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2 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017


Growth, Innovations And Well-Being


Eyes Fixed On China’s Consumer Space


Time To Open Up


Making The World Smarter With Consumer Data


Internet Of Things Is The New Black


Smart City 2016 – Sharing The Assets And Knowledge


Invest Without Capital


Euroloan´S And Verifone´S New Collaboration:

Automated Invoicing From Payment Terminals


Finland´S Second Cryptocurrency Heats Up The Revolution Of It


Thoreau Knocks Out Bottled Water


Brothers & Partners


Powered By The Sun, Connected To The Cloud – Emergence’s

Taival Solution Revolutionizes The Market Of Location Services


Your Wallet Will Say ‘Thanks’ To This Water Saving System


Wapice Delivers Success With Iot-Ticket


The Importance Of Trust And Security In The Playing Courts

Of The Digital Age


Aveso And Stera: Connecting Smart Factories

Around The World


The Best Place To Work


Insecure Manufacturing Of Iot Devices Cause

Severe Cyber Threats


My Way Or The Highway? Financial Institutions And Fintechs


In The Iot Things Are Nothing; Data Is What Matters


From A Calendar Based Business Model To A Need Based One


When Fail Fast Is Not An Option


Oulun Energia Is Building A Solar Energy Revolution

In The Dark North


A Better Life With Electricity


The Data-Driven Way To Do Business


Better, For Longer With Less Downtime


Disrupt Yourself


A Dream Come True


The Driving Force Of The Iot Is Connectivity


A Business Of Millions From The Heart Of Savonia


Rebooting Finland With Collabos


Payment Is User Experience





On the Cover: Johan Andrén, the General Manager of Handelsbanken Hong Kong

DIRECTOR-IN-CHARGE Eemeli Wang EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kalle Salmi ART DIRECTOR Hanna Voutilainen CONTRIBUTORS David J. Cord, Eila Lokka, Maija-Liisa Saksa, Pauliina Toivanen MEDIA SALES Valtteri Rantalainen +358 40 561 7703 PRINTED BY N-Paino Oy, Lahti, Finland 2017 PUBLISHER BIG Business Insight Group Oy Kalevankatu 31 00100 Helsinki Finland

April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 3

Katso jälleenmyyjät: 4 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

GROWTH, INNOVATIONS AND WELL-BEING Specialising in building services technology design, property management consulting and software services, Granlund aims to double its net sales for the second time.


n its Granlund 2020 strategy, the Group has set the bar high. By 2020, Granlund aims to be an international group of companies that has almost doubled its net sales and number of personnel. “We simplified our growth targets into two figures: EUR 100 million and 1,000 people. We aim high because we firmly believe in our competence and experts. Now we all are pulling together to achieve our targets,” says CEO Pekka Metsi. Last year, Granlund extended its geographical coverage in Finland, increased the number of personnel considerably and expanded its business operations abroad, too. “The number of our personnel has increased by nearly 100 per year and during the past two years, we have expanded to 10 new locations, two of them abroad. Development has certainly been fast,” Metsi comments in summary. HOLDING ON TO THE 96% PERSONNEL SATISFACTION

However, alongside growth, Granlund wants to emphasise well-being—among both its personnel and its customers. “We want to grow without compromising our personnel’s well-being and our investments in the development of both the personnel and the business operations. Our personnel satisfaction rate is 96% and we aim to hold on to that. We believe that happy and healthy personnel create well-being for our customers, too,” Metsi emphasises. The company also wishes to bring the well-being of building and property end-users to centre stage in the discussion carried out in the sector. “People spend 90% of their time indoors so our sector has quite an impact on how people feel.” INNOVATION AS GROWTH DRIVERS

The foundation of Granlund’s success story is research and development—in addition to the business strategy, the Group has created a separate innovation strategy. The Group makes significant investments in innovation and development, amounting to approximately 7–8% of its annual net sales. “Our innovation investments are high for a company operating in the construction and property sector. Nevertheless, innovation and development activities are an optimal tool for supporting the achievement of the company’s growth targets. Our organisation does not question development activities,” notes Tuomas Laine, Director of Granlund’s Innovation and Development department.

You can learn more about Granlund at and in social media channels

April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 5




The yarn of nationalism and protectionism is spreading across the American and European Commerces in China. At the same time, China’s growth is slowing down causing the world´s biggest market to tighten up its capital control and make strong restrictions to their cross border payment flows. Foreign companies are now looking for a new Chinese rule book.

Johan Andrén, the General Manager of Handelsbanken Hong Kong

6 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017


andelsbanken is the most international bank in the Nordic region and stands by to assist corporations in more than 20 countries and in China, they’ve done business for already 35 years. Handelsbanken’s local branches are the kings of the pile having the access to various trade markets – all the way from Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai, Jakarta and Sydney to Rovaniemi.

“The yearly export from Finland to China is about 2,5 billion euros and from China to Finland even more than that.” Even though a shift is seen in the way that one should engage business with Chinese counter-parties, China is still a huge, important and interesting opportunity for foreign companies. The country of over 1,3 billion people offers massive possibilities in investment and consumption. Five years ago, when the economy of China was on the upswing it was the companies selling mining and construction equipment that where enjoying the profits. Now, the area of brightness is in the consumer space. Ten years ago, “one size fits all” was the rule book, and all sectors where enjoying good business in China, but now the market is more complicated,” Johan Andrén, the General Manager of Handelsbanken Hong Kong, states. In the early days of China’s opening to the outside world, China had a rather restrictive attitude towards foreign investments in China. In most industries, foreign investors were only permitted to own 50% of companies, which were defined as Chinese Foreign Joint Ventures. In other industries, foreign ownership of companies was strictly forbidden. Now, China has deregulated foreign direct investments into China, although specific industries are still out of reach. The so-called investment catalogue still exists but the black list itself is a lot

shorter than previously with restrictions only in industries like media, internet, car manufacturing and mobile network operations.“China is a one-party state that wants to control the information flow, which explains the restrictions in media and telecommunications,” Andrén says. Another area which China has deregulated is the capital markets. Cross border payment flows in and out of China, which previously were strictly controlled, has in recent years enjoyed a more relaxed control environment. The Chinese Central Bank is supporting the internationalization of the Chinese currency and free capital flows have been on the agenda. Recently, due to the weakening of the currency and subsequent capital flight from China, the internationalization trend has taken a step backwards. “This is hopefully only a temporary state and the general deregulation and reform of the Chinese market should prevail – apart from the vulnerable areas,” Andrén explains. Currently, China is one of Handelsbanken’s most important areas of international business, and the reason is clear: the yearly export from Finland to China is about 2,5 billion euros and from China to Finland even more than that. In addition, there are more than 400 Finnish companies in China which employ tens of thousands of people locally. THE CHAMPION OF GLOBALIZATION

Despite the decreasing numbers in GDP growth, the future of China looks bright. The world´s biggest stock market, in respect to daily turnover, is in Shanghai, the second in Shenzhen and only third comes the renowned New York Stock Exchange. China´s president Xi Jinping truly wants to be the champion of the globalization and has managed to take hundreds of millions of Chinese people out of poverty and is transforming the economy from an investment and export driven growth model towards a more sustainable consumption driven growth model. On the other hand, if there shall be more protectionism and nationalism detected from the U.S. and Europe the in-

Jukka Kuusala, Head of Trade & Export Finance & Cash Management Sales at Handelsbanken Finland

tra-Asian trade will become much more accessible for China. China has launched several international initiatives, such as the Belt and road project which aims to create economic growth and stability through investments in 62 countries along the ancient Silk Route and the seaways towards Africa and the Mediterranean Sea. The old networks of trade are re-appearing from the dust. “Trade can be seen as a positive factor in the conflicts that China has in the South China Sea. Trade stabilizes the effects of tensions in Asia,” Andrén says. When it comes to the U.S. president Donald Trump and his clear messages about the new administration’s trade policy, one positive is that China clearly understands that change is necessary in order to maintain relations with the United States. “In a way, China appreciates that there are no hidden messages and that the other side’s opinion is made crystal clear. The new U.S. administration is transaction based and not so much policy based which gives clarity in to the communication,” Andrén discusses. “Whoever is involved in trade and investments in China needs to pay attention to the changing complexion of globalisation. Knowledge is important when navigating in changing global world and Handelsbanken does comprehensive economic reviews about the business atmosphere of international trade and cooperates with companies in all this,” Jukka Kuusala, Head of Trade & Export Finance & Cash Management Sales at Handelsbanken Finland, adds. April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 7



Open banking is said to bring better deals for customers and generate more competition and innovation in financial services.


ccording to CGI, one of the world’s largest independent providers of information technology services, the rise of open API banking is the game changer for the financial industry worldwide. Automated and real-time customer information sharing, transaction initiation and new payment mechanisms will enable both retail and corporate banks to better respond to the growing demands of their customers. Those that decide to unleash the true potential of customer data will have the opportunity to increase revenue and profitability. “The new market place is a customer-centric platform where everything is associated with changing consumer behaviour. PSD2 legislation that will take effect in January 2018 within SEPA member states will eventually force 8 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

banks to open their interfaces and information. Third parties will get access to customer data, which will bring forth new service innovations in payments and new kind of competition to the banking industry,” Mikko Pilkama, the Vice President of CGI´s Banking Services, says. The PSD2 mandates account-holding banks or other payment service providers to facilitate secure access via APIs to their customer account data and payments initiation services with the account holder consents. To provide this secure access to accounts, banks must enable seamless customer and provider identity verification and authentication process. CGI provides business consulting and IT services that allow financial services organizations to minimize upfront investments while achieving significant

“The new market place is a customer-centric platform.” business outcomes from this change. CGI helps its customers to find their position in the new banking game and to create an implementation roadmap for open banking readiness including IT solutions like API management. This in turn enables banks to innovate new services in companionship with FinTech companies and to find new billable services. “There is no point of building individual bank IT towers anymore. Traditions crumbling and revenue models changing, the banks now have opportunity to work together with FinTechs and concretely monetize the different prospects that open APIs and digitalization of

Mikko Pilkama, the Vice President of CGI´s Banking Services

distribution channels will enable. The future banks aren’t providing services only for their current customers but also for the customers of FinTech companies, other banks and companies for example telcos, healthcare and insurance companies. This change is a possibility for those who welcome it with positivity. Usually it´s the company´s own business culture and management beliefs that are standing on the way,” Pilkama reminds. NEW ROLES OF BANKS

CGI helps their banking customers to unleash the potential in this change. It all starts from the readiness assessments and strategic positioning, that covers banks operating mode, IT architecture and banks’ current solutions like the identity management, APIs, cyber security, data management/BI and compliance readiness.

