Fonality Adds Reseller Partners in France, Italy, Poland and the UK

Fonality, the CulverCity-based open-source IP telephony company, has announced that it has signed partnership agreements with solution providers in France, Poland, Italy and the UK to resell and support its trixbox Pro phone system. France’s CNSI, Poland’s Halo2, Italy’s Wildix, and the United Kingdom’s V4VoIP, VCOMM, and VoIPon are among the first to sign-up for Fonality’s partner program, according to the company.

In addition, in order to further grow its presence in Europe, Fonality says it will host a certification training workshop in London next week.

Trixbox Pro was created by Fonality specifically for the reseller channel, according to the company. It is a fully brandable, software-only product meant to create new revenue streams for resellers and systems integrators expanding into IP communications.

Fonality uses a hybrid-hosted technology based on the open-source Asterisk telephony software. Trixbox is an open-platform phone system targeted at resellers and advanced users. The company also offers a turnkey PBX phone system solution for small-and-medium sized businesses, called PBXtra.

The company counts Azure Capital and Intel Capital among its investors.

Fonality: www.fonality.com; www.trixbox.com


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Intermarche and Bricomarche plan big offensive in Eastern Poland

Having expanded in western Poland, the French retailer will now develop in the east.

The French group comprising independent entrepreneurs running Intermarche food and Bricomarche home and garden shops, has already 160 outlets in Poland.

“This year, we will launch eight Bricomarche markets, and 25 next year. In 2010, there should be 125 of them”, Marek Mieszkiello representing Bricomarche said.

In his opinion, there’s enough place in Poland for 400 such shops.

Intermarche retailer has even bigger plans.

“We are launching 28 supermarkets next year. Our target is 690 shops in 2016”, Krzysztof Waligorski, Intermarche spokesman said.

The company owns several dozens lots to build new shops. It is also negotiating with entrepreneurs running independent supermarkets.

“It costs PLN 350,000 (EUR 92,750) to join our organization. 6-month-long training is required as well”, Marek Feruga, ITM Polska member of the board who supervises the development of franchise network, said.

The company may be disturbed by Carrefour which two days ago announced its franchise program in Poland.

(PLN 1 = EUR 0.265)
Source: pulsbiznesu.pl

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ARCADIS Wins Major Highway Project in Poland

ARCADIS , the international consulting and engineering company, today announced the award of a EUR 11 million contract to design a 65 km long section of the A-1 motorway in Poland. The contract was awarded to an ARCADIS-led consortium with partners Mosty Katowice, Transprojekt Warsaw and DHV Polska. Client is the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways. The project is co-financed by the European Union.

The design work will take 18 months and includes the preparation of building and construction designs, environmental impact and permitting support and construction contract documents. The section will be part of the motorway Gdansk - Torun - Czestochowa - Katowice and further to the southern Polish/Czech border. It will be a dual carriageway motorway with two lanes in each direction, a median and emergency lanes. The width of the median will allow for the later addition of a third traffic lane in both directions.

Traveller comfort and safety and environmental protection are essential in the project. It will therefore include the design of architecturally appealing engineering structures and service areas for passenger and freight vehicles. Also, a drainage system and environmental protection features (sound barriers, retention ponds and separators) will be installed. The project will also include motorway maintenance areas for administrative personnel and facilities for the road service staff and materials.

Marek Adamek, CEO of ARCADIS in Poland about the project: "Completion of the A-1 motorway is part of a larger investment program for the improvement of road infrastructure in Poland, which is of strategic importance to the Polish economy and society. It will help accommodate the increasing traffic while assuring comfort and safety. Its construction will result in the creation of new jobs and provide new investment and trade opportunities. It will allow for a quicker integration of Poland with other European Union countries." As to why ARCADIS was granted the project Adamek said: "It is a combination of many years of experience in high quality road design, a strong market position and the professional reputation of our experts."

ARCADIS is an international company providing consultancy, engineering and management services in infrastructure, environment and facilities, to enhance mobility, sustainability and quality of life. ARCADIS develops, designs, implements, maintains and operates projects for companies and governments. With more than 12,000 employees and over $ 1.9 billion in gross revenue, the company has an extensive international network that is supported by strong local market positions.

