On April 19th, UNIQA celebrated the official launch of its new Finance & Procurement Shared Service Center (SSC) as part of USS BG in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

The new SSC is set to become a central hub for providing finance and procurement services group wide. That goes hand in hand with UNIQA’s commitment to collaboration, as the new SSC fosters cooperation across all business units, IT and Finance departments, and the nearshore locations. This is an exciting time for UNIQA as this new level of collaboration is sure to lead to even more success in future.

The opening ceremony was attended by cross-country leaders who celebrated this significant milestone. Kurt Svoboda, Board Member Finance and Risk Management, highlighted the importance of the new hub, “If you look at what is going on in the world, we have to come closer together, we have to work closer together in different ways. And one way to work together is a Shared Service Center like this. That means we want to have the best people, the best processes, and the best harmonization in one place and to do this for many countries and for many business units.”

Collaboration with all business units

The newly established hub in Plovdiv aims to provide finance and procurement services to Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, the SEE-5 countries, Poland, and Hungary.

As a first step, the central services will use the optimized procurement processes implemented by the SINATRA project. The harmonization of these processes and the centralization of services in SAP Ariba will lead to increased automation and cost efficiency.

Collaboration between IT and Finance 

With the opening of its new finance Shared Service Center, USS BG is expanding its competencies beyond specializing in IT services for UITS. With excellent finance experts, good infrastructure, and long-term experience in servicing UNIQA, USS BG became the perfect partner for establishing a finance and procurement service center. Moreover, the potential of Plovdiv as an economic hotspot in South-East Europe guarantees sustainability and provides opportunities for future growth.

In his opening speech, UITS Managing Director Christian Gosch bridged the gap between software services and finance shared services. Together with Kurt Svoboda and the finance and procurement leaders, he affirmed the importance of this initiative, highlighting the synergies created by choosing USS BG for the SSC, and emphasizing the value it brings to UNIQA Group.

USS Bulgaria as the strategic partner

Over the last two years, USS BG has experienced tremendous growth. The potential of Plovdiv as a nearshore location, coupled with the capabilities of local experts, were first recognized by UITS. In 2020, USS BG was nominated as a strategic IT nearshore location. Today, the new IT system landscape of UNIQA Austria is supported by more than 95 experts in areas such as Pega Platform, Enterprise Content Management, Data Management, DevOps, Identity and Access Management, and Cloud Enablement. This trustful relationship has facilitated the growth of the location, making USS BG more attractive for other central functions, and making it possible to implement the finance and procurement SSC. Read more about the success story.

Collaboration between Nitra and Plovdiv

At the opening event, Vessela Kotzeva, Head of the new Shared Service Center, introduced her team of highly skilled experts in finance and procurement. The talented and diverse team was carefully assembled in USS BG between December 2022 and April 2023, and has already been working closely with GSC Slovakia in Nitra and the Group Procurement team in Vienna.

This collaborative approach has proven to be successful, and it will continue to be a key factor in the implementation and operation of the new standardized processes. By working together and leveraging their expertise, the team will play a critical role in ensuring the success of the SSC as well as of the organization as a whole.

Celebrating the momentous occasion in Plovdiv

The ceremony was initiated by the opening words and welcome speech by Juliana Boja and Elina Pavlova, Managing Directors USS Bulgaria, followed by the cutting of the ribbon, which marked the official opening of the new SSC.

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