According to CGI, opening APIs to third parties allows banks to play one of the following new roles. As an integrator bank continues to control both production and distribution of products and services. Bank can also focus on development of products and services and distribute those via third parties and become a producer. If bank focuses on distribution of products and services created by third parties, it will take a distributor role. When retaining a stake in both production and distribution by acting as a market, bank can transform into a platform. SECURITY AS A STANDARD

The worst-case scenario would be a Wild West where everyone´s bank account history with their financial information would be revealed to the public. Therefore, only common agreed rules, data

formats and standardized solutions will enable the innovation in financial services. This is also what the consumers want and need. CGI enables a transition that is well controlled for the banks. “It would be very welcome for the whole industry to be able to agree common data standards, run processes and information fields to be shared down to as much details as needed. Otherwise, I am afraid, individual banks, typically the big ones, will create their own data standards and processes which all differ. This can only harm the noble idea of the European regulators of creating more competition and common rules across SEPA area and thus better and cheaper financial services to the consumers in Europe.” April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 9




Traditional financial services being swept under the new constructions of banking industry, one might never step his foot in an old school bank office again. Nonetheless, consumers being the ones leading the disruption, their role will rise in the new dawn of banking.


raditionally, customers have been seen as a risk or a challenge. Bisnode is trying to shake this view and show that customer are actually the opportunity. The company’s mission is to make the world a little bit smarter by analyzing complex data. Among others Bisnode identifies target groups, generates orientation, assists in smart decision making and analyzes data about markets and customer satisfaction. The company of 2,400 employees in 18 European countries has access to almost every type of information there is available from offline registers and documents to online footprints. “We help our clients to choose the best customers. We use our databases to identify the customers, analyse what they want and what kind of marketing or media is needed to get the message through and to get in touch with the consumers. In banking, it’s crucial to estimate customer’s potential and their value of collateral,” Jukka Hyttinen, Director of Marketing & CEM Solutions at Bisnode, says. Consumers interact with brands in various ways and through many different channels. Bisnode gives a consistent, multichannel and up-todate consumer view – to get better consumer relations, companies need to truly know their consumers. Whatever kind of decisions are being made, Bisnode’s approach is one and the same: to improve efficiency, quality

10 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

and consistency by automating the decision-making process. Critical and correct information makes the business run efficiently, reduces risks and secures progress. “Consumers have the power to decide what will be done next and how much information they are willing to share to get better products and service. We have massive amounts of data that can be analysed smartly to predict consumer behaviour in the new markets and be used as a basis in decision making and creating consumer engagement,” Hyttinen states. STRENGHTENING OF FINANCIAL REGULATIONS

There has been a lot of discussion about the new EU legislations that will force banks to open their interfaces and information. Producing the reports that financial regulations require are the ones that affect the prices. Bisnode helps financial players to compliance automatically so that companies’ cost-effectiveness won´t be at stake. With global Dun&Bradstreet network Bisnode offers a unique possibility for worldwide and automated data check. Among others, Bisnode helps banks to perform automated verification of the foreign account tax compliance (FATCA) of US citizens, required by the new legislation. The evaluating of vehicle or property prices can also be done securely, seamlessly and real-time, which assists companies to release more cap-

ital in other financial activities within the framework of the laws of banking. “For many global export companies it´s extremely important to identify both the customer’s and supplier’s validity and company’s rating. With the help of our Dun&Bradstreet network our customers get direct savings in their data management, the information about companies being globally convergent and open.” However, Hyttinen reminds that in the long run the focus should always be in the customer experience. “Personally, I believe that we can achieve a lot via open data. People will eventually stop using a service, if any of the data that they have shared is being used under false pretences. Consumers have always the ultimate saying and an option to choose. The regulations are not the ones that affect their decision making, it’s the customer experience and price that matter. Automate processes lower the prices of data management and retain the cost-effectiveness of financial services.”

DATA PRODUCTS & SERVICES Risk management and company data world-wide Bisnode collects and manages any data, they represent the world’s largest supply of credit registry: more than 200 countries and more than 200 million companies. Consumer data from Europe Bisnode updates consumer data for marketing purposes with their patented, smart and self-learning identification system for over 100 companies. In addition, Bisnode produces prediction and classification data about consumer behavior. Voice of Customer solutions Bisnode helps measure customer experience to encounters with sales, online shops, online services, deliveries and customer service in real time. Bisnode collects vast amounts of information directly from the customers through discussions on social media and online and refines the information into a form that is useful in terms of customer experience management.

Jukka Hyttinen, Director of Marketing & CEM Solutions at Bisnode

April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 11

12 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017




The digital disruption is not only about digitization of current business, but also about finding completely new business models and opportunities. It is a revolution where small local operators also have tremendous growth potential.


ntelligent devices and machines connected to the Internet, especially in industry, have collected data about their operations, efficiency, usage and everything else for a long time. Now the work is in progress for gathering this information from different sources, analyzing it extensively and cross-referencing it. The devices discuss with each other, preferably in real time. Use of the IoT is at its early stage yet, but its possibilities are limitless. A good example is Enevo, a Finnish company, which has developed a solution for collecting data about the filling rate of waste bins. The value chain relating to the system has several beneficiaries. It has made the operations of the companies belonging to its chain of activities more effective and generated financial savings and greater transparency. ENEVO – FINNISH KNOWHOW TO THE WORLD

Like many great innovations, Enevo’s solution arose from a practical insight. Johan Engström, one of the company’s founders, noticed the large waste management costs of his housing company. Garbage trucks came to empty the waste bins according to the agreed schedule whether the bin was full or empty. Together with his partner Fredrik Kekäläinen, Engström developed a

sensor that wirelessly tracks usage rate of the waste bin and the estimated time when it will be full. With the help of this information, garbage trucks will pay a visit only when needed. The company’s story began in 2010. Now, Enevo’s sensors are in tens of thousands of waste bins around the world. Enevo’s clients are brokers and waste consultants. The data provided by Enevo sensor is highly valuable, because they can see how much waste is collected, and can then time the collections effectively. DNA ENABLES THE INDUSTRIAL INTERNET

An IT service provider is an essential part of the IoT even though often invisible or even forgotten. Without a professional service provider, a creator of connections, intelligent devices do not change information or discuss with each other. “Our expertise is in understanding the customer’s needs, and knowing how to offer solutions that best serve them. For Enevo, sensors are in waste bins that must endure even rough handling, large temperature variations and washing. Then the M2M service has to be planned for such conditions. So for them we recommended an industrial SIM card that is soldered into the device. Through us, they will also have the best roaming partners around the world”, says Tapio Haantie, IoT Business Manager at DNA.

“Enevo waste management analytics solution uses advance ultrasonic sonar technology to detect fill levels. DNA brings this data to life.” Tapio Haantie, IoT Business Manager at DNA

April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 13




Approximately 75 percent of the world’s population is already habiting the cities. Smart City 2016 gathered the public sector of Finland and leading technology companies and experts to brainstorm about the opportunities that smart city solutions offer to the citizens of the digital era.


haring, you probably learned it at last in playschool. Remember that box of toys you shared with others, because you couldn’t use all of them at once. The tray of toys that made everyone’s day. That toy box demonstrates the basics of a smart city as well – a smart technology platform where citizens stack their gadgets to be shared with others, because they don’t need them all day and every day. Individual citizens are the ones who determine what kinds of plays are wanted and required. “Amsterdam is the world’s first sharing city, a place where individuals develop the city. It’s build on citizens’ willingness to share their assets and knowledge. The government and com-

14 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

panies are also involved. We believe in a society, where everybody can develop the city, all the actors that shape the city are making the future,” Samantha van den Bos, one of the event’s keynote speakers and sharing city expert at shareNL, explained. Mobility, the ability to move, is a factor that affects every citizen now and in the future. It was also one of the main themes of the Smart City 2016 discussions. According to van den Bos, moving from place to place should be easily accessible and affordable for everyone. The dream of freedom is what thrives us to move. “We are moving from ownership to access. We don’t need to own the mobility anymore, but it should be fluent

as water. Car sharing, carpooling and public bicycles have become extremely popular in Amsterdam. It’s all about options. There is no point for ownership if you can make money by sharing.” “Shifting residents away from cars is the only proven way to ensure good mobility. Integrated information and payment for all models of transport, all kinds of aspects working together, from parking to clear infrastructure,” Dr. Jürgen Laartz from Mc.Kinsey & Company added in his presentation about intelligent traffic and parking. Van den Bos reminded that there is also a social aspect that tempts citizens to come back to use different kinds of sharing platforms. “People are active and pervasive if you let them to be. They already are enthusiastic. Ask them to join, give the space to create and try something out,” van den Bos urged. SMART INFRASTRUCTURE AND CIRCULATION ECONOMY

The second day of the event invited startups to join the discussion and share their smart city visions. When the first day dig into smart city solutions such as traffic and safety the second day consisted of smart buildings, infrastructure and circulation economy. Ruben Rajagopalan, Philips Lighting’s scientist of public spaces, shared an illustrative view about how cities could be empowered with connected lighting.

“Light bulbs not just illuminate cities. They are information sources and communication networks in public spaces. They can monitor the environment and gather information.”

Public Administrarion panel: Smart City – from words to action Jussi Pajunen, Mayor of Helsinki, Helena Säteri, Chief Director, Ministry of the Environment Anne Berner, Minister Transport and Communications

“Public lighting bridges the emotional feeling of comfort, safeness and security. Public lighting is everywhere, yet connectivity is not. Connected lighting provides a strong, economical and technically viable platform for smart city applications today and in the future,” he said. Street lights eat up to 40 percent of city’s total energy consumption. Need for energy saving and CO2 reduction is crucial for a vital living environment. “Light bulbs not just illuminate cities. They are information sources and communication networks in public spaces. They can monitor the environment and gather information. The question is what kind of data we want to give.” Environmental factors and alternate traffic models are pushing also the energy industry to move forward. “If we continue like this, plastic will become the biggest fossil fuel emissions producers. Alternate traffic models force us to make more from less. Neste is now producing 100% renewable diesel out of animal waste. We need consumers to understand the consequences of their actions, they must be willing to choose the better option for the environment. The progress of circulation economy is a relevant reason to make investments,” Kaisa Hietala, EVP of renewable products at Neste reminded. Even though there has been a lot of talk about technology trapping us in front of computer screens, Jussi Pajunen, the mayor of Helsinki, closed the event by stating that digitalization and smart city solutions are bringing citizens closer to one another. “Smart city solutions give us the possibility to sense another person better. With help of digitalization we can build a better city for the people.” April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 15




Even though new generations might never step their feet in traditional banks, Ikano Bank believes that a real person that has time for customers face to face is the most important foundation for low threshold financial solutions.


implifying and common sense – not exactly foregone conclusions in banking industry. But for Ikano Bank, common sense, working together and daring to do things differently are its core values. “We believe in quality management. Even though we are financial professionals, services that we offer need to be simplified, clear and transparent, also to our customers. Working together happens not only inside our workplace but also with our customers,” Toni Halme, the Head of Business Line at Ikano Bank, explains.