Except for historical information contained herein, the statements in this release are forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the company's actual results in future periods to differ materially from forecasted results. Those risks include, among others, risks associated with possible changes in environmental legislation and risks with regard to the Company's ability to acquire and execute projects. These and other risks are described in ARCADIS' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the last 12 months, copies of which will be available from the SEC or may be obtained upon request from the Company.

Source: money.cnn.com

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Union slams Cadbury's shift to Poland as 700 jobs are cut

Unite, the manufacturing trade union, yesterday accused Cadbury Schweppes of behaving like an "asset-stripping private equity firm" following the company's announcement that it would shed 700 jobs by outsourcing chocolate production to Poland.

Cadbury said it planned to shut its factory in Keynsham, near Bristol, by 2010, with the loss of 500 jobs, while 200 further posts would go in Bournville, in the Midlands, at the plant where it has been producing chocolate for almost 130 years.

Much of the work done at the Keynsham and Bournville plants will be switched to the Polish company Wedel, which it acquired in 1998, Cadbury said, because labour and manufacturing costs would be much lower.

The announcement is particularly controversial because Cadbury has a long history of social engagement and community involvement, dating from the reformist attitudes of the Cadbury family, Quakers who founded the company in the 19th century. The Fry family, which merged their company with Cadbury in 1919, bringing the Keynsham operation into the business, came from a similar background.

Brian Revell, national organiser for Unite, said: "This is the sort of behaviour we expect from the short-term, quick-strip private equity firm, not Britain's most respected chocolate manufacturer." He accused Cadbury of planning to sell its site at Keynsham in order to generate a windfall for the company.

However, Cadbury Schweppes has come under increasing pressure to reduce costs following several years of underperformance. It is attempting to sell its US drinks business and plans to cut 7,500 jobs worldwide over the next few years, with the closure of about 15 per cent of its manufacturing plants.

The company said yesterday it believed the move would help it improve profit margins to around 15 per cent, up from 10 per cent currently. Andrew Wood, an analyst at Sanford C Bernstein, said the move made economic sense because rivals such as Hershey operate on margins of 18 per cent or more.

Cadbury managing director Trevor Bond said the company had promised staff it would provide help with retraining. He said: "... in order to continue to compete in the extremely competitive confectionery industry... we need to make the right decision today."

Dan Norris, the Labour MP for Wansdyke, whose constituency includes Keynsham, urged the company to spend heavily on local community projects in the run-up to the closure. "Given the hard work and dedication of the workforce over four generations, it's the least Cadbury can do," he said.

Source: independent.co.uk

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BBC to Launch Four Channels in Poland

BBC Global Channels will roll out a suite of four branded thematic channels—BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle and CBeebies—in Poland, which, according to Dean Possenniskie, the senior VP of EMEA for BBC Global Channels, is a “priority market” for the company.

Poland is the first territory in BBC Global Channels’ planned European expansion. All four channels will debut in Poland on December 2 and will be available on satellite exclusively for subscribers of Cyfrowy Polsat, the country’s largest satellite platform, as part of its Family package.

Possenniskie told World Screen Newsflash: “We focused on Poland because it is a priority market for BBC Worldwide. It’s probably the best growth market in Europe at the moment in terms of television, and also arguably one of the most competitive markets. Poland gives us the opportunity to launch all four channels—CBeebies, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle and BBC Entertainment—as one portfolio from day one, and this is the first time we’ve achieved this worldwide.”

He added: “When we prove the success of these channels in Poland we are proving them against the best channels in the world, so it’s a great market to begin in and one that is full of potential as well.”
Source: worldscreen.com/newscurrent.php?filename=bbc100307.htm

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Gamelion Expands in Poland

Gamelion has expanded it's development team by adding 40 fresh new developers in order to shorten the time for mobile game development.

With this expansion, Gamelion now has a staff count of 100 divided over it's offices in Poland, Szcecin and Bydgoszcz. Gamelion even announced to be recruiting 40 aditional staff members for the QA department in Szczecin.

