Thessaloniki is evolving into a technological hub for Northern Greece and Eastern Europe. The final details that will seal the creation of Deutsche Telekom‘s new software development center are in the final stages.
The relocation of the hub of the European telecommunications giant to our country from St. Petersburg, in the context of sanctions for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, seems to have gained points against other options that came under the microscope, such as Croatia and Slovenia, and even India, where there the group already has a growing technological base.
The creation of the new center, which will support the group’s activities throughout Europe, brings to the city 300 IT experts from the corresponding center that closed in Russia, to which it is estimated that another 300 Greek employees will be added. It is recalled that Pfizer‘s strategic investment for the Digital Innovation Center and the Cisco Digital Transformation Center are already “running” in the city.
The residence permit is important
Of course, this is not an easy project, not only because the choice of relocation site had to be made in a narrow time frame, but also to ensure the appropriate “corridor” for the relocation of employees. Critical in this regard is the contribution of the Minister of Immigration Notis Mitarakis and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in order to accelerate the issuance of a residence permit.
From the first day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Deutsche Telekom announced the cessation of its activity in Russia. The European telecommunications giant did not have a commercial presence or network in the country. But the giant software development center in St. Petersburg, with about 1,800 developers, was key to supporting the group’s overall business, in fiber optics, the cloud, customer service upgrades, Open RAN.
Russia has been a huge source of technology talent for Deutsche Telekom, with 25,000 computer science graduates graduating from Russian universities each year, and the country ranks third behind the United States and France in the International Mathematics and Physics Olympiads.
From the beginning, therefore, the employees were given the opportunity to relocate to other nodes of the group, with many making this decision. In the first month after the Russian invasion, 50-70 thousand IT specialists had already left Russia, according to the Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC), while with the second wave it is estimated that they reach a total of 170 thousand.
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