Ikano Bank belongs to the family-owned Ikano Group which was born among the Swedish furniture giant IKEA. Ikano Bank has been the forerunner financier for decades: it offers companies leasing to cover almost any kind of furniture and equipment purchases. Leasing is flexible, competitive and safe option to invest without the need to tie up capital. In fact, leasing can be more profitable way to invest compared to buying. 16 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

In leasing company pays only for the usage of the equipment. “The culture of ownership is fading. However, a competitive company needs to have up-to-date equipment. Any equipment that has an aftermarket can be financed with leasing, in which case company’s cash flow stays smooth and cash reserves can be released for business development.” Formally, leasing is renting of fixed assets, employee cars and computers are commonly known examples of it. Recently more and more ICT companies, small equipment manufacturers and sellers and especially healthcare services have found leasing as a purpose-built financial solution that fits their individual needs. In Ikano Bank, the financed amounts start from 1,000 euros and the leasing periods from 12 months. “The overall impression towards leasing has changed to more eligible and wanted.” POSITIVE DISRUPTION

The traditional banking industry is about to go through a massive fragmentation in few years. Toni Halme sees that the

Toni Halme, the Head of Business Line at Ikano Bank

“The traditional banking industry is about to go through a massive fragmentation in few years. New innovations are emerging, and banks specialize in specific industries.” disruption of banking is generally a positive thing. New innovations emerging, even more banks specialize in specific industries. “There will be lots of new challengers and things will be done in a whole new manner, totally different services will be at hand. For customers, this is only a good thing. We can’t forget our existing customers and we can’t close out new innovations either. Banks need to have systems that are easily scalable so that they have the capacity to tailor their products to meet their customers’ individual needs. This is where we need different kinds of new digital solutions.”




Plastic has dominated the field of electronic payments for over a half of century. Now Euroloan brings a new, easy payment method that lets customers buy now and pay later. No card, no PIN code, no hassle.


pring blossomed early this year for traders and shopkeepers, who have eagerly been waiting for new safe ways to improve opportunities to make easily affordable buying decisions. Merchants and shopkeepers using Verifone´s payment device can now offer their customers a 14 day interest-free payment period, during which Euroloan bears the credit risk. Customers can also choose to pay the invoice in instalments. “This is a great advantage for customers. Paying by invoice is as easy as with a card. There is no rush and no need to make a final decision in the cashier queue. The customer can later, at home, select to pay the invoice in one go or in instalments. This flexibility also increases customer satisfaction,” Petra Mengelt, Director of Customer Experience at Euroloan, explains. Jussi Pennanen, Head of New Business Development & Petra Mengelt, Director of Customer Experience, Euroloan


Euroloan is a rapidly growing international finance group specialized in financial technology in the consumer finance sector. When customer chooses to pay with an invoice provided by Euroloan, the automated verification of the customer’s credit rating can be verified in real-time. The customer just punches in her social security number and the verification process is fully automated. Without submitting any forms, the invoice can be written up to 2,000 euros in just a few seconds. The merchant gets the total payment straight away to his company´s bank account while customers get the invoice directly to their home address. Sharing a couple of more additional pieces of information lets Euroloan’s invoice be raised up to as much as 10,000 euros. Providing this service option costs nothing for the merchant, and it can be offered under the merchant’s brand as a white-label service.

“In our view, customer service is at its best when it reaches you 24/7 whether it be credit limits, loans, money transfers or invoice payments you need. We aim to make everything run as smoothly as possible,” says Jussi Pennanen, Head of New Business Development at Euroloan. “Even though most of our processes are automated and happening in real-time, a computer remains a machine. At Euroloan, a real person is always waiting to answer your calls to customer service when needed. Nowadays, digital FinTech can be more customer oriented than a traditional bank,” Mengelt adds. The cornerstones of Euroloans customer service is fast, fair and fresh: credit decisions are made quickly with the help of automated processes; openness and integrity makes both the working environment and the customer service fair; and its agile business model lets the company always

offer the fresh new solutions in a rapidly changing financial sector. According to recent surveys of the Net Promoter Score, NPS, Euroloan’s customer experience has surpassed that of several banks, and currently sits near the top of European levels. The Finnish company currently has 60 employees in Helsinki, Stockholm, Warsaw and Luxemburg. “Our FinTech know-how creates a revolutionary new environment in which we create new things together, be the forerunner, and challenge the status quo. Many FinTechs are just starting their journey. We have worked in the field of digital finance for ten successful years. That gives us an advantage when creating new services for the consumer finance sector. We have the top experts and coders working here,” Mengelt says. April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 17

Svante Lehtinen




The prophecy tells that blockchain is going to revolutionize the world of information technology. Not only will it replace database solutions of financial activities but also the whole field of business is going to witness a new dawn.


.E.A.T. Ledger is a newly found Finnish startup whose founders Svante Lehtinen and Dennis de Klerk are also the masterminds behind Finland’s first cryptocurrency FIMK, launched in 2014. While FIMK was a token of a non-profit association Finland’s second cryptocurrency HEAT has been created for businesses – optimized for speed and architected for example crowdfunding and any kinds of public stock arrangements. HEAT embodies a completely new way of structuring cryptocurrency and asset ledger. “HEAT is technically a dual layer crypto platform where blockchain is able to sustain throughput of at least 1000 transactions per second 24/7. The problem with commonly known Bitcoin has been that it´s too slow for business use,” Svante Lehtinen explains. Blockcain is a distributed database of any events, that once recorded can´t be altered anymore. “HEAT’s blockchain solutions have far superior security, flexibility, and cost effectiveness compared to legacy IT systems. While it might be hard to see the advantages of blockchain now, when the need comes it might already be too late. We are the system supplier, the middleware for new generations.”

18 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017



It’s shocking. 92 billion bottles of water are sold in Europe every year. Many of those bottles end up along our roads and in our waterways. Besides this, an enormous amount of energy is used to process, ship and store bottled water. Thoreau knocks out bottled water by producing top quality water on the spot.


horeau uses local tap water, filters it, chills it, and serves it as still or sparkling. It provides top quality water without the waste of bottling and transporting water over long distances. Filtered water also enhances delicate flavours in food and drinks. Thoreau is a Swedish design concept named after the philosopher Henry David Thoreau. He wrote about sustainable choices and natural resources, and it was only natural to name the concept after him. Today Thoreau is used by restaurants, hotels, convention centres and businesses which simultaneously demand high quality and environmentally sustainable methods. The Thoreau concept includes the machinery, designer glass bottles, installation, maintenance, carbonators and filters. At a fixed monthly cost you can drink and serve locally produced water – still or sparkling.

Sales and marketing by Mixtec Oy.

Heikki A. Huhtamäki • Attorney-at-Law • Doctor of Laws student • Trained on the Bench designation, Vaasa Court of Appeal 2012 • Licentiate in Laws, University of Lapland 2010 • Master of Science (Econ.), University of Vaasa 2010 • Master of Laws, University of Lapland 2008

Matti J. Huhtamäki • Attorney-at-Law • Doctor of Laws student • LL.M., Cornell University Law School 2011 • Master of Laws, University of Lapland 2007


They seek for efficiency and are offering their field of business new models to evolve. However, Huhtamäki Brothers Attorneys is not a startup. It is the first Finnish law firm that specializes in competition law and dispute resolution.


ive university degrees, nearly two decades worth of experience in some of the most respected law firms, and two doctoral dissertations on the way. Behind all this expertise stands two determinant young men originally from Espoo, competitive siblings who decided to establish Huhtamäki Brothers, a new law firm in 2017. Even though the startup trend has reached its branches to the law sector as well, Matti and Heikki, who are both members of the Finnish Bar Association, see their entrepreneurial journey as a life-long deal, a lifestyle that helps companies to defend against infringements, and thus not as a startup. “The perspective and vision of our newly found business spans 20 years rather than a few years, as startups tend to have,” the elder brother Matti explains. Despite valuing their previous employers, in 2016, Matti and Heikki felt their calling was to create a service that better resembles their ideals and enables them to encounter customers and give them personal service.


“We highly appreciate our profession and the ethics involved. By operating as a specialized smaller firm, we have more opportunities and capabilities to focus on efficiency and customer orientation than big organisations could offer to us and our clients,” Heikki discusses. When receiving legal advice, the customer needs to be able to trust their counsel and to be sure from whom the advice is coming from. “In Big Law, it’s not always possible to sort out from whom the requested advice is coming from. With us it’s easy: our clients personally know who is advising them. In our experience, the chemistry between the attorney and the client is integral to successful representation,” Matti adds. FROM COMPETITION TO COOPERATION

Like all partnerships, brotherhood grows in competitive circumstances. “We’ve been competing literally in everything since we were kids. When Heikki got into law school, I knew I needed to hurry to graduate before him. He is a missile, both in terms of academic and working life. Even though we have just started working together, Heikki has professionally made a name for himself. Diligent and honest, the best possible background for a partner, even if he wasn´t my brother.” While Heikki has determined the speed, Matti has been the voice of wisdom along the way. “Voice of reason, that’s even his nickname in our group of friends. As a big

brother, he has always been on my side and given the most reasonable advice also to me. Since we are friends and brothers, there is no such thing that we couldn´t discuss in depth as partners as well.” At the beginning of his law studies Matti’s dream job was to become a sports agent. “My intention was to represent ice hockey players, and it would not have been more than a couple of phone calls away, but after graduation I quickly realized that becoming an attorney was much more intriguing. Nevertheless, I have had the opportunity to represent athletes, clubs and federations in their legal matters.” After experiencing both global and local elite law firms, Matti wanted to do things differently. “I had had enough of certain routines that slow down the efficiency of providing the best possible legal advice. I knew there were plenty of more effective ways to get things done” While Matti followed his calling, Heikki had the need to seek for righteousness. Even though outgoing and social are not the most common features of attorneys-in-law, he enjoyed his studies and noticed, first as a judge then counselling as an attorney, that his social qualities were crucial in solving difficult conflicts that others might see as frightening or burdensome. “I see conflict situations as positive challenges and enjoy solving them.” April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 19

The location solution is being tested at seamarks outside Helsinki.



