Florin Hoinarescu, Head of International at Teamnet Group
"In a continuous globalized economy, cooperation between companies from different countries has a common element - the added value generated"
After nine years of complex Romanian IT projects, in 2010 they decided international expansion was the way to accomplish ambitious objectives and to remain at the driving edge of technology. This also gave Teamnet - one of the leading system integrators in Central and Eastern Europe - the chance to play its intended role in the evolution of society, through innovation.
The era of "Big Tech" is long over. A reality in which one single company holds the reins of technology and innovation is no longer plausible, not even when referring to a single area of human activity, let alone the entire sector. The present and future are all about synergy and inter-cooperation, sharing knowledge and best practices and building on the success of partners towards a greater and common good. And this is valid for any industry, but probably easier to notice in the IT industry as it is responsible for so many of the ways our lives have gotten better over the last decade.
Since technology is no longer a privilege of the IT industry, but a constant presence in our everyday lives, one on which we so often rely, companies in the field find themselves operating on a wider market with bigger stakes. While profit margins and market caps remain top concerns of any leading tech company, it now seems that there is more at stake, and more that can be done. Humanity's most poignant issues are being solved by technology as we speak, and we also rely on it to shape our future. How is all of this possible? Teamnet believes partnership is one of the most important elements in its evolution. Actually, for the group of companies run by Bogdan Padiu, the idea of partnership stands as the foundation for its business model, for expanding outside the borders, by replicating abroad the success of Romanian IT systems and projects.
Partnerships for success
"As part of our expansion strategy, we have always carefully prepared in advance our entrance on every market", stated Florin Hoinarescu (photo). Moreover, "building a strong network of partners for each country is a key element, in order to become rapidly familiar with a new country. We also rely extensively on local partners as startup teams for each region. Our focus is to attract the best experts, offer them well-structured induction programs and keep them excited and connected to our portfolio development."
In developing solutions, Teamnet focuses on two types of business partnerships: Global industrial partners, bringing complementary technology, such as Microsoft, Oracle, NEC, Airbus and others, and local partners from new markets, focused on adapting companies to the requirements of a country and the way a project is implemented, while keeping in mind the culture of that locale.
"Together with our partners, we generate added value for our clients, by combining our extensive and proven knowledge in different areas with their experience on the local market. This also allows us to learn the specifics of a business environment, as well as to minimize the risks when carrying our projects within a new set-up" explained Florin Hoinarescu.
At the same time, international expansion requires sustainable financial resources. IFC, Member of World Bank, and Black Sea Trade and Development Bank have become shareholders in Teamnet and financial partners, supporting the Group's development outside Romania.
Diplomatic support is key for international development
International markets have proven openness towards companies and Teamnet is not an exception. The fact that Romania is acknowledged as a country that gave the world a great deal of well-trained tech specialists, who are now in key positions in global companies, played an important role as well.
A significant support has been proven by the diplomatic representatives. According to Florin Hoinarescu, "the Romanian diplomats working in embassies in the countries in which we have operations have proven a great understanding of the important role they play in supporting Romanian companies on foreign markets. We have always received guidance and found reliable partners in every embassy we have had the pleasure to work with. As examples, I mention the Romanian embassies in Croatia, Serbia, as well as in the United Arab Emirates and Turkey and the Romanian Consulate from Istanbul. Nevertheless, I would like to highlight the collaboration with the Romanian Embassy in the Republic of Croatia, as well as the discussion with the General Consulate of Romania in Dubai."
Romanian IT solutions meeting international needs
"Relying on innovative products and local knowledge in implementing large scale projects, we approached markets where valuable impact was needed and where our technological and consultancy competences had the potential to make a real difference" added Teamnet's International Executive.
The Group has a complex portfolio of products, designed to address the needs of many specific industries such as cadastre, agriculture, border surveillance, consular services, emergency situations management, and others. Take for example countries such as Croatia, Serbia or Turkey, which need to align their systems to the European Union's standards and requirements. In these cases, Teamnet leveraged its previous experience in successfully implementing complex systems required during Romania′s own pre-accession, as well as post accession, to the EU.
"But above all, what differentiates us from the industry and ultimately translates into added value for clients, are the innovative elements of our products," said Florin Hoinarescu. In Serbia, Teamnet developed and implemented an integrated system for natural disaster management at the Romanian border, as part of a complex cross-border cooperation project designed to increase the safety of the border area's residents, while in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia the requirements of the Natura 2000 was also defined using Romanian technology. The Group was also involved in delivering software components for the Croatian Schengen Visa system and for defining a management strategy for the unemployed sector of the population in Turkey.
Proven efficiency is irreplaceable
While openness from foreign markets is encouraging, these elements merely set the stage for international expansion. The road from initiating talks about possible and future collaboration to actual agreements is a long story. The proven efficiency of a company's systems and solutions, as well as its expertise in the field are in most cases the guarantee of business success on a new market.
It is only then that companies in the region are opened to partnerships that bring added value and deliver performant and efficient systems. This is a win-win-win situation for the company, its partners and, above all, the client. "For us at Teamnet, this is how we managed to build successful and long term partnerships with companies such as Sopra Steria (UK), IN2 (Croatia), Geocart (Italy), Acibadem, Havelsan, Aselsan (Turkey), Mitech (Oman), NEC (Japan)", stated Florin Hoinarescu.
Be always one step ahead
In terms of international competitiveness, Teamnet's official said that "the Group will focus further on Public Safety, Robotics, Smart Cities, Health, Cadastre, Agriculture, Environmental Management and Education". He also added that "in 2017, we will launch operations in the United Arab Emirates and open our first office in Dubai. This office will serve as hub for GCC countries, and in the future will be the starting point for the Group's expansion to Africa and South East Asia".
Forecasting future trends and expectations of the clients are essential elements to keep a company competitive in today′s society. Such an approach involves more than a well-elaborated planning process. In order to be successful, a company has to keep in mind that technology needs constant R&D efforts in order to help meet future challenges.
"Teamnet is a pioneer company, which aims to create value by bridging the gap between business and technology and will continue to develop further on this philosophy, by generating infrastructure where the world needs it", concluded Florin Hoinarescu.