Poland is growing to be an IT hub, moving past the “outsourcer” stereotype and designing its own success story. Warsaw is leading the way.
10Clouds, SoftwareMill, Polidea are Warsaw's software houses that sit at the core of its vibrant IT development.
These companies are only the tip of the iceberg, an iceberg that wants to disrupt the outsourcing world.
While we are based in Krakow, the eternal Warsaw sibling rival, we can’t help admiring the intense competition between the two IT hubs. So far, there are no losers in this competition. It’s a hard-fought battle where the whole ecosystem goes stronger, innovation by innovation.
So, what are the forces that fuel up this environment? What makes Warsaw a magnet for IT investors? How did the aforementioned companies grow so fierce?
We shall answer all of these questions in our 4 blog posts series, beginning with this one.
We’ll tell inspiring stories about digital marketing, employer branding, social media strategies and more.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Warsaw’s IT Environment
- Warsaw's Software Houses
- 10Clouds - From Stunning Product Design to Flawless Code
- Polidea - We Create Business Stories Through Technology
- SoftwareMill - Your Software Team
- Wrap up
Warsaw wants to challenge the IT Outsourcing status quo.
Let bygones be bygones.
It’s time for new ways of doing business, where the humane mingles with the technologies of the future.
So, let’s follow the footsteps of 3 Warsaw software houses on their way to growth.
Warsaw’s IT Environment
Now, let’s see what makes Warsaw so appealing in the IT outsourcing market:
- Income tax exemptions: the amount of tax exemption granted depends on the value of the investment, its location and the size of the company
- Warsaw is Poland’s main economic and business hub, pretty obvious for a capital
- The largest office market in CEE: everyone wants to open an office here. More than 60% of the demand for office space in Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow, and Sofia – during the first half of 2017 came from the outsourcing sector.
- Highest R&D index in Poland: the index calculates the number of new entities registered in the REGON list per 10 k inhabitants. The Warsaw average for 2009-2015 was 169, followed by Poznan (158) and Wroclaw (144).
- Second largest Polish market for BPO, R&D and IT, considering players employing at least 1000 persons
- Business friendliness: Warsaw ranks 3rd in FDI’s report European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19. FDI is a service developed by the Financial Times, providing industry-leading insight and analysis, mostly investment related.
- Local talent pool: the highest in Poland according to McKinsey's report "Poland 2025: Europe’s new growth engine"
- 30 Fortune Global 500 investors have business services centers (BPO, SSC, IT, R&D) in Warsaw, employing 18,500 people.
- The largest academic center in Poland: In the QS EECA University Rankings 2018, the University of Warsaw (the country’s largest) came in 6th among 200 of the best universities in the Emerging Europe and Central Asia region.
- Warsaw is the second most attractive Polish city for relocation, according to PWC report
- Acceleration programs and accelerators that pave the way for startups to contracts and VC investments: Founder Institute, StartUp Hub, Huge Thing, Warsaw Accelerator, ReaktorX, Google Campus, MIT Enterprise Forum CEE, Fab Poland by Orange
- 60+ tech meetup groups, with members ranging from 100 to 4000+
Warsaw's Software Houses
In 2017 15,000+ new businesses were established in Warsaw. According to Startup Poland Foundation, every fourth Polish startup is created in Warsaw.
Innovation lays just around the corner: from cloud computing, VR, AI, blockchain to IoT, every company wants a bite.
Next, in our story, we’ll try to unbox the marketing and branding strategies of 3 pillar companies of IT outsourcing in Warsaw.
10Clouds - From Stunning Product Design to Flawless Code
No. employees: 100+
Revenue: EUR 3M+ (2016, Financial Times)
Services: web development, mobile development, product design, blockchain
Verticals: business, healthcare, entertainment, education
Key clients: Baidu, Asmodee, StepStone, TrustStamp, Skedulo, ZappRideShare, Coinquista
Offices: Warsaw (HQ), Poznan, Wroclaw, Atlanta
Reviews: 4.9 - Clutch (30 reviews), 3.4 - Glassdoor (7 reviews)
CEO: Maciej Cielecki
Featured in Deloitte’s CEE Tech Fast 50 in 2017, 10Clouds has increased its revenue by 316% during 2013-2016.
The criteria Deloitte uses for its CEE top is a strict one:
- Annual revenues of at least €50,000 in each year between 2013 and 2016.
- Develop proprietary technologies/spend a significant amount of capital on R&D
- Have an ownership structure that excludes majority-owned subsidiaries of strategic entities.
Financial Times is making its own top of the fastest growing companies in Europe. 10Clouds ranks 480, with a 4-year revenue increase of 333%.