Finnish company Emergence Oy has developed a revolutionary location device – taival, capable of working ten years without charging or maintenance. The energy-self-sufficient and maintenance-free device is mounted onto the machine or device to be monitored, from which it transmits its location data around 20 times a day.


he small device is best suited for monitoring machines, devices and goods that are transferred from location to location, as the device requires no electricity access of its own. It is suitable for use with, among others, ground transport, shipping, and workshop containers, cranes and other rental machines, as well as trailers and vessels for collecting hazardous waste. “Cities, towns, companies and other organizations can have vast working areas full of equipment; occasionally tracking 20 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

“A 10 x smaller device, 10 x longer battery life and 10 x cheaper service make our solution 1000 x better than those of our competitors.” down the locations of specific pieces of equipment can cause a lot of extra work and cost. Our energy-self-sufficient and maintenance-free devices bring considerable time and cost savings. With a monthly fee well below 10 euros, the customer receives the location device, cloud service, and a global mobile data connectivity,” explains Emergence’s MD Vesa Aaltonen. INDEPENDENT UPDATES AND COMMUNICATION WITH THE CLOUD

Emergence’s location device was born out of a customer need discovered via client interviews, and through prototypes and piloting. “The problem with using other GPS devices across mobile networks is that

their batteries only last anywhere between a few weeks to a couple of months. Additionally, without location devices location data must be manually updated in the device control systems, whereas the taival location device works on the mobile networks independently and communicates directly with the cloud,” describes Aaltonen. SEAMARK MONITORING FOR MARITIME SAFETY

Additionally, the company has a location pilot program under way for maritime navigation via seamarks, in cooperation with the Finnish Transport Agency, with the goal of improving nautical safety. The location data from this project would reveal when seamarks have been dislocated due to ice or other reasons. Previously, seamarks were inspected by sailing through 8 000 kilometres of waterways in the spring and getting observations from boaters. Automation makes the monitoring of seamarks more reliable, faster, easier and cheaper.



Our everyday water consumption, especially in terms of hot water use, has an impact on both our wallet and greenhouse gas emissions. We can easily forget that heating water triples its cost and increases carbon dioxide emissions. However, the Verto apartment based watermeter helps you save on water and your budget!


Finn uses an average of 155 litres of water per day. Of this, approximately 60 percent is cold water, and the remaining 40 percent is of hot water. Yet, when apartment complexes have installed the handy Verto water meters in each unit, consumption has decreased by an average of 30 percent. “It’s simpler to decrease water consumption when you can monitor your own use on an easy-to-read display, while at the same time knowing that your neighbour’s water use is not influencing your own bill. Additionally, the water savings of the system can be seen immediately in your own budget,” explains Business Director Marko Paasu.

Water consumption facts Having water meters in each apartment decreases daily consumption per person by an average of 150 litres to 110–100 litres. This also decreases a property’s need for heating energy by nearly 10 percent. Water consumption typically varies between 50 and 500 litres per person per day. You can monitor your water consumption in real time with the stylish VertoLive apartment based water meters.





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Now, it is even easier to monitor your own consumption. In December the new VertoMobile was launched, which can be downloaded from Apple and Android stores. With the VertoMobile app, the consumer receives usage data to their own phone in real time, as well as an alert if water consumption deviates from the norm. Thus, for example, an issue with your toilet’s flowthrough can be more easily detected. The Verto water metering system is the result of more than 30 years of product development by the Finnish company, Vercon Oy. “At our company, we are experts in the topic of water consumption and we are also able to produce predictive information for our users. Our reliable and exact Verto water metering system consists of remotely read Verto water meters with apartment-specific displays, the VertoLive cloud service for housing managers, and now the VertoMobile – a new innovation for consumers,” explains Paasu. VERTOLIVE IS ALSO AN AUTOMATED ALARM SYSTEM

VertoLive is easy to use with a browser, letting housing managers monitor water consumption apartment-by-apartment in a condominium or complex, and automatically produce the residents’ cold and hot water invoicing information. VertoLive also automatically alerts housing managers and janitorial services if water consumption has proceeded for two hours in any apartment.



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“Once you know your water consumption habits, you can better alter them to obtain significant savings in your water bill,” Marko Paasu emphasizes.


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2,5 minutes

April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 21


Wapice was born in the Internet of Things. In fact, when it was founded in 1999 what we today call the IoT didn’t even have a name. Instead people referred to a mobile internet for industry.


eadquartered in Vaasa, the company has over 300 specialists in eight locations across Finland. Wapice specialises in the industrial internet: they create tailored solutions for their clients but also have a unique offering, IoT-Ticket. “IoT-Ticket is a complete platform covering data acquisition, analytics, dashboard and reporting,” explains CEO Pasi Tuominen. “It is browser-based and is very easy to use. For instance, you can build a working dashboard in 30 minutes.” The IoT-Ticket platform can be thought of as a concept similar to a suite of office programs. You can create reports as easy as writing a document, analyse like with a spreadsheet, or build a dashboard as you would create a presentation. The dashboard has over 30 widgets in order to visualise data, and functionality can be added simply by connecting blocks of data to logic and widget blocks. Real-time alarms and notifications can be created by user-defined events, while reports can be created using templates. “Some of the main uses for IoT Ticket are with mobile machines, buildings and production lines,” Tuominen continues.

22 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

“The IoT-Ticket platform can be thought of as a concept similar to a suite of office programs.” “For instance, you can track how and where a bus or truck is being used. A building can monitor its temperature and purchase energy for heating or cooling when the price is cheapest. Advanced condition monitoring can enable predictive maintenance in a pulp and paper factory.” Another field Wapice has entered is 3D and augmented reality to deliver new service and support experiences for industry. A mobile device can be used to see the internal functioning of a motor, for instance, or where electric wires run in a building’s walls. “You can even retrieve information from the cloud by imaging a barcode or logo,” Tuominen says. “In health care, you can get patient info from an image of the patient’s face. This is not theory; this is possible in practice.”

Pasi Tuominen, CEO of Wapice

April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 23




A balance between business benefits and information security is not a tango for two – dancing moves can be automatized and become routine, however. Instead of tango, basketball wizards Tomi Hautala and Sami Laaksonen prefer to talk about controlled teamwork, where trust between the players also becomes key to success.


hen a Finnish professional athlete ends their career, within a couple of years of their quitting we usually get news of one of two types: they either have sunk to the bottom of the bottle or are on their way to a successful new career. Fortunately, this story is of the latter type. Many sports fans recognize Tomi Hautala and Sami Laaksonen as successful, national-level basketball players. Today, the two men are successful information security entrepreneurs working in a company called Propentus Oy. The next step is to rise from national level to the international top league. “Internationalization is a big issue for us, and we’ve already started operations in the Middle East,” says Laaksonen. He has experience in information security in things like product development, and is currently responsible for marketing and partner management. Tomi Hautala, who grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and has worked at companies like Nokia is one of the company’s founders. Early on, he recruited his fellow player Laaksonen, whom he knew very thoroughly. “In this line of business, it’s very important to know each person’s background, their values and operating practices,” Hautala explains. “We have followed the same principle in the hiring of each of the 40 employees in our company,” he adds. BUSINESS OF TRUST WITH A PROFESSIONAL SPORTING MENTALITY

The duo has internalized not only the sporting-style operating model, but also the importance of trust in your fellow players. “We utilize this combination successfully in our business,” Hautala and Laaksonen sum up. 24 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

The duo of Tomi Hautala and Sami Laaksonen has internalized not only the sporting-style operating model, but also the importance of trust in your fellow players.

And they are right: this, if any, is a business of trust. Finding the three core values of the company was easy: skilled, productive and open. “One of our driving forces is the passion to solve problems, to do it well and in a way that is transparent for the client,” Hautala adds.

”Trust has been coded into the DNA of our organization.” Propentus’ selection of services is more than topical. The Information Security Act alone requires identity data to be stored properly at companies. At the same time, it is sensible to make sure that all collected identity data is stored in a way that best benefits the business. For this and many other questions of identity and user rights management

Propentus offers cost-efficient solutions. Besides the public sector and healthcare, the company’s clientele consists of top players in the fields of energy, industry, retail and finance – as well as airport security. “This is purely a question of a proven and trustworthy partner automatizing a company’s identity and user rights management routines, i.e. the processes of granting, modifying or removing rights, and producing real-time information for supporting business. This improves information security and eliminates unnecessary licensing fees,” Hautala sums up the benefits for clients. At the end of our meeting at the Hotel Torni in Helsinki, I shake the hands of the two basketballer-entrepreneurs: the handshake is firm and the eye contact direct.

Stera uses its own Smart Factory applications globally. “We collaborate with Aveso as our software and data management partner.” says Stera’s Turku unit manager Vesa Ohlsson (on left). Sami Heino (Aveso, CEO) and Jussi Ohlsson (Stera, VP Business area) are standing in front of Smart Factory equipped robot cell in Stera Turku.



For 60 years Stera Technologies have been using the best methods to serve their customers. Now they are working with Aveso to connect their smart factories around the world.


tera is a global system supplier for electromechanical assemblies. They offer their clients solutions all the way from design and prototyping to mass production in their Finnish, Estonian and Indian factories. Today they are in the vanguard of the Internet of Things (IoT). “Stera started the Smart Factory development program in 2014 as part of Tekes’ IoT platform,” explains Vesa Ohlsson, Unit Manager at Stera. “The first steps were the development of robot systems cooperation, the use of sensors in tools and jigs, as well as the use of machine vision to fulfil the target of a zero defect level.” The program soon expanded as Stera developed its own sensor portfolio to give operators more information about machine utilization and preventive maintenance.


In 2016 Stera began a partnership with Aveso, a specialist in data management and software development. Aveso’s expertise with Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and Power BI business analytics tools were a perfect fit for Stera’s smart factories. “Nowadays Stera factories are equipped with wireless sensors, cloud service and visualisation,” Ohlsson continues. “Production management use this information in everyday decisions. The system is wireless, scalable, cost effective and easy to use.” “There are many concrete benefits of this solution,” says Sami Heino, CEO of Aveso. “Traditionally the machine monitoring was based on reporting. Now we have immediate information on operations, such as running time and capacity utilization.”

