We interview Rozalia Pandauzova, Head of Operations at Cerillion’s newest office in Sofia, Bulgaria, on establishing a new office from scratch, delivering our BSS/OSS suite to customers worldwide, and plans for the future.
Добър ден, Rozalia! Thanks for speaking with us – tell us about who you are and what brought you to Cerillion?
Hello to our dear readers! I entered the telecom industry about 17 years ago and I was told that once you join this industry, it’s for life. I cannot say I haven’t been warned!
I spent my first working years in Milan as a consultant, doing very technical work for a couple of the big system integrators in this space, which helped me take on development and operations responsibilities for OSS/BSS applications and processes with several telcos in Bulgaria.
In more recent years, I’ve been responsible for tackling implementation of large-scale projects, combining expert and management responsibilities. I’ve been very lucky to work for large multinational telecom groups with leading know-how and I’ve been genuinely curious about all developments in the industry, both in Bulgaria and worldwide.
It was through such a large-scale BSS project that I first got to work with and admire Cerillion – the company, Cerillion – the product suite, and Cerillion – the team, which stole the show and my heart. When the continued growth and expansion of Cerillion reached Bulgaria and this opportunity came up, I couldn’t pass up the chance to join the company.
I’m beyond excited to be able to contribute to that by setting up and overseeing Cerillion’s Bulgarian operations.
How are you and the team finding your new working situation, and the new office?
After working from home to begin with, we’ve now settled into our new office, which we’re all enjoying very much. It’s designed to meet the needs and tastes of IT professionals and offers all the comfort we need to work, relax, and even play together.
I’m looking forward to practicing my long-forgotten table tennis and darts skills with my colleagues! We might even set up some sort of Office Olympics to keep it competitive and help us get up from our desks a bit more often.
We’re also very fond of our rooftop café / bar, which offers a gorgeous view of the city and the Vitosha mountain, and we’ve been spending a lot of time there, working outside under blue skies and looking at Sofia from above.
How has getting started under COVID conditions been, and how are things now improving?
Fortunately, our office is quite big and spacious, so we’re very comfortable even in the current pandemic situation.
As a team, we’ve decided that we want to be physically together as much as possible so that we can cooperate and help each other. Of course, people do need occasionally to work from home for personal reasons, and that’s fine too.
We’re gradually starting to travel to our headquarters in London, to get some face-to-face time with our UK colleagues, and I think we’ll be meeting some of our customers in person next year.
Speaking of customers, what projects are you and your team now working on?
The Bulgaria team is already involved in four ongoing projects for Cerillion customers across Europe and Latin America, and we are about to join a few more soon.
We have recently experienced the adrenaline rush of a very smooth and successful deployment of new functionality for an existing client, and I loved hearing feedback from the customer that our way of work and quality is the same as the original Cerillion delivery team – this is the highest praise I could hope for.
Additionally, we’ve also started doing some very interesting R&D work, which we expect to keep increasing.
What’s the current state of the telecom sector in Bulgaria?
The Bulgarian telecom sector has done a lot for the country, investing heavily in infrastructure and high-quality services that rival even some western European countries, and of course, to support all this, the professional standards are quite high.
The IT sector here in general has boomed in the last ten years, with many international IT companies establishing large operations in Sofia and other Bulgarian cities, providing amazing job opportunities and stimulating young people to pursue careers in the field.
The global telecom software vendors are not an exception; in addition to the long-established presence of Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and Amdocs, in the last couple of years, we’ve seen Netcracker and DigitalRoute set up base here too, and now Cerillion. I’m certain others will follow soon!
And finally, what are the goals for the Bulgaria office, in the short and long term?
Everything starts with people. Cerillion is highly selective when it comes to recruitment in all locations, and we are very much focused on getting recruitment right as the foundation for successful operations here.
What this means in the short term is that we will continue to grow the team through recruitment of experienced senior colleagues who can quickly bring value to what we do, and in the long term, they will be able to nurture and mentor the next generation of young talent.
This is a great opportunity for BSS professionals to work with customers all over the world and take their expertise to the next level. We’re also looking to expand our R&D capacity so we’re welcoming experienced developers to apply with us too.
These are exciting times for Cerillion, and it is fantastic that Bulgarian professionals can now join the team in Sofia
and be a part of this new chapter for the company.