Report: Polish BPO/SSC market in 2016

Warsaw, Poland

Poland strengthens its position as the leading European location for the sector of modern business services. The country has over 1,000 BPO/SSC centers, which employ over 200 thousand people. In recent years, the annual growth in the industry has reached 20 per cent. There is no indication that the development of this branch of Polish economy will slow down in the near future. BSS sector has long been generating most of the demand for office space in the regional cities. Walter Herz experts estimate that in the next 3-4 years, the industry will need one million square meters of office space.

Most centers of modern business services are located in Warsaw. Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency has recently informed that there are 160 shared service centers operating on the Warsaw market. In terms of the number of centers, Warsaw occupies the first position in the country. Almost 36.7 thousand people work in Warsaw sector companies, which gives the Warsaw agglomeration  second position after Cracow in terms of employment in this segment of the market.

Cracow with the largest number of employees, Warsaw, with the largest number of centers

In the capital of  Małopolska province, the industry brings together over 50 thousand employees and the estimated predictions inform that by 2020, employment in Cracow’s BPO, IT, SSC, R&D centers may increase up to 70 thousand people. The rapid growth of the sector encourages developers working in the office segment to be more active. Walter Herz informs that 300 thousand sq m of office space currently under construction in Cracow, is designated mainly for outsourcing companies.

In recent years, investors’ attention has been focusing mainly on Cracow and Wrocław, where employment in business services is comparable with Warsaw. Last year, however, Warsaw which is constantly gaining in attractiveness among international companies, began to show a competitive advantage over the other centers. The main reason for the turn is not only the country’s largest selection of high quality office space (almost 700 thousand sq m of offices remains under construction, and the total supply exceeds 5 million sq m), but above all, the greatest access to qualified personnel.

BSS centers in 40 cities

It is recent shortages in large urban areas, especially in Cracow and Wrocław, that open the possibility of faster development of the industry, not only in the Warsaw agglomeration, but also in the regional locations. The advantage of our country is also a large number of  BSS centers. The sector develops in over 40 cities in Poland.

A clear tendency that can recently be seen in the industry of business services is the mass automation of less demanding processes. But at the same time, as Walter Herz experts point out, operating centers located in Poland begin to support advanced analytical and financial processes, which require specialized knowledge and experience.

Last year, Poland and its leading business locations once again moved up in the world rankings. Walter Herz experts point out that a substantial number of the largest global financial institutions and banks gets service in our country. Nowadays, the companies from the business services sector report the greatest demand for highly skilled IT specialists, programmers and analysts, as well as specialists in finances and accounting.

In 2016 we have seen a number of large transactions made by the companies from the sector, which included not only new investments and expansion on the Polish market, but also were associated with the relocation and consolidation of companies.

Warsaw is spreading wings

Last year, Credit Suisse launched operation center in Warsaw and leased 7.5 thousand sq m in Atrium 2 office building, located at ONZ roundabout. DLA Piper, a global law firm also moved to same office building and leased the area of over 4 thousand sq m.

Over 6 thousand sq m in Gdański Business Center in Warsaw, was leased by a Danish IT company KMD, which announced dynamic development in Poland. Global bank Goldman Sachs, which last spring leased over 5 thousand sq m on the top floors of Warsaw Spire office building in Warsaw, has similar plans. Thus, the company increased employment to 240 people. This year, the company plans to double the number of employees, among which are mainly IT specialists, accounting specialists and bankers.

Also Luxoft Holding, a provider of software development services and innovative IT solutions to a global customer base, announced the opening of a new center in Warsaw last year. The company, which already has centers in Cracow, Wrocław and Gdańsk, where it employs over 2 thousand people, recruited mostly IT developers and business analysts to their office in Warsaw.

GFT technological company, providing IT solutions and consulting services to leading investment banks in the world also bets on Warsaw. Last summer, the company announced the opening of offices in Warsaw (after Łódź and Poznań), where ultimately 250 people will find employment.

In 2016, global law firm Dentons leased 1.5 thousand sq m in Atrium Centrum office building. The company launched a shared service center that supports branches in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Also, William Demant company decided to set up a center responsible for research and development, which is located on an area of 3 thousand sq m Q22 office building on al. Jana Pawła II Street in Warsaw.

Cracow with big companies

Last summer in Cracow, ABB company, a global leader in energy and automation technologies decided to extend the existing lease agreement in Axis office building by another 10 thousand sq m. This way, the company created world’s largest Global Shared Services Center ABB. The Center employs about 2 thousand individuals and provides services in finance, supply chain management, IT and HR.

In autumn of 2016, Delphi Poland from the R&D sector has reinforced cooperation with the Cracow Enterprise Park complex, where the company has been present since 2012. They leased another 6.3 thousand sq m of office space in the building under construction.

Cracow’s Shell business center has increased the employment by about 660 people. The team of Cracow’s center, which is one of the 3 largest centers of the company in the world has 2.5 thousand employees and is responsible for conducting and supporting global business operations of the company’s finance, accounting, supplies, purchases, HR and customer service.

In 2016, the goal of the American company Epam Systems from the IT industry was doubling the number of employees in Poland, due to the employment of over 600 people in the new office in Cracow. The company has already been employing over 650 people in branches in Cracow, Gdańsk and Wrocław.

Last spring, a Swiss insurance group Zurich Insurance Group operating in 170 countries opened a shared services center in Cracow. Over 160 specialists, among others, in the field of accounting and financial reporting is to work in the center.

Cathay Pacific Airways from Hong Kong hired employees to their new contact center which opened last year in Cracow. The office with a team of 100 people provides service for  customers from all over the world.

In 2016, Shell Business Operations also expanded their office space at Dot Office by 5.8 thousand sq m.