"Gamelion is offering turn-key solutions for mobile game development, covering everything from Pre- to Post-Production, including porting and testing to over 600 handsets. During the last 12 months we have seen huge demand from international markets, especially towards our porting and testing services, from our world leading publisher partners and mobile 2.0 application developers. Now that Nokia is soon launching their new N-Gage platform, and the number of platforms and devices on the mobile market continues to grow, thus increasing the technological challenges in this market, we expect lot more companies choosing the focused in-house development strategy in stead of doing both development and porting, leaving the device fragmentation issues for specialist like us to carry" Says Anton Gauffin, the CEO of Gamelion.

Source: mobilegames.blogs.com

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World Bank will not finance road projects in Poland

Warsaw (Puls Biznesu) – World Bank used to co-finance road modernization in Poland. It will not do that any longer, however. That’s why road authorities hope for more funds from the budget.

The General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA) has recently modernized 1,500-2,000 km of roads annually, up from 200 km before 2004. It was possible thanks to credits and loans from EIB and WB. The latter, however, is withdrawing. Its representative has recently told “PB” that Poland is developed enough to manage by itself. It turns out that at the same time the Ministry of Finance decided not to lend more money from WB because it’s too expensive.


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Poland next hot destination for Indians

Poland could soon witness a large influx of Indian workers, particularly in the construction sector, after the two countries sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to streamline labour migration to the East European country.

This was decided at a meeting held here Wednesday between Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi and Poland's Minister for Labour and Social Policy Anna Kalata.

Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Ravi said, "We proposed to sign an MoU with Poland and a note is being circulated in this regard... The MoU will streamline migration of labour from India to Poland to work in the construction, agriculture and service sectors in that country."

As of now, there are only around 3,000 Indians employed across various sectors in Poland but this number is expected to get significant boost once the MoU is signed. The Polish minister has taken the initiative to promote recruitment of Indian workers in her country.

Stating that her country is facing an acute labour shortage, Kalata said, "We have noticed severe discrepancies in our labour market. Around 800,000 Polish workers have left to work in other countries in the EU (European Union)."

"The need for labour is more so in the construction sector as we are going to build a number of stadiums for the Euro 2012 football championship," the visiting minister added.

Poland, along with Ukraine, will play joint hosts to football's second biggest event in 2012.

She also said that Poland is on a quick growth path and hence there is an urgent need for skilled manpower. "In the first quarter of this year, our economy grew by 7.4 percent."

The proposed MoU will also facilitate Indian companies to invest or get into partnership with companies in Poland in various sectors.

To a question as to whether Poland was seeking investment especially from Indian IT companies, an official from the Polish minister's delegation said, "IT is one of the fastest growing sectors in Poland. We don't have to especially invite them (Indian IT companies). They very well know where the green is."

To a question as to whether India will be signing a social security agreement with Poland similar to the one that was signed with Belgium last year, Ravi said, "This will be an MoU for streamlining labour migration, but yes, we can go on and sign a social security agreement later."

Source: hindustantimes.com

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INTERVIEW Poland's Noga softens line on rate hikes, says 50 bps may suffice

Poland's central bank may be able to end its tightening cycle with interest rates at 5.25 pct around March next year if inflation comes in just above its target in December, central bank policymaker Marian Noga said today.

Speaking after the finance ministry predicted inflation likely jumped to 2.0 pct in September, Noga told Thomson Financial News inflation was likely to be at least 2.6 pct in December.

'Inflation at the end of the year for sure will exceed the bank's (2.5 pct) inflation target and should be a minimum of 2.6 pct,' he said.

'We should see one more hike in interest rates this year. The scale of tightening next year will depend on inflationary processes in November and December.'

Poland's central bank has upped interest rates three times this year but members of its policy council have cooled expectations on the pace of further rises since headline inflation dipped more than expected in August.

Noga, who has supported all of the bank's rises in borrowing costs this year, said last month interest rates should rise to 5.5 pct next year.

The bank's main borrowing rate now stands at 4.75 pct.

'If it turns out that inflation is only just above the target, it may turn out that one more rate hike will be enough next year and we would end the tightening cycle in March.'

'If it is nearer 3 pct, we will probably need two more rises next year.'

Source: By Paweł Sobczak, forbes.com

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