters for I.T. Co.’s business units (technical subdivisions), and they will be used for performing large-scale IT projects as well as for servicing actual clients located in various regions of the Russian Federation. The fact of creating and developing regional resource centers, along with systematic cooperation with technical universities will help I.T. Co. overcome such a problem as shortage of qualified personnel, which is a key factor restricting development and growth of the Group’s business.
Says Tagir Yapparov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of I.T. Co. Group: “Moscow’s resource potential is quite limited. Local specialists are pretty expensive here, and our clients are reluctant to pay for services at such high prices. That is why we moved out to the provinces and became the first of all system integrators to open our resource centers there. The Group already has 24 branch offices in Russia and the CIS countries, though the fundamental difference of this new model is that the resource centers are not positioned as “profit-making hubs” with their own business planning and budgeting, but come forth as indigenous resource providers. Up till now this model of providing resources has been utilized only by software developers.”
The reason why I.T. Co. chose Ufa for launching its first resource center is twofold: first off, the region owns high-quality educational background (Bashkirsky State University, Ufa State Aviation Technical University, Ufa State Oil Technical University and other technical institution of tertiary education which closely cooperate with I.T. Co.), the second reason being successful operation of the Urals branch of I.T. Co in Ufa. Within 2008 I.T. Co. anticipates opening one more regional resource center. The company invests in each such center US$1-2 mln. According to estimations of I.T. Co. management, these investments should pay off in about 1 to 1.5 years provided complete use of the personnel potential and conformity of the resource centers’ development to the plan. I.T. Co.’s project for setting up regional resource centers also has a certain social significance: it provides jobs and good career opportunities for young IT-specialist in Russian provinces.
Launching Ufa resource center was preceded by the pilot stage, when this new business model was tested. Within the first quarter of 2008 I.T. Co. built up the industrial and organizational environment, hired staff in Ufa city for the pilot industrial tasks and provided the workload. The results of the pilot stage convinced I.T. Co. management to keep on with the project. Now it is time for developing and formalizing the business model: the experts are working out ways of mutual settlements, determine detailed procedures for the resource center’s interaction with the I.T. Co. branch offices, thoroughly assess the requirements for human resources at such organizational units and ways of meeting those needs by using local personnel.
As of today the staff of the Ufa I.T. Co. resource center totals more than 20 specialists, and there have already been created two working groups: one for implementing digital document management (it is being simultaneously used on several projects) and the design group which is creating a composite information system for one of the Federal departments. All employees are working in a modern office with the total area of about 2,700 square feet (250 square meters), and are provided with computer-equipped working stations. By the end of the year it is expected to increase the number of staff up to 60 employees and to commence cooperation with those I.T. Co. Group business units who are interested in resource distribution: Aplana, I.T. Academy, Fuel and Smart System Department, System-Level Software Department, etc. Besides, in the future the personnel of the resource center will form other working groups in order to implement major IT-projects and render services to specific clients.