The graphic is an illustration for the article: Why DATEV is building a tech hub in Poland

Why DATEV is building a tech hub in Poland

The news in Poland over the last few weeks has been about Intel’s impressive new investment near Wroclaw. Not to be overlooked, a German company called DATEV, a leader in software development and IT services, has also decided to invest in Poland. The economic miracle of Central Eastern Europe remains attractive for many investors.

The photo of participants at the Women in Tech Summit. Illustration for the article: Why DATEV is building a tech hub in Poland?

Whilst many of our readers will be familiar with Intel, fewer will have heard of DATEV. Which is why the Rekruter editorial team decided to find out more. Fortunately, the team from DATEV was already attending the Women in Tech Summit in Warsaw. And our team met with Martin Ertel, Project Lead for IT Hub Poland in Germany, and Piotr Franciszkowski, Managing Director DATEV EG in Poland, during the summit.  

DATEV may not be as large in scale as German tech giants like SAP, but they do work closely together and share an ecosystem in Germany. The Rekruter team sat down with Martin and Piotr to find out more. More about the company, and more about their plans to build a tech hub in Poland.

Why DATEV is a software company

DATEV as a brand may be recognizable today in the Polish market. But today it is not known as a software company in Poland. The company was founded in the 1960s as an IT service provider for tax consultants, auditors, and lawyers. In Poland, Piotr explained, DATEV is best known for its specialized software for auditors. There is a lot of information available about the company in Polish already: Warsztaty – DATEV.

More importantly, DATEV is actually one of the largest software companies in Europe. But you can’t buy it in stores. You can only buy it through your tax consultants, or auditors. DATEV reported a tunover of €1.3 billion in 2022 and employs more than 8,600 people. The company has ‘digicamps’ as well as a dedicated Education Centre. Crucially, the company is cloud native.

Additionally, DATEV in Poland is a member of the German-Polish Chamber of Commerce (AHK), a very powerful organization in the local market. Best place to find information about the company is on YouTube. Have a look at the message that DATEV are trying to convey. It’s kind of funky.

The Bridge Builder

Piotr familiarly introduced Martin as the ‘bridge builder’ between Nuremberg, where DATEV has its headquarters, and the new tech hub in Warsaw. The distance between Nuremberg and Warsaw is nearly 1,000 kms by car, and there are no direct flights between the cities at the moment. And, whilst this creates a challenge, Martin is the guy who will be travelling to Warsaw in order to build the tech hub.

He is already being helped by Piotr and the local team, who have been very welcoming of the new initiative.

Martin highlighted how DATEV at the beginning are not looking for hundreds of developers. The company is focused on finding senior software engineers with good knowledge of cloud. “We want to find the right people with the right skills,” Martin explained.

When it comes to how the teams currently work at DATEV, Martin explained how development is undertaken in a flexible model at the company. “Developers are working in teams from project to project. Projects tend to last anywhere between 2 and 12 months depending on the requirements of the product. Then the team moves on to the next project,” Martin added. “This allows engineers to learn and develop by changing products from time to time.”

As for the actual products, Martin shared how the initial focus will be on products for the German market. These products are for tax advisors, lawyers, and auditors and they help these types of professionals build up their business processes.

“Our customers are small and medium sized companies in Germany. With half a million customers who trust DATEV in Germany, the company offers more than 200 products at the moment,” Martin highlighted. “We want to take our products to the next technology level, so these products will be cloud native.”

What about the DATEV brand in Poland?

Piotr is the charismatic local leader of the current DATEV EG business in Poland. He has been involved with the company for over 20 years now. Piotr was keen to share more details about the brand in Poland. He believes that DATEV as a brand is well known in the space that it serves.

In order to attract developers though, Piotr is aware that more needs to be done with the local brand. “It’s something we started working on last year,” he explained pointing to how DATEV were present at events, just like the Women in Tech Summit.

Martin shared how engaging skilled and experienced engineers is always a challenge. But he highlighted how the company were working on presenting the right offer to potential candidates. And how he feels the flexible model the company offers is attractive to developers.

“We already work remotely with our team in Poland,” Martin added. “We also work in a very remote setup in Germany.”

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

As DATEV is a German company, many of the current engineers and developers speak German to each other. Piotr assured us that whilst the environment might be German, the day to day communication in the team in Poland is English. The same will apply to the tech hub.

Martin is very optimistic He believes that the bridge between the teams in Poland and Germany will be of huge benefit to the new team in Warsaw. DATEV is scaling internationally, and the new tech hub is part of this initiative.

Towards the end of the discussion Martin had a few words to add about how well the Polish team had welcomed both the project and the implementation team from Germany.

“The Polish market is very challenging,” Martin explained, “but knowing that we have the support of our team here already makes me very happy.”

The recruitment process is going well so far Martin and Piotr concluded. They hope that in years to come the project will add both huge benefits to the wider company as well as new opportunities for the teams in new markets.

Authors: Sylwia Pyzik & Andy Samu