Stera has succeeded together with their customers. Productivity, quality and cost effectiveness are made with new automation systems, digitalization and motivated personnel.

Heino points out that this system can even track inventory, create purchase orders and provide guidance for predictive maintenance. Additionally, with Microsoft Power BI the solution is automatically mobile. “Cooperation was very smooth and agile with Aveso,” concludes Ohlsson. “We at Stera know how factories should be run and Aveso knows how to handle the ERP and IT systems as well as data management. This is true digitalisation that is going on in manufacturing companies!” April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 25




Gofore has never done employee based adjustments during their 15 year path. According to Timur Kärki, the co-founder and CEO of Gofore, the might behind last year’s 50% growth in sales and 69% increase in operating profits is in the workplace which was recently awarded as the greatest in Finland.


our digital designers and coders have gathered around and orange foosball table to stimulate their coffee break with some social athletics and laughter. A modern but cosy openspace office in the heart of Helsinki sends out a warm and welcoming feeling. Not only does it seem that the employees are truly thriving there, but also their expertise has gained praise from the research organization Great Place to Work, which annually lists the best Finnish workplaces. The study involved 151 organizations, which employ a total of about 49 000 employees. This year, Gofore was the winner of the medium-sized enterprise series. In addition to employees’ know-how, the

26 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

study evaluated the expertise of companies’ management practices. “Our decision-making is decentralized, working is self-directed and hierarchy is squashed to the minimum. Our aim is to be highly transparent. Employees have the power to influence their own work which steers the whole company’s direction. The enthusiast attitude is experienced and shared together, which gives us the motivation to go forward and grow. Gofore would not be that great of an environment for those who must be dragged along, because the workplace develops itself,” Kärki explains. People at Gofore design and build electronic services engagingly with their customers. When a company sens-

es the need for digitalization Finland´s best experts are there to give a hand. Even though digitalization has taken massive leaps within the years and even weeks, the values of Gofore have stayed the same during their decade of prosperity, the first value being a great place to work and the second being living from the success of customers. “Our employees are also extremely aware and demanding when it comes to our values. If we are having a conversation about a new project they highlight how does it make Gofore a great place to work. The ways of communicating must evolve along the way: it’s a whole different mode of communicating when there’s 200 employees compared to 50. At the end of the year

Timur Kärki, CEO of Gofore

2017 there’s going to be 300 of us in total working in Tampere, Helsinki and Jyväskylä.” DIGITAL ARTISANS

Even though big amount of crafts jobs are on the line to become extinct due to digitalization and machine learning, Kärki sees that a great place to work is created in the hands of artisans – also in the digital era. “Even a code can be seen as a handicraft, the product or service being created with detailed and accurate work and the artisan seeing the concrete results of his achievements,” Kärki says. Gofore helps its customers in their digital transformation process by building fascinating digital services and

helping the managements of organizations to see and understand the whole picture of digitalization. For Gofore’s customers, it’s critical to see the possible new competition and to understand all the new opportunities that evolving technologies and service platforms bring. One of the most important factors is the way in which the service creation is managed. “Smart people can’t be guided too much. The new model of leading means providing the best kind of working environment where it’s pleasing for the employees to develop their skills and knowledge. Increasingly, vocation and enthusiasm of the workers are the features that lead the way for both change and success.”

Kärki reminds that transparency is one of the cornerstones of the new awakening business culture. Luckily, it’s also the part that is fairly easy to put in order. “Many corporations tend to keep their knowledge in hidden silos. We are not afraid that someone else might get advantage of our know-how. Instead, transparency gives us the ability create new things and gain merit out of them,” he states.

Best Workplaces 2017 Finland

April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 27

Antti Nuopponen, Head of Cyber Defence, Nixu


Internet of Things brings us new solutions to make our daily lives run more smoothly. Among the new reliefs comes also new unprecedented threats. In a way, IoT has taken security backwards manufacturers making the same mistakes as computer software developers did years ago.


enturies ago men use to build fortresses in places with spacious views: not that the walls itself would be unbreakable but to detect the conceivable enemy as early as possible and to prevent damages. According to Nixu, Nordic’s largest specialist company in cyber security consulting, cybersecurity should be seen the same way as they used to in the old days – as a continuous process where enemies are detected before they manage to cause any harm. “It´s a big mistake to build a wall and not follow what’s happening outside and more importantly inside the organization. It takes approximately 200 days to detect a data breach,” says Antti Nuopponen, Head of Cyber Defense at Nixu. 28 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017


Generally, Nuopponen is enthusiastic about all the opportunities that IoT has and is looking forward to see new inventions. What worries him is the manufacturers not having the needed knowledge about the cyber threats they are invoking. “There are already several warning examples where hackers have been able to do massive distributed denial of service attacks using trivial malware like Mirai. Especially for manufacturers, who are coming from totally different areas of business, it might be hard to understand all the dimensions of security.” CYBER DEFENCE NEEDED

Mirai is malware that turns IoT systems running Linux to remotely controllable bots. The bots can then be utilized as part of a botnet in heavy cyberattacks. Mirai has hit the headlines various times, whether it be a computer controlling property´s heat control crashing down or cyber criminals knocking a whole country’s internet offline like in Liberia last autumn. Same method has been used to shut off sites like Netlflix, eBay and Reddit in a mission to sabotage U.S.’s internet. Insecure IoT devices are intercept by Mirai which uses them to send vast amounts of traffic and cause service disruption.

“The simplicity of the attacks using IoT devices is what makes them even more worrying. Imagine your smart toaster attacking a nation online. If a manufacturer is having regard to security already in the planning phase, it’s a lot easier to prevent cyberattacks like these happening.” In Nixu’s point of view, security is a must in projects where any developing, implementing or assessing of information is done. “Manufacturers should be more careful building all these smart systems and ensure that their devices are secure and automatically updated. It´s not the consumer´s fault if something happens, it’s the manufacturer who should bear the responsibility and design devices that are well secured and safe,” Nuopponen reminds. “And personally, I think it’s just wrong to sell trash,” he adds. In addition to Industrial Internet, Nixu helps their clients to improve their cybersecurity also in solution areas of Corporate IT and Digital Business. Nixu ensures the confidentiality of companies’ data, business continuity and ease-of access to digital services through planning and mitigation of cybersecurity risks.

MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY? FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND FINTECHS Lexia Attorneys helps clients thrive in the new world of financial services. TEXT DAVID J. CORD

A two-pronged revolution in regulations and technology is changing the landscape of the financial services industry. The new environment allows a company to choose unique business models, yet it also encourages cooperation between players. “There is an old saying that the only things certain in this world are death and taxes, but you can add regulations to that list,” says Olli Kiuru. Kiuru is a partner at Lexia Attorneys and leads their finance and insurance team. He is an expert in financial regulatory issues and sees great opportunity with the new PSD2 regulations coming into force in 2018. “The revised Payment Services Directive will be a game-changer,” he says. “There is a future for traditional banks, but to survive they need to adapt. Banks need to create their own startups or enter into joint ventures with them. And they can’t just bet on one horse, either. Customers need different kinds of solutions.” The future of the financial industry is ecosystems of different startups and teams, while the new directive is based on the sharing of information and APIs. Payment service providers will have more access to the market while emerging technologies and business models change the old way finances are handled. Besides the payment sector wealth management is also changing into an automated, algorithm-guided sector. Crowd-funded insurance is growing while peer-to-peer lending is eating into traditional creditors. Blockchain technologies will disrupt

exchanges and the payment sector. New fintechs need to decide if they want to be licensed and supervised, or try to base their business on exclusions outside the regulatory apparatus. “There are many regulatory challenges,” says Kiuru. “For instance, if your automated trading program makes a mistake and your client loses money, who is responsible? The coder? The company? We are here to help our clients thrive in this new environment.”


Emerging technologies and business models change the old way finances are handled.

April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 29



Siili sees digitalisation as true integration of data, design and technology.


eppo Kuula, CEO of Siili, taps his watch to illustrate his company’s philosophy. “A smart watch is a great idea, but what is important is the data, not the thing,” he says. “A watch is too small to have an effective touch screen, but what if it had a reliable voice interface? Now I can simply speak to my watch to access and organise my data, like setting an appointment. We already have the technology and data to do this, but now we need a proper design to make this happen.” The people at Siili see themselves as digital integrators, partnering with clients in software and digital services. While many IoT companies are excited about projects to connect devices and use the resulting data, Siili has a fundamentally different idea. “Digitalisation is a process of co-creation with customers,” Kuula explains. “Industrialisation was about products, pyramid-shaped organisations, R&D driving value and efficiency in scale. Digitalisation is about service, customer-oriented business models, customers driving value and global, inter-industry competition.” This process is resulting in new business models, like Uber or AirBnB, where access is more important than physical products. The business model is becoming iterative, continuous and data-driven. “Companies need a partner to go through the digitalisation phase,” Kuula continues. “Where can they optimise, such as robotics improving cost efficiency? Where is the transformation, like how media and telecom are converging? Then we have true disruption. Data drives design; design causes disruption; disruption powers development of the new.” “How we use cognitive computing and personalised services is drastically changing not only business logic but also our lives,” he says. “Soon we will see assisted driving standard in all cars, saving thousands of lives and making commuting more tolerable. We’ll have digital assistants at home making our daily activities more convenient, saving significant amounts of our time for more meaningful activities than shopping or searching for information. We are the trusted partner of leading companies in this digital transformation, and at the end of the day what is most important to Siili is people.”

