Press Room, 15. May 2009

We will grow in 2009 even if it is a year of crisis

Interview with eFinance cu Horaţiu Berdilă, Romsys CEO

Interview with eFinance cu Horaţiu Berdilă, Romsys CEO

1. At the beginning of this year you have taken the position of CEO of Romsys. How this move took place and what NFH Austrian fund, the majority shareholder, intended by it?

In was a planned move. In principle, New Frontier Group (NFH) acts so that at every IT purchased company - about 3-4 companies per year on average -  it takes over the majority package of shares, it  maintains the Austrian  management for a transitional period after which it hires a local CEO. The last step is very important, especially in Eastern Europe where the local experience is essential. The whole process, from the purchase moment until the appointment of a CEO, ensures a coherent transition, and, where necessary, business recalibration on principles consistent with the policy New Frontier Holding (NFH).

It was an important change for Romsys, representing the transition from a company with Romanian structure and majority ownership, to a multinational based in Vienna. Romsys is the only company in the group 100% taken over by NFH. Romsys is now a different company because during the 18 months since its acquisition it passed through radical transformations of business processes, marketing strategy etc. Coming from outside, I can say that the changes were clearly seen in 2008 compared to 2007 or 2006.

2. You focused, in time, on developing software projects specialized on verticals. How this experience will refocus the  business of the company you lead now?

Actually, the experience was gained within the same verticals where Romsys is already present . We talk about the financial and telecom sectors, industry and utilities, public sector and defense - these are the verticals that Romsys focuses on, as supplier of integrated solutions.

In the future, verticals structure will be kept, the activity will target the software but without neglecting the hardware infrastructure, communications and integrated projects

The big players in the market will be favoured with this approach because by working with integrators, they have are ensured a solution dedicated to their sector of activity, they have the guarantee of performant project accomplishment and price accordingly.

3. What priorities does your mandate have on a short and medium term?

The main priority is to increase business and maintain the lines of  business at the quality level of previous years. When I joined Romsys I was very happy to know that they have not lost customers which is very important for any company, especially in the IT sector. This is largely attributable to the operational departments that are well organized with experienced people who have seniority in the company, which is especially remarkable considering that that the turnover of people on the IT market was high during last years.

In addition to horizontal solutions of operating divisions portfolio, we aim to develop our competencies on vertical solutions. Especially for financial and banking sector, we enlarged portfolio with treasury solutions through partnerships with worldwide technology providers, we also focus on brokerage, asset management, custody, so specific solutions dedicated to banking and financial sector.

In industry and utilities, Romsys is recognized for national implementations of solutions within  SAP portfolio.

4. In time, Romsys imposed itself as integrator of IT solutions for both public and private sectors. What was the share of each within company's economic performance during last year and how things will be next?

The change was very fast: from 50-60% of the public sector in recent years, we have reached a maximum of 20% in this area, so that in 2008, 80% of Romsys clients came from the corporate area. We will maintain the development policy of private sector, following the trend sketched by NFH. This does not invalidate our objective  of  positioning on structural funds consultancy.

5. Financial and banking solutions represent an area of opportunity for Romsys. What will prevail in the future: the provision of logistics and equipment or niche applications (core banking, scoring, treasury etc.)?

In the banking sector we follow the traditional partnership with Wincor Nixdorf.  In addition to the previous years, we offer an expanding solutions portfolio to complete ATM area: solutions for tracking cash flow, cash management and all that means the portfolio of  Self Service & Automation Solutions

We will also emphasize the treasury solutions through a partnership with Wall Street Systems - a world leader in this sector. Other priorities are the solutios of document management, workflow, capture and archiving, and performance management solutions.  Business simulations that are created due to performance management, integrated reporting scenarios, they are all very important for a manager to know how to lead the company in coming months. In the present context, the decisions which were previously taken quarterly, are now  taken weekly. In order to support decisions, strong  reporting tools are needed and that Romsys focuses to promote them in 2009. Here I refer to reporting solutions and SAP Business Intelligence Solutions and to Cognos.

6. With over a decade of partnership with Wincor Nixdorf, Romsys is the market leader in ATM and bank machines in Romania. How has this segment of Romsys portfolio evolved in 2008 and what is expected for 2009?

It is true that this partnership has been going on for more than a decade and the evolution confirmed the expectations on both parties. For this year we are expecting a 10-15% growth of the volume of services and equipment supplied on the financial-banking market. During the period where retail had been in full ascention, we would have previsioned a larger growth

The partnership with Wincor Nixdorf has brought us a unique position on the market, a position that was maintained  in time through a mutually beneficial collaboration.

7. What other partnerships has currently Romsys in this area and beyond? You intend to keep, select or develop these partnerships?

Romsys has developed two partnership areas: technological and business.

The classic partnerships, the technological ones are with Cisco, Dell, EMC, IBM, Nexans, Oracle, SAP, Sun, with which Romsys already has a long lasting relationship and for which it developed strong competencies in the operational departments.

Approach on business partnerships is different from previous years, focusing both on companies that go in the same direction as Romsys and those with complementary business, in general niche companies. Thus business solutions portfolio will expand with Wall Street Systems, which provides various solutions in the area of financial - banking.

Strong emphasis will be placed on companies in NFH, companies that come with strong expertise in various niches. As an example, we work closely with the Slovak company Cogent, specialized in performance management across all verticals, which gives us a competitive advantage on the Romanian market.

8. How do you think Romsys business will evolve in 2009 compared to 2008?

Our objective is a 10% growth compared to the 2008 level, which would mean reaching a business figure of 28 million euro.

Another strategic objective for 2009 is to achieve new accounts in portfolio and to increase the market quota, a target which will be difficult to reach in the actual economic situation.

As priority area, we focus on the financial sector which was one of the most affected areas, therefore requires a strong optimization of the business. Obviously, we will not neglect the other sectors either.

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