Although the Latin phrase scientia potentia est has been no secret for ages, it is only recently that the business world has realised its real
value for global cooperation. Poland, which was often chosen as an offshoring destination, has quickly proved itself so capable of handling far more serious processes, that the business landscape of the European and global markets simply had to change – slowly,
but surely. In the past Warszawa, Kraków and Gdańsk used to host business centres dealing with customer service, invoice processing
or service level reporting. Although these facilities have not disappeared from Poland’s business map, they frequently underwent
a technological transformation, experienced a significant growth or even expanded into brand new separate structures (see other articles from the newest issue of Careers in Poland).
BPO history in Poland
This transition is a remarkable achievement for Poland and its economy, especially taking into consideration the business landscape of the country before the 00s. Only with the accession to the European Union in 2004 did Poland’s business centres start to thrive beyond the initial simple processes mentioned before. Poland did not have a stable business structure yet, as it was only slightly over a decade after the fall of communism and its entrance to the truly capitalist world. A few years could not have been enough to get ready for a big change, but Poland did exceptionally well in the transition period and managed to start with an almost clean slate. Both the help of foreign investors as well as Polish people’s capital and entrepreneurship built one of the most exciting economies in Europe and, in many aspects, in the world.
The main reason behind this evolution was the realisation which dawned upon onshore locations – knowledge stored in them needed to be shared with more remote business centres, so that it could bring mutual profit. As a result of that, innovative foreign companies no longer protected their know-how in original locations – they spread it all over their centres which hold the promise of putting this knowledge to good use. Now transferring more advanced business processes is not always about cost-cutting, especially since Poland has quickly jumped from the status of an easy on the pocket location to a more pricey, but also more quality-oriented one. This was earned with a lot of effort and after numerous challenges that were tackled in a successful way.
Knowledge as utmost value
KPO, sometimes considered to be an evolved, enhancement-oriented form of BPO, is now more often perceived as the next step for any BPO centre or solution. Regardless of its far too many definitions, KPO is always conceptualised in terms of greater intellectual value for a company carrying out such processes. KPO centres or departments combine analytical thinking with expert knowledge supplied by their well-educated employees. In short: they are BPO centres taken to the next level and help create a new business landscape in former BPO locations, such as Poland.
This knowledge-based sector has been making its way through Poland with real grace. The processes included under the name of KPO are in most cases complex and sophisticated, therefore requiring a high level of specialised expertise and competence. While BPO represents largescale projects widely accessible to a big number of professionals of various backgrounds, KPO pays more attention to specialists with a narrow focus on one field. KPO centres turn their back on repetitive and rule-based processes, in order to embrace creative tasks requiring more independent thinking, thus making them role-based and analytical. This shift makes Poland not only an attractive workplace for Poles, but also for representatives of other nations, not even necessarily European ones.
Over the last decade, the areas that Poland has been specialising in could differ, but they usually fall into a few categories of areas that can be described as knowledge-based. They are constantly in need of new professionals, including foreigners, willing to spread their wings in Polish locations of international companies. Take a look at those which are the most common in Polish KPO centres or departments and make the most of your precious knowledge.
• Financial institutions
Banks and accounting departments based in Poland deal now with the most advanced processes that are used internationally, e.g. for foreign stock exchanges. Apart from that, your expert knowledge will be invaluable in the preparation of market analyses and investment plans. You can put it to good use by designing and engineering financial tools, which are later used by other global units. As technology improves businesses on daily basis, your Polish experience will be connected to cutting-edge solutions of global impact.
Not much is left of technical support services in Poland – or rather there are a lot of new additions to this business. We are looking for engineers, software developers and people willing to work on various projects in diverse areas. If your IT skills and knowledge are your strong point, read more about the marriage of knowledge and IT in the article IT solutions and knowledge transfer.
This includes planning, mapping or data management, and it concerns various types of business. Processes that are being outsourced to Poland require specialists who know how to handle data and extract value from it. It may deal not only with finance, but your knowledge may be needed in FMCG companies or other industries, for instance in supply chain, procurement and sales departments.