The GM added that 1&1 had a very good retention rate, as the number of workers who leave the company for professional reasons is one person every two months.
1&1 is active in Romania mainly as a software development center, working on products for the entire 1&1 group. The company also offers web hosting services on the Romanian market, via its office in the United States.
Turning to the firm’s choice of Romania for a subsidiary, Gunne added, “Our business model is very much based on products we develop in-house, as more than one fifth of our employees worldwide develop our own products. We needed to boost the number of specialists who developed these products at a rather rapid rate. We looked for IT industry hubs where we could find good experts relatively quickly and relatively close to Germany. So we decided to open the office in Bucharest in 2004.”
On the software development side, 1&1 has two kinds of projects in Romania: internal software projects such as applications for monitoring, billing and intranet up to software platforms for data center automatization, and external applications.
“Until last year, we focused almost exclusively on internal applications. Since then, we have been working on applications that will be launched as part of web hosting packages. This is the main direction of growth for us. Most of the teams that we have employed recently in Bucharest are developing such applications. I think they will give us even stronger visibility as a development center because it is easier to see an application that you use than a billing system for instance, even though that is equally important,” said Gunne.
The target clients of local web hosting services are small and medium sized businesses. “The structure of web hosting clients in Romania is not much different from that of other countries,” added the GM.