Location independent working with Microsoft 365 solutions from Sharepoint Online to Power BI and Power Platform using agile development
Domestic media group Keskisuomalainen Oyj has a strong presence in Finns’ everyday life. The printed and digital magazines, digital outdoor advertising, and radio stations of the company reach 3.1 million Finns, or 71 percent of the entire population. In addition to media services, Keskisuomalainen, which is listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange, offers marketing communication, research, printing, and distribution services.
The group employs 5,000 professionals in various fields in 70 offices around Finland, and the company’s turnover is 221 million euros (2022).
In Keskisuomalainen, which invests heavily in digital services, the role of information management is particularly important.
“For us, everything has to run online and be available for use regardless of location, because we are so spread out in different offices,” says the group’s IT director Lasse Palminen.
“The COVID-19 era also left a deep mark on the fact that those offices are really scattered, and that’s why we have built our ecosystem like this.”
Microsoft 365 environment for solutions that serve specific needs
The Keskisuomalainen group has grown rapidly over the past five years, and the need to centralize information technology solutions serving different needs into a system operating on the same platform became obvious.
“We made a strategic decision a few years ago to centralize IT services into a Microsoft 365 environment, for which Solu was selected as the most suitable partner for us, and it seems that it has been a good choice, as the projects have shown us,” stated Lasse.
In Lasse’s view, the Microsoft 365 platform is an environment worth investing in: it develops all the time, a lot of effort is put into it, and it’s easy to find M365 developers to develop cost-effective solutions for specific needs.
“If I think about that project management solution, it took a month for us to deploy it into use. In other words, we get to put the solutions into use quickly, and then if there are any additional needs, we prefer to expand the solutions in small steps by agile development, so that this overall architecture stays in our control.”
Strategic partnership as the basis of successful projects
The cooperation between Keskisuomalainen and Solu Digital has expanded over the years as needs for new IT solutions have been identified.
Keskisuomalainen has used Microsoft’s comprehensive range of services in a variety of ways, from data registers and contract management archives running on SharePoint to Power BI reporting and Power Platform automation using forms and workflows. The latest solution, SharePoint’s communication platform for intranet, was introduced in spring 2023.
“The IT strategy is clear: now we have one environment – if some functionality is needed, we first see if it is possible to implement it in the M365 environment. If it’s not possible, then after that we’ll see where it’s possible to implement it,” says Lasse.
“Solu is a strategic partner for us. At the moment, the operating model is that we first ask you and then we’ll see how we proceed.”
IT director, Keskisuomalainen
In particular, Lasse appreciates a certain kind of readiness in the cooperation built up over the years, with which the needs of Keskisuomalainen have been met:
“Whenever we have asked something, you have had answers on how it has already been done somewhere else and then it has been possible to discuss how it would suit us. And indeed, it may have exceeded expectations that we have stayed well within the given schedules and budget frames.”
“Solu has good people, and you can talk openly with them, and that’s a really important thing.”
IT director, Keskisuomalainen
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