Business by the sea – Welcome to Portugal

by alrou on August 2, 2010

We speak the language of those who visit us!
We have a spirit of discovery and of new adventures!
We thrive to learn more and to do better!

  These are some of the main factors that enabled the installation in Portugal of Shared Service Centers by corporations of international dimension turning it into a reality for a globalized economy.

Other benefits can be found by these corporations in our country, like the combination of technologies with solutions of interactive communications, biometric technologies, Decision Support Systems (DSS), hence a world without borders demands technology.

Moreover, could the engineering resources and tools that our country facilitates, be also a factor of attractiveness of foreign investments for these multinationals in Portugal?

We are global leaders in designing solutions for the development of Contact Centers, which, in turn has been crucial for the installation of Operations Centers in our country, as has been the case of Fujitsu and of Cisco.

Why our country for the installation of these centers? Because of the teams and their specificities? Let’s delve into the example of Mercer, which operates two centers of shared services in Portugal:

The factors that determined the final choice of Portugal for the implementation of two centers of shared services at a European level – Retirement Service Centre (RSC) and Investment Service Centre (ISC), were varied but they were centered in the recognition and characteristics of our countries’ human resources. In the evaluation carried, Portugal demonstrated a good supply of people with a good command of the English language, their technical capacity and facility of adaptation to a multicultural team, as well as in the qualified human resources coming from Portuguese Universities in the areas of mathematics, management and economy vis-à-vis some of other European countries. Another important factor that added value to the Portuguese proposal was the incentives of the AICEP and IEFP (Government investment and economic promotion agencies), which contributed significantly for the creation, maintenance and expansion of these centers.

The centers RSC and ISC were founded in 2006 and 2009 respectively and, further to the factors described above, it is necessary to highlight the importance of the success achieved by the RSC center in the choice of the location of the new center for the investments earmarked for 2009.

Does this choice display good return rates? Will 2010 be a year of expansion in these structures?

Both centers have been demonstrating good rates of return, even in case of the ISC that just began its activity in January of 2009. Both centers achieved a combined operational result of 4 million euros in 2009.

In case of RSC in Portugal, their success is measured not only in terms of the financial results obtained, but also in terms of services offered. Lisbon was the first center to work with several countries, presently being Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and United Kingdom, translating into a portfolio of 420 clients. Nélia Chamber, responsible for the RSC, considers that “after the success of the last years, in 2010 a second phase  encompassing several existing centers in Mercer has begun in the area of  pensions and retirement: to stimulate the transfer of work for  the six existing centers, where Portugal will play a major role in strategic terms”.

In 2009, the ISC grew significantly disposing already of 8 members in its staff and having serviced 50 clients of the United Kingdom. According to Joana Araújo Pereira, responsible for the ISC “presently it is being analysed the possibility to start working with other European countries together with the expansion of the services for the United Kingdom. For 2010, ISC predicts to triple the client portfolio through the expansion of the team, the consolidation of the know-how acquired in the first year and the improvement of the existent processes”.

This is a good example given by Mercer in choosing Portugal as a starting point. 42 % of the Portuguese population speaks a second language, being a determinant factor for the establishment of these centers of global service.

Life is good in Portugal! Come on … Move over here.

Author: Paulo Doce de Moura
paulo.moura@live.com.pt | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook

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