The company is considering several locations in Zagreb.
IBM Croatia is still looking for a location where it will open its Client Innovation Centre. Company director Damir Zec said that the final decision should be made soon, reports tportal.hr on November 24, 2016.
Although the media speculated that IBM would construct a new building (some reports mentioned the area of Rugvica, where IKEA is already located), the company has other plans. “Our business policy in this case is to rent an existing building. I would not want to comment on various speculations. We are looking for a rental facility that will meet all our standards, as far as the number of employees, traffic connections, security and quality of office space is concerned. We have narrowed the choice to a few locations and I believe that we will soon choose the best one”, said Zec.
The IBM centre is expected to open in the first quarter of 2017. The number of employees will be gradually increased and will ultimately reach about 500. The first public competitions for employment have been announced and Zec said that the turnout was substantial. “I can not reveal detailed figures. We are very pleased with the response and the quality of potential employees. They have confirmed our expectations on the basis of which we have decided to open this centre in Croatia, since there are a lot of high-quality candidates here. We can find people even for very complex tasks, which demand knowledge of several foreign languages”, said Zec.
He is not bothered by allegations from the media and IT industry that the IBM facility will be just another call centre. “The name of IBM Client Innovation Centre describes its function. It is a centre for clients and innovations. Its primary role will be to support customers throughout the world in providing technological support. By this, we mean infrastructure solutions, but also software solutions. The fact is that, due to the nature of the communication services, one part of this centre will have a contact with users via phones. But, this will not be the priority part of the centre nor will it function as an ordinary call centre”, said Zec.
The second part of the centre will be devoted to innovations, which will create new solutions from existing IBM products. “In addition, our centre will be open to customers from around the world. The centre will apply advanced technologies and tools, including IBM Watson Analytics, which will be available to users from different industries such as retail, finance and manufacturing. Our customers will be able to see what Croatia can provide”, added Zec.
One of the fears of other entrepreneurs from the IT industry was that IBM would take all good employees. The deficit of specialists is one of the problems which is increasingly troubling Croatian IT industry. “Our centre will employ students and IT professionals with expertise in the areas of language, information sciences, mathematics and related disciplines. We will actually generate completely new employees for the market. We will take people with knowledge of languages who will in two to three years learn about the technology. That is extremely important for the entire industry”, concluded Zec.