Viorel Delinschi, business development manager at Star Storage, is in charge of one of the company’s business units – a data center which offers outsourced services for data protection and administration. The 800-sqm center opened recently in Bucharest following an investment of EUR 4 million. By 2011 Star Storage will open one new such center with a similar investment in Transylvania, to offer back-up and replication services for existing clients. Delinschi joined the company in October last year, after previously working for Romtelecom.
How many employees work for Star Storage?
Star Storage has over 600 employees. It is hard to find specialized personnel on the Romanian market but we are still employing people at this point. If we cannot find specialists, we recruit them at entry level and train them in-house.
The firm’s headquarters are located in a building in north Bucharest. Star Storage owns the space both for the offices and the data center we have just launched. We have various departments and divisions which have a special space both for office activities and rooms for presentations and training.
What domains are your customers from?
For security reasons, we cannot disclose the names of our clients. They come both from the public and private sector. We are talking here about clients from the financial- banking domain, utilities, various industries, telecommunications and, of course, the public sector. We have signed over 20 partnerships with companies such as Hitachi, EMC, Microsoft, IBM, Kodak, Adobe, Abbyy, Commvault, Quantum and GMC.
Star Storage invested EUR 4 million in the new data center it opened in Bucharest. What did the money go on?
We invested first of all to acquire the space, then in the design works, project analysis and management side. We invested in the equipment, which includes the electro-supply aspect (here I am talking about facilities such as UPS and emergency energy supply with diesel generators), climatization systems, advanced security systems, systems for earthquake protection, fire detection and extinguishers and communication systems. All these components are part of this data center.
The funds that were invested in this data center come from both reinvested profit and bank loans. The main part of this project was self-financed. I can’t tell you how much bank loans represented, but it was not the majority. The business plan is for 24 months, which means that within 24 months, we plan to recover our investments.
Star Storage plans to open a new data center by 2011. Where will it be opened and what clients will it cater for?
Our next data center will still be located in Romania, but in another geographical area. I cannot disclose where exactly, but it will be somewhere in Transylvania. This center will enable us to offer back-up and replication services to our clients in case something happens to the center in Bucharest. So we will have a main production center (the one in Bucharest) and a secondary back-up center in Transylvania. The investment that we will make in this center will be around EUR 4 million, which will be reinvested profit and some bank loans too.
What turnover and profit did you have in 2008?
In 2008 we had a turnover in excess of EUR 14 million compared to the turnover of EUR 7.9 million that the company posted for 2007. Our expectations for 2009 are that the turnover will surpass that of previous years, but not necessarily the figure from 2008.
How is outsourcing perceived by Romanian companies in comparison with other countries in Europe?
When we talk about Western Europe, Eastern Europe and even the United States, we are talking about a mature market which is open to outsourced services. Fortunately for us, the Romanian market is aligning very fast to this level because it understands the need and is trying to focus on the results. Clients no longer have time to wait for a long-term implementation, especially when we are talking about services which are developed in- house, because it can take them anything from six months to three years to carry out this in-house development. Otherwise, they have to conduct market studies to see who supplies this kind of services, choose the supplier, negotiate and design the solution, of course by consulting professionals, after which they have to acquire equipment which is rather costly. Then they have to implement and launch that service. It takes a long time and it is expensive. By outsourcing, a company can save a lot of time and reduce its costs by over 70 percent.