Lublin Info Centre

Uptime Poland develops in Lublin

Access to highly qualified and ambitious talents, modern infrastructure, support of the local government, and high quality of life are among the most intriguing aspects that attract investors to our city. It is also a place where the IT sector is still insatiable and open to new challenges. One of the companies that recognized this business and economic potential is Uptime Development. Read the interview with the CEO of the company, Michał Jankowski who shares with us how as JMMJ they encouraged Uptime to invest in them but also why they decided to open one of their offices in Lublin.

What is Uptime Development? What were your beginnings, and why did you decide to locate your office in Lublin?

Uptime Development was established as JMMJ in 2008, so we have been present on the Polish market for 14 years. In 2020, our company became a part of an Estonian software development firm ‘Uptime’, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Among other things, we specialize in custom software development, consulting services and IT business analysis. We had opened our first office in Warsaw, but as I come from Lublin, I knew what potential there was in the IT sector in that region. By this, I mean both universities that educate excellent specialists and business potential in general. So opening the office in Lublin in 2015 was an obvious and natural choice. Together with Uptime Group, apart from Poland, we have international offices in Estonia, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland.

How did you convince the Estonians to invest in you?

Throughout our 12 years on the Polish market as JMMJ, we have built an interesting portfolio of clients. With the development of the software sector and the increasing importance of blockchain technology, we were looking for space to grow and knew that cooperation with Uptime would be a great growth opportunity for us. At the same time, the Estonians, as part of the expansion strategy they implemented in 2015, were actively looking for companies that would allow them to enter the European market. This led to the first talks about merging. Our developers and IT specialists are highly valued abroad. In addition to the high skill level of our employees, we have the same approach to work organization and business culture. And that is how Uptime Development, a member of Uptime Group, was established in 2020.

Many people in the IT industry value the specific nature of working with the Scandinavians, or more broadly with the Nordic countries. How does this relationship between the team in Poland and the company’s other locations look from your perspective?

In my opinion, which is based on 2 years’ experience of working in such an environment, any form of international cooperation is beneficial for everyone. Our employees from Poland have the opportunity to contact and exchange their expert knowledge and build relationships with nearly 200 specialists from all over Europe. At the same time, the work culture, communication and quality of cooperation are at a high level. Estonia is a highly developed and technologically advanced country – definitely a good business partner for companies in our sector.

In today’s reality of tech companies competing for talents, employee turnover can be quite challenging. Do you also have to deal with this issue?  

The turnover we experience is about employees coming back to us after short adventures in other companies or corporations. The specific nature of our company is that our contracts with clients are based on long-term cooperation. This means that a project team consisting of several people works together for a couple of years to deliver the final product. It is a win-win solution. Why? Everyone takes active part in the development of the project, which motivates and engages the team members. What is more, by working together for several years, they form a stable social cell…. a sort of corporate family. As a result, turnover in our company is low and is not a problem for us.

Ok, the lack of turnover allows you to steadily implement projects, but I assume that you have plans for further development. Are you still looking for new people to join your team?

Indeed, recruitment processes are still open. Over the last few years, this industry has developed significantly, both in terms of equipment and capabilities, but also in relation to the needs of the market. More and more companies decide to cooperate with us and use our services, which obviously makes us happy, but it also sets the bar high for our HR department when looking for new employees. When recruiting new people, personal qualities of candidates are just as important to us as technical skills. With over a dozen years’ experience of managing the company and employees, I know how important it is for staff to be able to get along with each other in the first place. IT skills can always be improved, but personality traits are much harder to change.

Some people claim that comparing the business potential of cities like Lublin and Warsaw does not make much sense. Do you agree with that? 

I believe that my hometown of Lublin, which I have been observing for more than 30 years, has done a tremendous amount of work to become the city we can admire today. This capital of the eastern part of Poland is in the process of intensive business development, which brings with it the need to implement solutions from our sector. When I opened the office here, I was sure it would be a good decision, because of my knowledge of the industry and the IT environment in this region, as well as my awareness of the lower competition on the market. At the same time, our presence in Lublin strengthens its development as we keep talented specialists here. Otherwise, there is a good chance they would leave.

If you could move one aspect of business that is present in Lublin to Warsaw, what would it be?

In Lublin, life and work flow more peacefully and are well-balanced. Here, the very popular Work-Life Balance concept truly does work. The universities here educate great specialists, and those who do not want to leave Lublin but prefer to develop and build a future in this beautiful city are more than welcome to work with us. We are far from being a corporation, we are still a boutique firm, but with Uptime backing us, we are much more confident about cash flow or the support of a wide range of specialists. In return, the Polish entity provides local know-how and knowledge of the industry, which allows for the continuous development of the entire group. This is evidenced by the Vimanet company from Cracow, which joined Uptime earlier this month. The group’s position is strengthening on our market, and we are moving forward with greater confidence.

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