In our next blog post, we’ll look at the marketing strategies that power up such a growth: we’ll dive into content strategies, branding efforts, and community engagement.
But, until then, you can understand the 10Clouds way of doing business by listening to one of their happy customers, now an evangelist:
Polidea - We Create Business Stories Through Technology
No. employees: 70+
Technologies: Node, Django, React, AWS,
Services: mobile development, web development, UX design, IoT, cloud computing, VR, augmented reality
Verticals: healthcare, finance, consumer goods
Key clients: Philips, Dolby, HP, StepStone, Estimote, Genentech, Applause, DaWanda
Offices: Warsaw (HQ)
Reviews: 4.9 - Clutch (8 reviews)
CEO: Grzegorz Kapusta
A Clutch awarded company, as a top app development company in Poland, Polidea is turning 10 this year.
Learning and sharing are in the Polidea DNA, as its CEO proudly states. This is why they organized the MCE Conference, one of the largest tech conferences in Europe, for 5 editions.
The Polidea involvement with Open Source, meetups, and local initiatives simply reinforces their passion for community.
So, when you mix knowledge and the power of sharing, you might end up working with top players such as Philips, Dolby or HP?
We’ll see about that in our next blog post.
Until then, watch Grzegorz Kapusta speak about Polidea here:
SoftwareMill - Your Software Team
No. employees: 40+
Services: big data, machine learning, blockchain, web applications
Verticals: messaging, finance & banking, energy, e-commerce, logistics
Key clients: Tipser, Knip, Zerigo, IP Integrated, Vocado, Attikis, Intellii
Offices: Warsaw (HQ)
Reviews: 4.9 - Clutch (9 reviews)
CEO: Tomasz Szymanski
SoftwareMill ranks 10 in Top Custom Software development companies in Poland, by Clutch. It’s closely followed by Infopulse, also Warsaw-based.
What’s striking from the marketer’s point of view, is the abrupt expansion of website organic traffic during 2018. This means that SoftwareMill is going inbound.
It couldn’t be a coincidence, that the organic traffic is booming since Maria Wachal joined the SoftwareMill team as a Growth Manager.
So, this was just a spoiler alert for what’s following in our next blog posts in the Warsaw IT Outsourcing series.
So, stay tuned.
It’s been almost 15 years since Poland has joined the EU. European funding has flown in all these years, empowering businesses all over the country. This led to huge economic and social transformations across Poland.
Warsaw was at the heart of all this.
In the last years, a new chapter is unfolding in Warsaw’s development.
A chapter wrapped in innovation and shared knowledge. It’s like a new “golden age”.
Companies like 10Clouds, Polidea and SoftwareMill are making a statement in IT outsourcing by rising to Deloitte and Clutch tops.
What statement, you say? Well, let me spoil this a bit for you. To make it a bit easier for you I’m gonna lay out here some of my learnings after so much research:
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with your organization’s structure: remote teams, flat organizational structures could work for you, as it does for SoftwareMill. This might help your employer brand too.
- Get your team members involved in content writing, who else would fit better to promote your company culture, products you’ve designed, or speak of your expertise with a certain framework? This is the case for all analyzed software development companies: SoftwareMill, Polidea, and 10Clouds.
- Try hosting your blog on Medium, this way you can open up to a whole new audience - see SoftwareMill and 10Clouds. In their case, the strategy had another advantage: the social media traction went through the roof.
- Slideshare - put here some amazing decks, it’s all about reaching out to new audiences. This is what’s getting SoftwareMill thousands of views.
- Go offline. In a digital world, human interactions are deeply valued. Organize meetups (10Clouds), conferences (Scalar Conference by SoftwareMill, MCE by Polidea), make people speak about you (potential clients or employees).
- Video content is the future! Use it for your client testimonials, for promoting your company’s culture. 10Clouds are really nailing this. Also, you can repurpose some of your content for Youtube, as Polidea does with some of its case studies.
- Case studies are essential to prove your expertise. Combine them with testimonials and numbers that speak of the success of the product you’ve built (like in the case of 10Clouds).
- Build open-source solutions: this is a new way of getting traction from a whole new audience. Take RxAndroidBLE from Polidea for example, a powerful tool for Bluetooth Low Energy coding, that has received 2000+ stars on GitHub.
So, did I make your curious or not?
Now, competition is fierce in Warsaw and outside of it. Poznan, Wroclaw and Krakow are also getting the hang of success. Their stories are included in our ebook "The Growth Marketing Secrets of Top European Software Houses - Poland Edition 2019".