As a result, they built a bridge with solid foundations between Poland and the United Kingdom. Underpinned by the knowledge of experienced engineers and technology enthusiasts the founders were driven by the idea of helping other businesses.
Spyrosft’s CEO Andrew Radcliffe candidly remembers:
There's a number of people there that I've known for a long time, trusted friends who I know are experts in what they do. And really, they were the sort of people it was logical to work with. And the truth is, they happened to be in Wroclaw. But from my own experience in working with companies in different countries, I could see the benefits of Wroclaw as a location to work with. Before we started Spyrosoft, there's a story about how I met those guys. I used to be head of development at Ordnance Survey in Southampton. And I met them as they were working in a software house that I used as a supplier at that time. That's how I met them. And they were amazing at what they did. I flew to Wroclaw for the first time to learn more about the city that they told me so much about. The economics there were really attractive. The Technology University. It was a one-hour time difference. There were so many pluses that it was logical to choose that location. That's really why we started the company there. Because we could take advantage of all those benefits. But I also knew Konrad and Sebastian very well, and I trusted them as much as they trusted me. When you start a company, you need to be working with people that you fully trust. And in our case, it was easy, really.
Lower Silesia’s tech hub
Since the very beginning the company’s multi-site location played a strategic role in Spyrosoft growth. The fact that Spyrosoft has its offices in Wroclaw and Bournemouth is not without significance. Locating Spyrosoft headquarters in those two cities was a tactical move. As a tech company, we wanted to be in a centre of IT development. Wroclaw is a well-known hub for tech start-ups that connects developers and investors and attracts businesses from all over the world.
Although the company was established in the UK first, it was in Poland where we set up our first offices. With the high number of talented IT graduates from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Spyrosoft was able to set up the engineering centre in Poland to serve global customers. Access to many highly qualified software developers, who can provide service on an international level, was and still is one of the keys to our company success. As Spyrosoft CEO Andrew Radcliffe stressed, Wroclaw was meant to be the engineering centre from the very start. Direct access to the IT workforce there and the significantly reduced overheads associated with running a business in Poland, only served to speed up the process.
Five years ago, when you outsourced projects or pieces of work, it was a fairly standard approach for UK based companies to find a technology partner somewhere in Europe, near shore. It could be several different countries, for example, Poland, Romania or Spain. Places in similar time zones, maybe one to two hours’ time difference, maximum. My career has involved working in different countries as well. So, I personally have experience of running development and engineering teams in different countries. And I wanted to create access to great technology engineering teams for UK companies. And I knew some great people to do this with, who were based in Poland. – explains Andrew.
Silicon south coast
Our Bournemouth offices play another, crucial part in Spyrosoft’s international structure. As we are a UK focused business, establishing a local subsidiary to make sure that the service we deliver meets UK standards and local market requirements, was among our main goals. We wanted to build a solid and prosperous connection between our customers and engineers. Local talents again, played a major role here. Bournemouth, is part of the famous silicon south cost and is also Andrew’s home, so was an obvious choice. As data showed in 2019, 28% of all new tech startups were established in Bournemouth. Within the last five years, the Bournemouth area was also a hub for fast-growing ecommerce and website development businesses.
We decided that we would set up a UK company and build a team of people sitting in the UK who could work closely with the clients to help them to understand how easy it is to actually build software with remote teams. So that's the reason we have a UK entity. That's the reason we have one in Germany, one in Croatia, one in the US. It's about providing local support to our customers, whilst having remote engineering in Poland. – Andrew says.
When we started Spyrosoft UK, I was employee one, and my wife Valerie, employee two and Bournemouth is our home. I grew up here. I know a lot of people here but also from a work - technology point of view, Bournemouth was recognised in the UK as having fast growth for web companies. So, there's a lot of design agencies and studios, development and ecommerce companies in this area. It was one of the places to be for tech company growth outside of London, with, of course, reasonable access to London, as it’s only a two-hour drive. There are good road links. It's a nice part of the countryside as well with the extraordinary coastal area and good quality of life. I think those were really great plus points. On top of that, I simply wanted to create a technology company here and be able to employ people in this area. For me personally, it’s a legacy and in the next ten to fifteen years I want to grow Spyrosoft in the Bournemouth area. I think there will be other offices that will open up around our country. But for us in the UK, Bournemouth will be the home of Spyrosoft.
Spyrosoft in the UK
The plan is to have more technical people in the UK and grow the UK team. We would love to have office across the country to provide our customers with premium services and work with them side by side. Globally, Spyrosoft is in constant growth, therefore we need to expand our UK presence as well. As Andrew explains:
If you think about the engineering process from start to finish: you start talking to a customer, you shape up the project, you understand what the business is trying to do, what is the problem to solve, what will be the project, and you need people that are capable of helping clients to do that. Those roles would be product designer, UX designer, business analyst, project manager, architect. Those are the sorts of roles that would help a customer to understand how to solve a problem and build a project in order to do it. So, we concentrated on those roles in the UK, with the back-office team in Poland to actually go ahead and build it. And then we return to the UK to support and maintain it and to provide first and second line support. So those, again, are roles that are closer to the customer. It’s easier to provide support for those roles because they're close physically. In time, I think we will grow the software engineering capability in the UK, we will start to hire engineers that will build those products and services here. And they will work as a blended team with the guys in Poland. So, we won't necessarily build everything in Poland, we will have opportunities to build in the UK as well.
Building bridges has become Spyrosoft’s forte. It goes far beyond connecting business with technology. We have managed to build a bridge between the commercial centre in Bournemouth and the technology hub in Wroclaw to bring the best IT solutions to our customers with a great understanding of their needs. At the heart of everything we do, there are our customers - we work very hard to bring tailored IT solutions to them in the spirit of transparent, collaborative and progressive relationships.