Seppo Kuula, CEO of Siili

30 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017



IoT devices connected to Digita’s LoRa network have numerous opportunities in making daily business run conveniently, cost-effectively and securely. The new innovations vary from smart rat-traps and traffic signs to locating devices.


ast fall Finland’s national terrestrial television and radio network operator Digita expanded its competence to meet the needs of internet of things. LoRa technology enables its users to monitor and control different kinds of devices simply and cost-effectively via sensors size of a pack of cigarettes. The LoRa terminals are both low in price and power consumption. They have an excellent range which makes the technology compatible with various types of wireless data gathering and monitoring solutions. Digita´s comprehensive IoT services are based on Digita’s nation-wide infrastructure and network. According to Ari Kuukka, Director of IoT Services at Digita, it brings great amounts of added value, if customer can do certain operations only when necessary and release time from calendar based duties to other business processes. “For example, in some countries rats are a big problem in food industry companies and employees must circle the factories to find out if rats have gotten trapped. Another example is from Sweden, where the law requires that traffic signs are checked in regular bases in case they have toppled down. With LoRa technology the sensor sends the wanted information and company can release workforce to make the needed operations only when necessary. With the help of this kind of IoT solutions companies can replace their calendar based business

Ari Kuukka, Director of IoT Services at Digita, says that with LoRa Technology a company can save a lot of time by performing tasks only when neccessary.

model where something is done at regular intervals to a need based business model,” Kuukka explains. GEOLOCATING SERVICE

Another illustrative example of LoRa technology is locating devices for example in big building sites, where tools or heavy equipment might remain in the terrain after construction work is finished. “Traditional GPS trackers are expensive to use compared to LoRa sensors that run with a battery that lasts for years. Cost of the technology is coming down fast, making even disposable LoRa devices possible. The LoRa network geolocation precision is about hundred meters, but often even when the equipment only costs few hundred euros it’s useful to know approximately where to look for it. Before, it wasn’t cost-effective to track medium-prized assets. The LoRa technology can for example ease the logistic hassle of locating equipment between various subcontractors,” Kuukka says. LoRa evades also the risk of denial of

service attacks that insecure IoT devices are provoking. “Security-wise radio technology is safe, because it’s not connected to internet. It’s not even possible to do denial of service attacks using LoRa terminals,” Kuukka reminds. Digita´s core competence is in building comprehensive networks and making connections work. Digita has been transmitting radio and TV programs reliably to all Finland for decades. Depending on the needs of their customers, Digita provides also business applications and cloud services together with their comprehensive partner network. “LoRa is an open technology and anyone can set up a similar network, meaning companies are not locking themselves to one provider only. IoT connectivity is only one of our services. We build connections for new businesses and help them to make operations, that weren’t previously smart to do, feasible.” April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 31



Even though FinTech solutions do not technically differ that much from any other cloud service, utilizing FinTech extensively may result in excessive monitoring. While new EU legislation is lurking just around the block, companies are forced to dig into their piles of data and scan also their outdated business processes thoroughly. When developing new solutions for banking ecosystems, there are no chances for failure.


o more than a decade ago, the management of an IT platform was quite simple: software was self-made, placed into one location and behind a firewall. Now software is bought from various locations, most of which are cloud services that need to be reconciled with the old software. To get the best out of complicated information systems, banks need a solid integration partner. Banks are facing many new challenges. One example is the new PSD2 legislation by the EU, which will obligate banks to open some of their customer information to third parties – with the customers’ permission of course. Samlink helps their customers to manage their overall IT processes and pro32 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

vides banking platform as a service for almost one hundred banks. Even though Samlink’s expertise is in the financial sector, the company of 450 professionals sees great opportunities in developing functional electronic solutions and multi-channel services to match the needs of the trade industry and other service companies as well. Samlink´s skills of compliance are not limited solely to the finance industry . “When a CRM is bought from a certain place, advertising and billing from another and no one even remembering the data gathering dust in the old systems, it can be quite troubling trying to keep up with the legislation and know for sure which party is allowed to use what data and in what scale. We follow the

regulations both together with our customers and on behalf of them. We bear the responsibility so that our customers can let out a sigh of relief knowing that everything is up-to-date and taken care of securely, legally and also compliance-wise,” Markku Siikala, Head of Sales at Samlink, discusses. SUSTAINABLE DATA PROCESSING

It´s not only the financial sector that has to be concerned about the EU’s Data Protection regulation. All companies dealing with customer data are obligated to demonstrate that they are compliant. “Accountability means promoting sustainable data processing and it concerns almost every area of business,” Siikala explains.

Markus Siikala, Head of Sales at Samlink

“For an IT company the new legislation means more work and of course we are excited about it. There are plenty of new opportunities also for customers. In a way, this is also a redistribution of business,” he adds. For FinTech startups, Siikala gives a few additional words of advice. “I´ve been co-founding several FinTech startups and I must say they demand a lot more work than for example game or online services. All financial businesses are obligated to audit themselves precisely and everything is audited by the authorities as well. When founding a startup in the financial sector fail fast is not an option. Everything must go right from the beginning and at once.”


According to Markku Siikala, Finnish banks are overall well-aware and prepared for the disruption of the financial industry. When enabling change the first step is to readjust the company’s ecosystem to match the requirements of open interfaces and information along with all the security aspects and compliance factors. At Samlink compliance doesn´t concern just security, compliance means that all the business processes are in accordance with the requirements. “The good news is that technology always bends. Old technology is slower at it but it´s still transformable. Almost all the banks are now working to renew

their core banking systems. Finnish banks have not just stayed around to wait and see what happens. They’ve done huge investments in digitalization and started to prepare themselves for the future.” There are multiple new things helping to digitalize IT systems. Siikala is looking forward towards blockchain’s opportunities as well. Blockchain is a distributed ledger of any kind of event, that once recorded can´t be altered anymore. “This year we’ll get our first solutions in production that are utilizing blockchain. At first the transactions will be done with contracts rather than money.” April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 33

OULUN ENERGIA IS BUILDING A SOLAR ENERGY REVOLUTION IN THE DARK NORTH Surprisingly many large or middle-sized Finnish companies could generate a significant amount of the used electric power by emission-free and genuinely environment-friendly solar energy.


ulun Energia Oy is a forerunner of Finnish electric power products and services. It has invested heavily in solar energy production and is aiming at efficiently realising and promoting the cost efficiency of solutions that utilise solar energy to both companies and consumers. “Many people find it surprising that in Oulu, Oulun Energia’s home town, you can receive the same amount of solar energy annually as in Northern Germany,” says Jari Pirkola, the Business Director of Energy services of Oulun Energia. “It’s a mind-blowing thought. Many large companies and operators have stopped to think about this and come to the conclusion that it is worth the effort. It would be sheer madness not to utilise solar energy.” HELSINKI UNIVERSITY’S VIIKKI CAMPUS

According to Hämäläinen, the decision on the supplier was easy to make. “Oulun Energia had the aim to prove the market and us as well, of course, that they can realise this kind of projects very well and at a competitive price. Oulun Energia helped us to get the best possible solution.”

“Solar power improves company’s energy efficiency in an environmentally friendly way – and is a good investment in return.”


A 140 kW solar power plant was connected to the network at Helsinki University’s Viikki campus in August 2015. The plant was built in the main building of the campus, Korona Information Centre. Solar energy covers nearly one hundred per cent of the energy needed for cooling the campus. “We are committed to promoting the use of renewable energy. Our aim and duty is to reduce the size of the carbon footprint of the university,” says Aimo Hämäläinen, the Deputy Manager of Helsinki University Premises and Real Estate Centre. “This is an excellent investment in renewable energy and is well-suited for the main building of the largest know-how centre of biological and environmental sciences in Finland.” 34 BUSINESS CLASS April March 2017 2017 –– June June 2017 2017


The construction of the largest solar power plant in Northern Finland on the roof of Kaleva printing house was completed in August 2015. “We designed and installed the solar power plant for Kaleva as a turnkey solution. After its completion, the plant was the largest of its kind in Finland for quite some time,” says Jari Pirkola. “We had no intention to build the largest solar power plant in Finland. The plant was first measured against our needs according to our power consumption – and accidently it then turned out to be the largest one in Finland,” tells Esko Jokelainen, the CFO of Kaleva.

In the daytime solar power covers 90 per cent of the power needed by Kaleva printing house. “When we buy market price electric power, which is cheaper at night, we can avoid using the expensive daytime electric power by using our own solar power. Companies having a high power consumption in the daytime should consider this form of power.” The investment decision was made as for any other investments. “From my perspective it is simply so that first you calculate the potential benefit and then compare it with the sum to be invested,” Jokelainen sums up.



Ensto specializes in electrical solutions, and wants to improve the safety, functionality, reliability, and efficiency of smart grids, buildings and transportation. The company’s goal is to respond to the challenges and opportunities of global megatrends, and to improve everyday life through smart electrical solutions. Ari Virtanen, CEO, Ensto


nsto’s CEO, Ari Virtanen, wants to make a move from technology-centric planning to human-centric planning. Behind this new strategy are five megatrends: urbanization, digitalization, sustainability, social change and the shift of economic power to Asia. All of these combine into the characteristics for what is known as a smart city, a place where the future of Ensto’s success is hidden. In Virtanen’s vision, Ensto is the provider of electrical solutions for smart cities. “When our strategy has been implemented and we have reached our goals, we will see that our innovative smart solutions genuinely make for an easier life,” he concludes. SMART ECOSYSTEMS

Ensto will play a part in the three primary ecosystems of smart cities; smart grids, buildings and transportation.

“We plan smart electrical technology in order to assist people in everyday life.” Thus, many of their business activities are especially focused on the intersections of these. “Charging stations for electrical vehicles can be -part of a smart building, or EV batteries can serve as a power supply for a smart grid,” he explains. SUSTAINABLE ELECTRICAL SOLUTIONS FOR BETTER LIVING

Additionally, a smart city’s electric traffic will decrease small-particle emissions, as well as the health hazards and premature deaths that they can bring. As another example, Virtanen mentions the future potential of the utilization of growing local power generation.

“Many consumers are also wind and solar power producers who can sell surplus electricity to the grid. This trend should be sped up, since the sun is the cleanest source of producing energy, and electricity is the cleanest way to consume it.” We are developing the technology for local production to be connected to the electricity distribution grid. There are already 1.5 million local electricity production units in Germany,” he says, “significantly less in Finland.” Ensto was founded in 1958. It employs approximately 1 600 people in Europe, America, and Asia. Turnover: approximately 260 million euros. Divisions: • Ensto Utility Networks • Ensto Electrification • Ensto Lighting • Ensto Solutions

April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 35


Temperature sensors at Alfapac factory.

“Getting data is not enough. You have to do something with it.”


he CEO of Aureolis, Katja Ahola, believes that gathering information is only half of the problem. What is just as important is how that data is used. “We work with companies to integrate the IoT into business intelligence,” she explains. “We give insight and concrete ways for our clients to improve their decision making.” Aureolis specialises in business intelligence services. Founded in 2001, they have 80 employees who have completed 1,000 projects in data warehousing, reporting, analytics and knowledge management. “We connect internal data sources to an interface in order to access and analyse the data,” Ahola continues. “We often combine multiple sources of data – internal and external – to improve the decision making process.”


