Smart together – Case: Unikie

Netox and Unikie started from one thing which smoothly led to another, and countless ones to follow. Initially, these were just great ideas or thoughts. Unikie helps businesses turn these great ideas into excellent products and services, and Netox helps Unikie do so. This has resulted in a long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnership.

Somewhere to start and somewhere to end up

Unikie has always been something absolutely special, even from its name. It is an understatement to talk about agility when it comes to Unikie. One of Finland’s fastest-growing technology companies operates in the world of future innovations, where being faster than agile is a prerequisite. Unikie’s services focus on the intersection of three global trends – IoT, 5G, and artificial intelligence – where Unikie enables continuous awareness of the environment and decision-making and control based on it. Unikie’s customers are leading companies in various industries and public sector organizations around the world. In 2019, Deloitte named Unikie one of Finland’s fastest-growing technology companies. Unikie’s turnover reached 44 million euros in 2021.

Unikie-smart-autonomous-vehicle
Unikie-smart-autonomous-vehicle

Netox’s and Unikie’s interests met years ago. Netox had experience in combined license and equipment acquisitions, which of course are a constant need for growing companies.
Timo Rasila, Sales Manager, Netox, immediately knew where the shoe pinched. Competitive prices, financing solutions and a customer-centric approach.

Netox was able to offer us a very competitive package for equipment purchases. And especially the centralized procurement of software licenses saved us a lot of time and effort, states Unikie’s CFO, Perttu Eerola. Around 600 professionals in their field already work at Unikie, so smoothness in acquiring licenses and equipment is a prerequisite for us in terms of smoothness of work, he continues.

The licenses, hardware, and other infrastructure also had to work smoothly together. Everyday hardware management also required everyday hands, not just hands, but also knowledge of how to use them – on site. Jiri Isokallio, Support Specialist from Netox, came to the rescue.

I’m like one of them, starts Isokallio. I’ve found my way into the Unikie community and the diverse IT environment keeps the work interesting. IT support, equipment testing, networking, documentation, user integration and so on, Isokallio lists. The only major challenges are the views on the hockey teams, he laughs.

Service Desk services also include a ticket system, which Netox can directly connect to and immediately take over fault situations, without a separate request from us, opens Sami Taipaleenmäki, IT Manager at Unikie.

This made it easier for not-so-critical bugs and issues to “spill over”, interrupting our work and distracting our focus to smaller issues. It may sound strange for an IT house to outsource expertise, but in the end it is efficient and frees up its own resources where they are optimally used, sums up Taipaleenmäki.

One thing leads to another – the second to the third.

Unikie has grown at a phenomenal pace in recent years, and this rapid growth has brought its own challenges in terms of IT infrastructure. The need to quickly build on top of the existing has resulted in a battle between old and new. Integration was needed to help.

There were therefore overlaps in the internal systems that were talking to each other. And when one machine does not communicate with another machine smoothly, an interpreter – a person – is needed.

The idea of other cooperation also arose from good experiences. The needs of Unikien were diverse. And so was Netox’s expertise. Eerola sketches how there was plenty of expertise from within, but things still had to be prioritized. And there weren’t enough hands to go everywhere.

“I jumped into the project when we started painting the future of fitting Unikie’s end users into the IT environment comprehensively,” says Sari Aura, project manager from Netox.

 – The challenge was to get the different development environments to work together. The Azure/Google integration was perhaps the most critical component that slowed down the users’ work. The demanding integration needed a separate project around it to run complex and precise test cases in a test environment, recalls Aura.

Quality, enthusiasm and interesting challenges

Collaboration has naturally grown into its current form – project by project – in a pragmatic way. It has not been driven by price, location, or convenience – but by quality, enthusiasm, and interesting challenges. Well-done work has always been rewarded with additional work and has served both companies well. The starting point for the next project is always a step higher – if there is still an absolute starting point at all.

– Not bad at all, says Perttu Eerola of Unikie openly in Turku fashion, leaving future projects understandably up to speculation.