Polish IT companies on foreign markets – exceptions among lukewarm investors, according to Comarch specialists in “POLISH MARKET” magazine.

Comarch international expansion due to “follow your customer” policy, according to Comarch specialists in “POLISH MARKET” magazine.

Polish IT companies are in general lukewarm about expanding onto foreign markets. Comarch, however, is one of the exceptions.  The company doesn’t share these common fears and it has already successfully expanded onto many international markets.

There are several obstacles that Polish companies must encounter. First off, the market in Poland is relatively big and it satisfies most IT companies here. Second, even if they would like to expand onto foreign markets, most of them do not have the kind of capital it takes to proceed successfully. Third, they are afraid of unknown territories.

Comarch opted for organic growth and expansion based on its own products and building competence centers on strategic markets, these factors brought Comarch closer to the customers. It all began in mid 2000 with the installation of a billing system for the German operator Deutsche Telekom und Marketing Services. The first project in the field of network management was a project for the Washington State Department of Information Services.

The telecommunications market in Poland has been consolidating, along with the global market, since the late 1990s, says Piotr Machnik from the Telecommunications Division of Comarch.
That is why, since we wanted to develop our products and obtain new contracts, we needed to resolutely make a move abroad and convince the major telecom companies that a company from Poland could be a solid partner.

We are producing specialist software, making use of cutting-edge technologies, says Janusz Szlęzak, Director of Comarch’s Sales Center in Banking, Insurance and Capital Markets. We provide comprehensive solutions. By using them you can establish an insurance company, an investment fund company, or a bank. For this reason, the share of acquisitions in foreign exchange is limited. There is no business point in taking over companies offering similar products.

After several years of such experience we decided to strengthen our presence in Western Europe; not just in Germany but also in Austria and Switzerland, adds Łukasz Wąsek, Finance Director of Comarch Software und Beratung AG and Comarch AG in Dresden.

The company had a cash surplus after selling Interia. Four years ago the decision was made to purchase the SoftM Software und Beratung – an ERP software producer for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The construction of a Data Center started last year in the capitol of Saxony. A historical building was purchased and is now being renovated and adapted for office purposes. The total value of the investment is around EUR 10 millions. In January the next stage of the expansions began: the acquisition of the Swiss company  A-MEA Informatik AG.

We have been looking at the French market for some time now, reveals Jacek Mikuś, responsible for Comarch’s product sales in the services sector in France. After all we have been there since 2003. We are already selling a lot of services. We have companies in Lille and Grenoble. We are also building a large Data Center in Lille.

The total capital involvement of the group abroad, with expenditure on research and development, has exceeded 150 PLN million to date.

Polish IT companies on foreign markets, POLISH MARKET, 01.08.2012