Aon company, providing services in the field of risk management,  leased almost 11 thousand sq m in the emerging building E of Cracow’s Enterprise Park complex. A pre-let agreement for 10 thousand sq m was also signed by Euroclear company in Bonarka for Business. Whereas, Vinci Office Center renewed a contract for 5.7 thousand sq m with Heineken Global Shared Services.

Wrocław on a podium

In Wrocław, the third largest location for BPO/SSC sector in Poland, Credit Suisse bank signed a lease for 10.8 thousand sq m of office space in the first quarter of 2016. The contract was related to the renegotiation of space occupied by the bank in Wrocław’s Grunwaldzki Center office building.

Last summer in Wrocław, 5.75 thousand sq m of office space in Pegasus complex was also leased by international insurance and reinsurance company – XL Catlin. The company’s team in Wrocław provides support, not only in the field of insurance and reinsurance, but also in accounting, finance, human resources and IT services.

Also, mid-2016 an international corporation 3M opened a shared services center at 41 Dubois Street in Nadodrze district in Wrocław. The center is one of three locations of the company in the world, addressing, among others implementation of financial and procurement processes, human resources, IT support in terms of quality, reporting and analysis, as well as database management. It will support 52 EMEA countries. 400 people have found employment in the center, and the company plans on expanding the team.

In turn, Becton Dickinson (BD) company operating in the field of medical technology moved into Business Garden complex, occupying a total of approx. 5.6 thousand sq m of office space. Also shared services center Qiagen decided to extend their contract and enlarge the leasable area to 3.5 thousand sq m at Wrocław’s Sky Tower.

In Centrum Biznesu Magdalena office building, Ocado Technology company which provides services and IT support to one of the world’s biggest online supermarkets Ocado, leased 1.5 thousand sq m of space. It currently employs nearly 8.5 thousand employees in three locations: Hatfield in the UK as well as in Cracow and Wrocław.

At the beginning of last year Red Embedded Consulting company, providing IT consulting services also opened their R&D center in Wroclaw. Also, Irish airlines Ryanair launched their IT center the office building on Świętego Mikołaja Street in Wrocław.

World’s third provider of business applications INFOR, also opened their business center in the capital of Lower Silesia. By 2018 the company will employ half a thousand people. Whereas, the largest Swiss bank UBS launched shared services center with 600 employees at Dominikański Square in Wrocław.

Tri-City is tempting with the new offices

In recent years, Tri-City have suffered from a shortage of modern office space. It was an obstacle for investors who wanted to explore the potential of human resources, offered by the agglomeration. Over the last two years the Tri-City is experiencing an investment boom with a large contribution of the SSC/BPO sector.

Last year, American company Quad/Graphics, among others, opened their office in Olivia Business Centre complex in Gdańsk. One hundred graphic designers and computer scientists work in the shared services center of one of the largest printing companies in Europe, doing projects for the largest global brands. The company’s branches in Poland hire over 1,700 people.

At the end of last year, Intel – world leader in advanced technology specializing in the production of processors and IT solutions leased nearly 10 thousand sq m in Triton Business House office building . The company moved business services to the Tri-City from Russia and the Czech Republic.

Lufthansa Systems Poland is also planning expansion. Nordea IT made a decision on the strategic development in the Tri-City. Thomson Reuters is also planning further expansion.

American bank State Street which manages funds around the world has leased the entire tower in Gdańsk Alchemia complex and is gradually increasing employment. Three thousand people work for State Street in Cracow and Gdańsk, so the Polish branch of the bank is the largest in Europe.

Last year also Nordea Bank AB has leased 9.6 thousand sq m of office space in Tensor office building in Gdynia. Polish branch provides comprehensive services in the field of IT and finance.

Poznań aligns with the top

In early 2016, MAN company became a new tenant in Business Garden in Poznań. The company occupies 2.68 thousand sq m in the building on Marcelińska Street. The company provides services in financial and accounting processes as well as purchasing processes for the companies  from MAN group in Europe.

Rockwool competence center moved to Poznań Maraton building, located in the city center, where a 100 new employees found jobs. For them Rockwool has leased more than 1.5 thousand sq m of office space on Królowej Jadwigi Street, where the company will locate a competence center. It will provide service in the field of IT and finance.

Companies from the sector of modern business services especially like Maraton in Poznań. Such companies as: Duni European Finance Function, Bridgestone EBS and APS also leased space in the building. CenturyLink leased almost a thousand square meters in the facility.

Another new tenant in the office building is REHAU Business Services company, which occupies the area of 700 sq m. The company, which is one of the leading suppliers of products and ready-made system solutions for construction, automotive, furniture and industrial businesses opened their first business services center in Europe in Maraton.

The office building was also chosen by Sii company, which leased 3.4 thousand sq m of space, to arrange new headquarters for the current team and 200 new employees.

Two outsourcing companies also signed lease agreements in Poznań’s Business Garden complex last year. International pharmaceutical company GSK leased over 2 thousand sq m of space for the growing business services center GSK IT. Whereas, Bank Zachodni WBK decided to increase office space by additional 770 sq m.


In Katowice, PwC one of the most well-known global consulting firms extended lease agreement in Silesia Business Park complex by over 2 thousand sq m. Moreover, the company increased employment by over 300 people. This shared services center in Katowice provides services in the field of financial audit, taxation and internal departments services. Over a thousand people works in the offices of the company on Chorzowska Street.

In the building B of Silesia Business Park complex, 2.7 thousand sq m. of space was leased by Navo Orbico and Distribev Orbico companies, which are part of the international Orbico Group.

The world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation – Rockwell Automation leased over 7 thousand sq m. in a new building of A4 Business Park complex on Francuska Street.

What is more, BPSC company signed a lease for 4.3 thousand  sq m of office space in Brema building in the first half of 2016.

Author: Walter Herz