Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Suarez | Danish pump manufacturer picks PH as global IT hub

By Ike Suarez

ike

It?s Friday once more, the third of its kind the first month of 2015. We are at the Pasig City portion of Ortigas Center, home to a growing number of BPO and call center locators.

These companies belong to a sunrise industry, the country?s primary claim to a share of the global and knowledge-based economy.

It?s early afternoon and our exact location is at the Robinsons Cyber Beta building and we are on its 25th floor. An air of quiet but excited anticipation prevails. The men and women present are mostly in their 20s, dressed in their corporate best.

It?s the formal opening of the Grundfos IT Center which will support internal IT operations of offices worldwide of the Danish pump manufacturer. This means offices in 55 countries and around 19,500 employees.

Grundfos says it is the largest manufacturer in the world of various kinds of pumps. At 16 million pumps produced by it yearly, the claim is credible.

Grundfos began in 1945 in Bjerringbro, Denmark and still has its head office there. But in 2000, it started implementation of its global optimization strategy with the transfer of its manufacturing activities to Hungary.

The strategy is the reason why Grundfos has established its IT Center in Pasig City, the sixth of its kind in the world in support of ?Follow-the-Sun? operations for the internal IT needs of its offices. Earlier in 2004, the Danish company opened a sales office in the Philippines.

The support center occupies both the 25th and 26th floors. Its inauguration is delayed a bit. Guest of honor to cut the ribbon is Danish Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation Mogens Jensen.

That week, he visited the Philippines along with top executives of 18 Danish companies seeking business opportunities here.

Come mid-afternoon, he finally arrives. The rites begin with the center?s blessing in line with Philippine cultural practices. For a country whose state religion is the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the sight of company executives, a number of them who have flown to Manila from Denmark , holding lighted candles, as is required by Filipino folk Catholicism ,makes for an interesting scene.

Perhaps, it?s because of the ecumenical movement worldwide. This though is another story. The folk Catholic rite over, the ribbon cutting begins and so does the delivery of a few speeches.

Hans Ole Steensig , Grundfos IS Support and Operations Center Philippines, gives the opening remarks. He explains that the center joins five others, these located in Shanghai, Budapest, Bjerringbro, Buenos Aires and Fresno, California. He states Manila bested 78 other cities around the world as choice for the site.

Manila, though, never scored at the top of the list in any of the individual criteria for consideration when the selection was made. When the criteria were combined, however, it had the best overall average.

Some criteria for selection were government support, economic stability, local talent base, and the people?s fluency in English. Importance of the last is due to Groundfos? having standardized in English the language of its internal support activities worldwide.

He tells us the center initially has around 90 employees and will scale up to around 250 soon.

The Danish Minister cuts the ribbon and delivers a speech and so does the Grundfos CEO Mads Nipper, who leads the group of company executives who have flown to Manila.

An amiable fellow, Jensen ends his speech with the first few verses of a Danish song. This to highlight the fact how proud the Danish people are of Grundfos? success.

Nipper?s speech is short, dwelling on the fact that support given by the Philippine center will be worldwide.

After the rites, we do have a short chat with Steensig. He tells us support by the Philippine center will be for the company?s Microsoft Office 365 applications running on the cloud, the Grundfos ERP system by SAP, and a number of in-house-developed solutions.

?Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!? was the toast made by all as they raised their glasses filled with champagne — in line with Danish cultural practices to wish success for a new undertaking.

We second the motion on this.

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