Markus Rautopuro, Aureolis’ Director of New Business Development, cites their customer Alfapac as an example. Alfapac produces plastic films, but their manufacturing process is highly dependent upon correct temperatures to produce the best material. “Temperature sensors were placed at different heights in their factory, from floor level up to the top of the extruder,” says Rautopuro. “We gathered this information and combined it with open weather data. The data is analysed with weather forecasting and the solution is to alter the temperature in the process hall when necessary, so the quality comes out perfect.” Aureolis performs a lot of such business intelligence services for the financial industry, but they see similar applications for a variety of businesses. Manufacturing and construction are the new frontier, as these industries have traditionally been more process-oriented. “This is continuous business intelligence,” Rautopuro explains. “Decision making projects used to be IT driven, but today it is an ongoing process. We give the ability to properly analyse problems and find solutions.” “If a company has challenges using their data they should contact us,” says Ahola. “We have people with experience in different sectors and we offer company-specific solutions. Consultants might give high-level strategies, but you need someone to execute. Aureolis makes it happen.” 36 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017



IFS IoT Business Connector enables to turn the data gathered from IoT devices to actual business profits and savings. Time based maintenance routines and precautions are no longer needed, when actions can be done when necessary.


FS™ is a globally recognized leader in developing and delivering enterprise software for enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise asset management (EAM) and enterprise service management (ESM). IFS offers applications that enable companies to respond quickly to market changes and use resources in a more agile way to achieve better business performance and competitive advantages. IFS’s newly launched IoT Business Connector provides companies with the means to capture and analyze sensor data; translate events into actionable observations and initiate actions in IFS enterprise software. Connected business will be able to lower costs, raise revenue and free up working capital. Maintenance, service and production processes will improve thanks to the real-time insights that are generated. Service will be enhanced because facilities and equipment can issue alerts before actions are required, greatly reducing the need for—and costs related to—manual inspections. “Internet of Things is already a concrete part of our everyday lives and businesses. IFS IoT Business Connector helps us to get more accurate data faster from the machines that run our businesses. It helps us to intensify our operations and

release time from making precautions and calendar-based routines. It´s sort of the same thing as nursing a mute by holding their hand and drawing care instructions from that rather than using machines that can communicate better and make smarter decisions by analyzing accurate data,” Hannu Hynninen, the consulting manager of IFS Finland, visualizes. PILOT IN EXTREME ENVIRONMENT

One of IFS IoT Business Connector’s pilot users is an oil platform. IFS’s interface helps the oil company to determine what actions to take when IoT data analysis reveals observations relevant to the operations. Everything concludes to extracting the data and using it to make machines work better, for longer and with less downtime. Bringing together operational and informational technology highlights also security. “An oil platform is an extremely complicated facility which is exposed to varying weather conditions from storms to cold and heat. Before, a single machine maintenance was done calendar-based, but now IoT provides inexpensive and user-friendly sensors that can make accurate measurements on how the equipment is being used and about the condition factors affecting the

Hannu Hynninen, Consulting Manager of IFS Finland

usage such as the heat of the machinery. The maintenance actions can be done to the precise machine in the precise conditions when necessary, not just in case. It increases also security when possible flaws or problems can be predicted,” Hynninen explains. In addition to enhancing business, IoT brings new, yet unknown, possibilities. Through service innovation, IoT connectivity and data analytics can be turned into new revenues. “Imagination is the only limit. For example, consumers can get extensive benefits when properties get smart and need-based maintenance services. Complex and expensive communications equipment can be simplified and maintenance requests can be send automatically without the need of middlemen.” April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 37

Juha Kukka, Strategic Architect and Digital Evangelist at Enfo



Enfo provides entire end-to-end IoT solutions to help their customers disrupt their own businesses.

o industry is going to avoid disruption,” says Juha Kukka, Strategic Architect and Digital Evangelist at Enfo. “If you used to sell products you need to start providing services. If you used to provide one-off services you need to move to a subscription model, and vice-versa. In many industries, IoT enables business disruption.” Enfo specialises in enabling digitalisation, from cloud adoption to business intelligence. In the Internet of Things they provide full stack end-to-end solutions. “Many players only provide a portion of a company’s needs, such as the platform or analytics,” Kukka says. “We can do it all. Enfo can provide all the sensors, installation, data management and analytics.” 38 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

Enfo can gather all the relevant data from a production line, but the key is to properly manage the data and use it to make good business decisions. The data can be visualised and enriched to better understand the system and how to create something better. “We can identify bottlenecks and how to optimise production,” explains Kukka. “We can determine which shifts are efficient and which are not. Alerts can be set up, such as warnings about problems or potential downtimes.” Kukka terms this “digital manufacturing” and points out that the IoT is not about technology, but about as an enabler for new business. “We sensor the environment and understand usage patterns, locations, wear and tear and other metrics,” he says.

“The data is analysed and visualised, and if done correctly you will create new services. Also, remember to keep your solutions open for everyone. By bringing openness into the picture you also bring more innovation and partners to the ecosystem.” This philosophy isn’t about squeezing a bit more efficiency out of an old process. It is about complete disruption. “Disrupt yourself,” Kukka confirms. “Enfo is doing it to ourselves as well. For instance, hosting data centres used to be one of our biggest businesses but now we are taking data to the cloud. We host events about disrupting your own company. You need to do it before your competitors do.”

“We sensor the environment and understand usage patterns, locations, wear and tear and other metrics.”

April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 39



One no longer needs to do massive investments in servers and machines to be able to store vast amounts of data and create new solutions. Solita and its partners help companies realize their IoT and AI dreams.


hat would a data platform of dreams be like? It would utilize artificial intelligence in data processing, be specially designed to meet the needs of customers and enable developing truly unified and personalized customer experiences across all channels – at least from digital business consultancy and digital service company Solita’s and telecommunications operator DNA´s point of view. The Finnish companies’ newly launched Data Platform of Dreams is also in the running to become the best Grand One 2017 digital media work in the usage of data category. “DNA´s area of business is extremely data intensive. Various channels are generating customer data from actual storefront and web page visits to the usage history of mobile phones. What makes our solution so fantastic, is that it combines data cross-cuttingly over different customer touch points and enables accurate predictions about customer’s needs. The results are unique both in a Finnish scale but also in a Nordic scale,” explains Jonne Heikkinen, Manager of Data Science at Solita. In addition to improved customer experience, DNA´s data analytics platform provides tools for better business management and marketing. DNA has now automatized 80 % of its tactical marketing operations and operational marketing can be done up to 300 times faster than before. The results of marketing activities have more than tripled and artificial intelligence is estimated to have brought 200 % sales growth. AI HYPE

Solita works with leading companies and public sector organizations, providing services from strategies and service design to digital service development and 40 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

eCommerce, analytics, business intelligence, IoT, integrations, cloud services and continuous development. “There are certainly interesting things happening in the field of AI at the moment, from chatbots to self-driving cars. However, it is still important to note that the artificial intelligence these days is weak. Artificial intelligence does not possess human-like skills, but rather is engineered against a use case,” Heikkinen explains. The main reasons why utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning have risen from the research labs are open-source tools, cloud services and advances in deep learning. “Data will have an even bigger role in the future and decisions will be done more and more with the help of advanced analytics in every area of business. The gap between big technology enterprises and smaller players is now significantly smaller than what it used to be. The things they do become mainstream faster and faster,” Heikkinen says. IOT PILOTS

Also, the dreams about the revolutionary Internet of Things are in the running of becoming tangible and real. A recent example is Solita’s cooperation with Haltian, a Finnish company providing IoT devices and platforms. The mission of the collaboration is to offer customers a unified whole consisting of combining measurement devices, sensors, and an IoT platform with software, data analytics, and cloud services. “The technologies and devices are now ready, and service providers have gained experience in making effective use of existing technologies and the business opportunities they provide,” says Janne Siltari, Head of IoT at Solita. With Haltian’s agile multipurpose sensors, it is possible to measure, for

instance, temperature, air pressure and humidity, vibrations, and illuminance. Solita’s solution, for its part, collects and analyses data into a form that facilitates decision-making and development of new business operations. “Through cooperation with Haltian, we want to make the building of solutions for our customers easier than ever,” Siltari adds. START EXPERIMENTING

Solita urges businesses of all ranges and areas to start experimenting with artificial intelligence and IoT as early as they can. “The sooner you start, the quicker you will learn how to leverage machine learning, artificial intelligence and IoT in your business,” Heikkinen states. Forrester Research Group estimates that by 2025 about 16% of the workforce of U.S. will be replaced by artificial intelligence, which is somewhat of a sign that artificial intelligence is probably going to have an impact on various businesses in the near future. “One of the most interesting projects in the Finnish public sector is the digitalization of the public services across Ministries,” Heikkinen says. However, applying artificial intelligence is not concerning only the tasks where humans are incapable of reaching the same processing speed as machines. There are also number of complex concepts that man is unable to efficiently perceive that can be replaced with new technology. “As an example, Google dropped the data center energy consumption by 15% by controlling the consumption intelligently from 120 different factors such as fans, pumps and windows – which is impressive when the reference was built by world-class engineers,” Heikkinen adds.

Jonne Heikkinen, Manager of Data Science at Solita

April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 41



Smart cities are almost here. Telia Company already has the vision.

n some ways the driving forces are the same for the IoT as the early internet,” says Telia Company’s Vice President of Global IoT Solutions Hans Dahlberg. “A new technology is used to increase efficiency and create new business. For instance, the internet allowed banking to move from a physical branch to your home computer, cutting costs. It also allowed banks to offer more services, adding value. The same thing is happening with the IoT.” Telia is one of Europe’s leading providers of IoT solutions. They see this communication between people, things and processes as the next great opportunity for both businesses and individuals. “Sensors collect data, that data is analysed, and then you can act and automate appropriately,” Dahlberg continues. “The foundation of the IoT is connectivity and what is important is using and acting upon that data.”

“Telia Sense supports consumer’s needs and brings safety and practical assistance on many levels.”


As an example Dahlberg cites Telia Sense, a service which connects a consumer’s car. It provides WiFi to the vehicle’s occupants, but it also collects useful data. “Telia Sense monitors the engine and lets you know if it is working properly,” he says. “It gives you your travel history. It warns you if someone bumps into it in the parking lot or if you need to move it for snow clearance. If it is stolen, GPS tracks your car.” 42 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

While this sounds impressive enough, Dahlberg points out that this is only a tiny part of Telia Sense. “The big revolution is building an ecosystem around the data which the consumer controls,” says Dahlberg. “Insurance companies can see you are a careful driver so lower your rates. A buyer for your car can see you took care of it so offers you a higher price. If there is a problem different mechanics could bid for your business.” The next phase is not sensors and data, he stresses, but building entire ecosystems. If consumers allow the ecosystem to use their data we can build many wonderful things, like smart cities or revolutionary new health care.

