Can the IT support response time be too good?

In this bright office, there’s lots of greenery and an almost cheerful atmosphere. Netox’ System Specialist Jaakko Matinolli has popped over for a visit at Linja Arkkitehdit, as so many times before.  This time, however, it’s at the photographer’s request. But Linja’s CEO Ville Niskasaari uses the opportunity to go over a laptop security issue with Matinolli. Everything is solved quickly.

“We founded Linja in 2006. And at the beginning, of course we did everything ourselves, starting with the website. But now, there are already more than 50 of us, and we have offices in 3 places, so it makes sense to use professional help with IT things as much and as efficiently as possible,” says Niskasaari. “Netox has a convincing way of doing things, and Jaakko here in particular is someone I’ve trusted since Linja first started.” Matinolli chuckles. He obviously likes having Linja Arkkitehdit as his client.

Netox is an important partner for Linja, as architectural design is very software-driven work. Licenses are expensive and drawing files with building information modelling are huge. The same file is accessed from many workstations simultaneously. “If there are any problems, it’s usually some software issue. In that case, the safest bet is to get Jaakko to come round,” Niskasaari says. “And Jaakko doesn’t dawdle about.” There’s laughter from behind the surrounding desks. Can the IT support response time be too good?

“Physical proximity is an advantage, of course,” Niskasaari admits. The distance between Netox’ office and Linja is 300 metres. Back in the 1970s, the Finnish record-holder Markku Kukkoaho would’ve run this distance in 34 seconds. “Jaakko doesn’t rush quite that much, but we generally never have to wait around for him,” Niskasaari estimates. “It’s good that help is there when we need it. The schedules are tight for planning projects, and downtime costs.”

Linja’s office design is focused on comfort. Although remote work is possible, personal interaction is important in project work. “We want people to enjoy being here. Sharing know-how is an essential part of teamwork, and that happens best when we’re in the same room,” estimates Ville Niskasaari. “And when the systems work.” Jaakko Matinolli nods and grins. He plans to keep Niskasaari happy in the future as well.

Linja Arkkitehdit is one of the biggest architect offices in Finland. Their offices are located in Oulu, Jyväskylä and Helsinki. In the recent years, the company has experienced quick and profitable growth. Linja currently employs more than 50 design professionals, and is a forerunner particularly in the development of design methods related to building information modelling.