Living 'IT' up

Updated: 2011-01-21 13:04

By  Zhao Yanrong (China Daily European Weekly)

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When a survey group inspected the park, none of the existing buildings could satisfy them. To draw the client, DLSP decided to customize a building to meet all the requirements from Genpact.

Yida Group, the parent company of DLSP, was originally a local real estate developer. Building apartments is different from the construction of offices and creating a tailor-made business center was a first for Yida.

The list of requirements for its project ran into dozens of pages, covering areas like electric power distribution, heating systems, ventilation and fitness clubs.

Living 'IT' up

"They even had a specific size for a flush toilet," Ye says.

"All those requirements were higher than the standards of Chinese building projects at that time. And all of the requirements were in English."

DLSP spent millions of yuan to study the construction standards and invited constructing team from overseas to supervise them.

But the work paid off. GE became the first Fortune 500 company to set up shop in the DLSP. Its single software outsourcing service was expanded into a much broader information technology outsourcing (ITO) service.

After GE, other Fortune 500 companies including HSBC, Accenture, Pfizer, Nokia and IBM also came to Dalian.

"The GE experience strongly pushed us to follow international standards, which ensured that our services met more requirements from international clients," Ye says.

The park also offers a good living environment. There are Western-style entertainment facilities such as golf courses and fitness centers, as well as wide green spaces.

The United Nations Environment Programme and the International Federation of Park and Recreation Administration in 2009 also listed the DLSP on the International Awards for Livable Communities.

"We make sure the experts from all around the world have a comfortable career and life here," Ye says.

Other than the living and working environment, the pool of IT professionals also forms part of Dalian's attraction.

Because the IT industry relies heavily on highly skilled workers, Neusoft and Yida Group co-founded the Dalian Neusoft Institute of Information (NII) in 2001, the first college specialized in information technology in China 2001.

From 1,500 students during its first year, the NII has developed into a comprehensive university with 27 majors and 14,000 enrolments in the last decade.

"IT is a very practical industry, in which the latest technologies are from real businesses instead of school labs. We are offering practical education," says Wen Tao, president of NII.

All teachers and professors at NII have working experience with major IT companies worldwide. They have also invited many software developers and technologists from companies at the park to communicate with their students through seminars.

The training programs and courses designed for the NII's final year students tap the real working environment of IT companies in Dalian such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

Compared with most fresh graduates who have only theoretical knowledge from their textbooks, students from NII are expected to take on real work once they sign contracts with the companies.

"We make sure the companies in Dalian can find the right employees from our campus and the companies help us train our students to become the best IT professionals," Wen says.

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