Hans Dahlberg, Telia Company’s Vice President of Global IoT Solutions

A BUSINESS OF MILLIONS FROM THE HEART OF SAVONIA Kairest Ltd overturns the myth that a company that offers services around Finland should be located in growth centres in order to succeed.

centrate on their own core business. “Our customers transfer billing and payroll administration to us to take care of. We use modern, efficient and fast electronic methods, meaning that our customer can be located anywhere in Finland.”

he home of Kairest Ltd, which is running a business worth millions, is Pielavesi in the heartlands of Savonia, the birthplace of Urho Kekkonen, Finland’s longest-serving President. The company concentrates on personnel hiring, financial administration and training services, and catering, restaurant and accommodation services.




Kairest Ltd, which has operated in the field for more than 25 years, is one of Finland’s oldest personnel hiring companies. “There has been a lot of turbulence in the field, but dependability, speed, reliability of delivery and a precise understanding of the needs of customers have helped our company to better and better results in terms of both the expansion of the customer base and the company’s own financial results,” says the CEO, Jorma Härkönen. Personnel hiring covers all professions and offers services all the way from Southern Finland to Lapland. As for financial administration services, the company gives its customers the possibility to con-


The founder of the company and Chairman of the Board, Seppo Ruotsalainen, is a hardened professional in the restaurant and cooking field from Pielavesi itself. Ruotsalainen is an internationally award-winning master chef and exercises influence in a diverse way in organisations in the field. “Over the years, I’ve built up a lot of experience, so I know what a great party is, or good service and excellent food, whether it’s a case of a gala evening or family party, international delicacies or domestic local food,” says Ruotsalainen. In the reservation restaurant Juhlaranta run by Ruotsalainen, situated in the surroundings of an old dairy, the best produce of the season is on offer, with a respect for the raw ingredients. In addition, service and cooking training courses, for both amateurs and professionals too, are held in Juhlaranta. Meanwhile, Kairest customises training packages on occupational well-being, changes relating to managerial work and leadership of knowhow at both Juhlaranta and elsewhere in Finland.

Jorma Härkönen (left), CEO of Kairest Ltd and Seppo Ruotsalainen, the founder of the company and Chairman of the Board


Jorma Härkönen sees the location of Kairest in a small municipality as a resource, not as an obstacle. “Modern technology makes all information transferral possible easily and quickly. An effective training course and conference are easy to arrange in a peaceful, naturally beautiful place, far away from the commotion and disturbances of towns. Accommodation services keep the group together in events that last for several days too. Catering and tableware renting services can be arranged for up to 2,000 people,” says Härkönen. Kairest is a good example of how a successful company is a shot in the arm for a small municipality. “These days, location is an obstacle to growth for most companies only in their own minds,” Härkönen reminds us. April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 43



Behind every innovation and breakthrough is a proper funding. In Finland, Tekes is the most important publicly funded expert organization for financing research, development and innovation. Now, on the upswing are especially software and game industry.


rtificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics, autonomous vehicles, advanced analytics, big data, 5G – these are the ecosystems that big international enterprises, SME companies and the public operators are building collaboration on. Nowadays, Finland is best known for its world-class technological competence especially in the sectors of health, wellbeing, 5G, autonomous marine transport and virtual technologies. Tekes finances innovation and research companies by almost 500 million euros per year but the notorious Finnish digital competence is luring also foreign investors to join the buzz. The question is, how this expertise is produced further to services and exported to the world – with a good price tag. “Artificial intelligence is already being used to support the decision-making of the physicians and the results have been promising. Finland has all the opportunities and expertise to create extremely disruptive digital architecture of health and well-being sector that has global significance. But we need all the Nordic and Baltic countries to join us, to get the 44 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

sufficient critical mass. Our ecosystem aims to increase the turnover of SMEs of the health industry from the current 750 million to 6 billion by 2025,” Pekka Sivonen, the head of digitalization at Tekes, says. In addition to decision-making, robotics and automatization can be used for example in customer services or when processing damage reports in insurance companies. Robots are capable of doing both the monotonic and dangerous tasks as well as humane duties like keeping company for senior citizens. Even though some jobs will vanish, there will be more meaningful work to replace the old ones. Also, the supervising of robots is still in the hands of humans. “Robotics and automatization are already here and tomorrow they will be here even stronger. Everything that can be digitalized will be digitalized. A small country like Finland that has intensity of knowledge in certain fields of business has to invest specifically in the development of high-value-adding products and services but also sales expertise so that the innovations can be brought to the global market.”

“Finland has all the opportunities and expertise to create extremely disruptive digital architecture of health and well-being sector that has global significance.” BOOSTING INNOVATION

Every year, Tekes finances some 1,500 business research and development projects, and almost 600 public research projects at universities, research institutes and universities of applied sciences. Tekes is also part of the Team Finland network, that offers funding and internationalization services for Finnish companies and shares the risks of research and development among those involved. “The development of technology is faster than ever. Regardless of the size of the company, no one thrives alone. For Finland, the only way to succeed is to collaborate with both small and big organizations and public operators. This is how we can build ecosystems that gener-

Pekka Sivonen, the head of digitalization at Tekes

ate success to different fields of business that in turn bate foreign investments and specialists. We have various kinds of expertise here that there is a lack of in the other parts of the world.” Tekes organizes also free of charge Reboot Finland D.Day serial events covering Finland´s most significant export industries. D.Day is organized together with CGI, Nokia, Finpro, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd and the Technology Industries of Finland. ”D.Day is a new kind of concept, where we offer workshops and presentations about new technologies and solutions. Not only do we offer Finnish companies funding and internationalization

services but give the possibility to get advantage of the technology and marketing channels that the big companies organizing the event provide. The spirit of working together and cooperating is increasing fast among Finnish companies.” Sivonen sees that the tightening competition in the international markets shows that it´s time to start building new, next-generation products that will play by the business rules of the digital era, where sensor technology, big data, artificial intelligence and advanced analytics are intertwined with one another. One of the Finnish funding agency’s newly launched collaborations is with

Rolls-Royce, which recently announced establishing a remote-control, autonomous vessels and artificial intelligence research center in Turku, the activities beginning as early as this year. “Tekes provides funding for the development of autonomous marine ecosystems. The automatization of marine transport is inevitable and Finland must be the one to pop first in mind when wondering where skills of competence for the marine sector can be found. This case is yet another proof that we have the know-how. And this is just the beginning,” Sivonen states. April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 45

Mikko Laaksonen, CTO at Seitatech


In the future, all payments will be made regardless of time and place using a multitude of physical and virtual identification methods. Seitatech helps companies optimize their payment solutions and provide right tools and technology for the diversified payment landscape.


lthough disruption is inevitable, compliancy is necessity for payment systems. The ecosystem of payments should provide high availability, cost-effectiveness and high security for every user and the users should be able to make their payments fast and cross-borders. Not only should the payment solutions be universal and flexible but also scalable for the business requirements of the future. It can be challenging to ensure the security in online payments, as secure payments require reliable ways to identify the customer. Often, the customer has to enter a considerable amount of accurate information prior to the purchase, making the payment process slow and arduous. This becomes problematic, as

46 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017


the market keeps demanding faster and easier ways to pay online. “It´s a social challenge to make consumers aware about the importance of security, as part of the user experience of online payments. Before downloading a payment application, the user needs to be able to trust the authenticity of the service provider,” Sakari Parre, the CEO at Seitatech, explains. “Payment is user experience. Combining user experience with security is what makes it fascinating” Mikko Laaksonen, the CTO at Seitatech, adds. CREATING EVOLUTION

Seitatech is a payment technology pioneer which continuously evaluates the future megatrends in close cooperation with their partners. The role of payment systems can be seen as one of the most crucial elements of the human evolution. “Sooner or later every system gets old and their ability to be secure weakens. Whether the payments are done via mobile phones, cars or fridges, the technology is already available and has made it possible for us to do things that weren´t previously considered to be profitable. What makes it challenging is inventing how to use it the right way and to make the best possible user experience for the consumers,” Laaksonen discusses.

At a traditional brick and mortar store, it is still easy to keep the payments integrated with the user experience by using physical cards. Even though the electronic payments are evolving, credit cards are still one of the most universal payment methods out there. Even though cards are not necessary the safest or fastest form of payments when shopping online, they currently serve as a compromise between security and user experience. “The consumers might not even know what would be a better option or the most suitable and secure payment solution for them. That´s why companies should be prepared to invest in their payment infrastructure and make sure they have a good understanding of the needs of their customers. After all, consumers should be able to make payments when the time is most suitable for them,” Parre reminds. The future identification and verification methods will vary from location sharing to biometrics and social media footprint. “The ideology of money being anonymous is an interesting one. How anonymous should money be if sharing your personal data concludes to more fast and secure payments?” Parre asks.

EVERY BODY DESERVES A GOOD CHAIR When Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick designed the Aeron Chair for Herman Miller, they combined a deep knowledge of human-centred design with innovative, never-seen-before technology to deliver a chair unlike any other. Now Aeron has been remastered –ergonomically, functionally, anthropometrically, and environmentally – for today’s work and workers. Come visit us in our showroom. Aeron Remastered is also available +358 10 235 1900

April 2017 – June 2017 BUSINESS CLASS 47


Portugieser Chronograph. Ref. 3714: When Vasco Da Gama and his crew gazed upon newly discovered worlds, they probably felt much the same way you do when you look at this watch: at certain moments, you would willingly stop time. Just as well, then, that your mechanical chronograph makes it possible. And even better that you have enough time to admire

48 BUSINESS CLASS April 2017 – June 2017

the details of its classic, quality design in all their splendour. Small wonder that this timepiece became a legend from the moment it appeared. I WC . E N G I N E E R E D FO R M E N .

Oy Osk. Lindroos Ab Mechanical chronograph movement, Self-winding, 44-hour power reserve, Stopwatch function with minutes and seconds, Sapphire glass, Waterresistant 3 bar, Diameter 40.9 mm

Aleksanterinkatu 46, Helsinki Helsinki Airport Schengen, gate 27 Helsinki Airport Non-Schengen, gate 33

Business Class April-June 2017  
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