TECH

Bringing Norwegian business culture to the booming Ukrainian IT industry

How Norwegian ties have helped Ukraine’s Infopulse become internationally competitive

Bringing Norwegian business culture to the booming Ukrainian IT industry
About the interviewee: Lyubomyr Boychuk is Vice President of Infopulse
Business Ukraine magazine
Wednesday, 08 January 2020 19:41

IT services company Infopulse was founded in 1991 in Kyiv, Ukraine. In 2006, Infopulse began its Nordic journey by becoming part of EDB, a Norwegian IT services company. In addition to capital investment, EDB agreed to develop new business lines together with Infopulse and contribute to the development of the IT industry in Ukraine.

Following the subsequent merger of EDB with Ergo Group in 2010, Infopulse became a 100%-owned subsidiary of the newly formed EVRY ASA, the second-largest Nordic IT services company. The Infopulse acquisition was one of the biggest Norwegian investments in the Ukrainian business sector and remains the largest Nordic-Ukrainian IT services company in the country.

As a part of a large Nordic corporation, Infopulse is an international IT services provider with more than 2000 experts and offices in 11 countries across Europe. Infopulse’s services encompass numerous areas including software engineering, IT infrastructure, cloud services, and cybersecurity. The company covers the needs of specific industries such as telecommunication, automotive, financial services, energy, and others.

Infopulse develops solutions based on the technologies of partners including Microsoft, SAP, Amazon, and others, while implementing innovations in areas such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, the Internet of Things, and Blockchain. They currently work with a diverse range of large enterprises, SMBs, and startups in 30 countries worldwide. While primarily a software services provider, Infopulse is also focused on establishing long-term partnerships and being a reliable technological partner and advisor for its clients.

In December 2019, Infopulse’s parent company EVRY ASA officially completed its merger with Tieto, a global Finnish IT services provider. The combined corporation will be known as TietoEVRY. As the largest Nordic IT services company with a workforce of 24,000 experts worldwide, TietoEVRY will focus on accelerating the digital transformation of its customers.

 

Infopulse is part of the largest Nordic IT services company. What impact has this relationship had on the evolution of Infopulse’s corporate culture in Ukraine?

Business ethics, honesty, respect and quality of service have always been our top priorities. However, Infopulse has also adopted numerous best practices from Nordic business culture. According to Infopulse’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2018, we build our CSR strategy around the concept of ‘Nordicness’, which combines openness, trust, respect for diversity and meritocracy. Our main goal is to provide added value in everything we do, forging the future together with our clients, partners, and colleagues. While striving for recognition of our success from our clients and partners, and focusing on building highly ethical partnerships, we also aim to be the top IT employer for our specialists. The strength of our company lies in the diversity of views and unity of principles that we adhere to every day. All our activities, be it business development, or organizational, professional and personal growth, all stem from a core set of basic values which include involvement, openness, flexibility, and innovation.

 

How do your ties to Norway make Infopulse more competitive?

We frequently collaborate with our Norwegian colleagues on complex projects for large Nordic companies. Close connections with our parent company allow us to share and gain unique knowledge, expertise, and experience, as well as leverage our ability to implement Nordic standards of business ethics in everyday business. As we focus on innovations, our parent company also helps us learn more about adoption of innovative technologies in our daily lives. Being a subsidiary of a large Nordic corporation boosts our clients’ confidence in our company, and helps them recognize Infopulse as a reliable service provider.

 

What do your Norwegian ties mean for employees of Infopulse in Ukraine?

Norway is famous for its respect for human rights and regularly tops social progress rankings. While Infopulse keeps its Ukrainian identity, developing ties with Nordic culture and communication with our colleagues has taught us a lot. This is especially important for our specialists, who seek to apply their skills and knowledge in long-term projects and to build relationships on the basis of trust. As a result, Infopulse has a very low attrition rate among our team. For the last five years, Infopulse has ranked among the top five best Ukrainian IT employers according to DOU, the Ukrainian IT industry observer. In 2018, Infopulse was named IT Employer of the Year in the ‘Largest IT Company’ category.

 

How do you assess the current state of Ukraine’s IT sector?

In recent years, the IT industry in Ukraine has evolved, making Ukraine one of the centers of IT outsourcing services in the European region. Convenient time zone, profitable cost-quality ratio, European mentality of Ukrainians, business ethics, and profound technical expertise all combine to create an overall positive impact on the business climate and attract new investments to the country. The Ukrainian IT industry is expected to continue growing steadily in the coming years. In 2018, Ukraine was ranked as the top outsourcing destination of the year by the UK’s Global Sourcing Association. With more than 185,000 experts, the Ukrainian IT industry is currently growing at a rate of 26% per year and is already the third-largest export service industry in Ukraine, according to the 2019-2020 IT Market Report compiled by N-iX.

 

What are the key challenges to maintaining current rates of IT industry expansion?

One of the key aims now is to have more people with a global look and multi-disciplinary education, as this helps to identify new ways of technology implementation in order to improve our daily lives. We need to extend the modern curriculum in schools and universities in the areas of STEM, entrepreneurship, humanitarian studies, and so forth. Ukraine is already doing a lot in this direction: the country’s biggest state universities provide top-quality education, producing 16,000 IT graduates yearly. By offering extracurricular IT education courses, numerous public and private organizations contribute to producing the new talents that the IT industry needs in order to maintain current robust growth rates.

Infopulse also backs these education efforts via a range of activities including expert lectures at leading Ukrainian universities and IT competitions for students. In 2016, the company launched an internship program for Ukrainian students, which focuses on both individual and group learning. Interns have the possibility to communicate with experts and participate in company projects.

Aside from education efforts, it is equally important to improve cybersecurity at the national level, including areas such as reducing the risk of data losses and bringing Ukrainian legislation into line with GDPR. Numerous large technology companies are currently working together with state structures in order to improve the protection of critical Ukrainian infrastructure against the threat of cyberattacks.

Ukraine should also focus on attracting global companies and encouraging them to open local offices and businesses in the country. There has already been considerable progress in this direction. At the moment, Ukraine hosts more than 100 international R&D offices of tech multinationals.

One important challenge remains to harmonize the employment principles within Ukraine’s IT industry and address the “private entrepreneurs” issue. Ukrainian IT companies are in close contact with the government to work out a sustainable model of employment.

 

What are Infopulse’s top development plans and priorities for the coming few years?

In 2019, Infopulse won the Microsoft Country Partner of the Year award and was recognized among the world’s best outsourcing service providers by IAOP. Looking ahead, we have identified four primary industry segments: telecommunication, automotive, financial services, and energy. As we strive to become an industry-focused solutions provider in our chosen markets, throughout the company our top objectives for the coming three years are to be effective through collaboration; create value for our customers, specialists, and society; drive customer advantage through innovation; and deliver meaningful experience.

 

Do you have a final message to our readers?

We feel excited and motivated about 2020, as we are now a part of the even bigger Nordic family of TietoEVRY. At the same time, Infopulse is proud to have its roots in Ukraine, and we are equally passionate to represent our country internationally as a Ukrainian business, serving companies worldwide. This reflects in everything we do, as we maintain the highest standards of reputation, and focus on building responsible business in Ukraine according to our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy. We bring the best practices from the Nordics to this country in terms of business conduct, and do everything in our power to demonstrate that foreign companies are welcome to work with Ukraine.

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