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4.1.3. FIRM3

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Firm3 is an international IT company specializing in the design and creation of information technology systems and offering e-business solutions to clients in two principal areas: the modernization of IT systems by upgrading existing web-based technologies and the expansion of IT systems by installing new web-based services, such as customer relations and e-commerce programs.

With a workforce of more than 7,000, Firm3 is organised on the basis of economic sectors and geographic units. Its business activities are conducted in France, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Morocco, Portugal and Switzerland. The group’s three-year plan calls for reaching turnover of one billion euros in 2008 with a workforce of 12,000, and for improving profitability even further as from 2006.

I visited Firm3’s office in Casablanca where I met the director of production planning; she talked about her understanding of IT services offshoring in her company and about the history and future of their experience in Morocco.

She explained with great enthusiasm and pride that her company was the first European IT firm to obtain the CMM-I certification in 2004, and that in 2005 it was the first French company to obtain level 3 of CMM-I certification. These certifications were applied to all their offices including Casablanca and Rabat.
Additional staff has also been added to international operations. This is especially true in Morocco where the combined workforce now exceeds 300. The purpose of all these changes was to provide flexibility, cost-effectiveness and expertise in the areas of both technology and specific business sectors.

When talking about offshoring activities in Morocco, the director of production planning added:

« In the past few months the company has convincingly demonstrated its interest in turning more and more towards outsourcing, rather than commodity IT services. The firm is building a new development centre in Casablanca, where it wants to reach a headcount of more than 100 staff. We believe that offshore from Morocco is just as cost-effective as from India, and there are no language issues, nor significant time zone differences. »

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