Olli Rehn: Competence is the most important raw material for the new type of work
"In the digital world, inequality can increase if the winners get a huge income and the losers are left with nothing but crumbs." Olli Rehn
The challenges of digitalisation can be turned to opportunities with competence, says Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn. Finnish working life will change in unexpected ways during the next 10–20 years. Automation, robots and digitalisation create many new opportunities and challenges. “We must turn that threat into an opportunity. It creates a lot of pressure for renewing life-long learning as well, to allow people to update their skills continuously,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn. According to Rehn, competence is the most important raw material for the new type of work. The pressure to carry out reforms includes the entire education system, from the first year of school to adult education. The task of primary school is to provide tools for learning, to allow people to renew themselves throughout their career. One of the government's spearhead projects aims to make this possible. “We are promoting building a digital learning environment in schools in a way that gives our future employees and entrepreneurs the tools to survive in a digital environment.” It is true there are differences in the speed at which municipalities – which are responsible for organising basic education – are building digital learning environments. The reason for this is that the resources available to each municipality are different. Kauniainen, for example, has been a pioneer, but also Vantaa, which operates on a larger scale, has been building new services at a good pace. “I wish that, in addition to the government’s spearhead projects, municipalities would also invest in creating digital learning environments.” Adopting the use of digital methods in schools is also being accelerated by the HundrED project, supported by DNA, which is providing support for one hundred schools in utilising new ways of learning. The national data exchange layer connects public services Learning is, therefore, a central tool for the new work, but structures are also important. According to international comparisons, Finland’s public sector has been proceeding on the path to digitalisation at a good pace. However, many things have also progressed slowly. Olli Rehn remembers how he travelled around Europe 15 years ago as a member of commissioner Erkki Liikanen's team and talked about the eEurope programme. At that time, the central theme was electronic public administration services. “It was an unpleasant surprise that the level of discussion was pretty much the same 15 years later when I returned to Finland more permanently.” The fragmentation of structures has been one hindrance to utilising digitalisation in public administration. However Rehn is an optimist who sees this challenge as an opportunity that can be utilised better in the future. One step in the right direction was establishing the National Data Exchange Layer, through which citizens can use the public and private services they require. This requires, however, that both public and private organisations connect their services to the data exchange layer. “In regards to that, municipalities and also the state have still a lot to improve and areas where they can do things faster. The social welfare and health care reform is creating many new opportunities for this.” Rehn reminds us that digitalisation is also creating new kinds of social discussions about equality. In a digital world, inequality can increase if the winners get a huge income and the losers are left with nothing but crumbs. “This is why the government has started a pilot project to test how systems such as basic income could ensure that work is motivating and, at the same time, income is distributed more equally.” Photo: Sakari Piippo ;
Come Together, Right Now
DNA Wholesale Team made the rounds at International Telecoms Week in Chicago For a few busy days in May, the attention of the world’s wholesale telecommunications community was firmly in Chicago – again. Now in its 9th year, International Telecoms Week (ITW) is the world’s largest meeting for the global wholesale telecommunications crowd. Providing a wealth of opportunities to position one’s business in front of a powerful international audience, ITW is sort of a “networking heaven” for the industry professionals. Sales Director Juho Hyvärinen was one of the members of the DNA Wholesale Team that made the trip to the Windy City this year. “We feel that International Telecoms Week is a great place for us to work on strengthening our existing partnerships and really talk about topics with our clients. The other thing is, of course, being on the look-out for new customers,” Hyvärinen describes the importance of ITW from the point of view of DNA Wholesale. This year, Hyvärinen was accompanied by three sales managers from DNA Wholesale representing both fixed operator services and voice and mobile services. Feel the Vibrations Looking back at the massive event, Hyvärinen analyses that it was good to “feel the vibe” of the industry and keep track of the emerging trends. He was also happy to take notice that a few things – such as the use of automation and digital interfaces in the telecoms context – is just now catching on in many parts of the world. “In Finland, we have been pushing the industry and technology in those regards for quite some time. It was good to see that we’re a frontrunner in some aspects,” says Hyvärinen. The big trend that he picked up on was the desire of the large operators to seek out smaller, local operators to collaborate with in the wholesale market. “This is a clear trend that we have witnessed over the past year or two.” Boost the Backbone The DNA Wholesale Team also had a mission of sorts in Chicago. As the company is expanding its backbone network to Amsterdam and Frankfurt in the summer of 2016, now is the time to get the word out on the new possibilities. The new investment makes it possible to establish a better presence in Central Europe, so that the company can construct network-to-network interfaces (NNI) for existing and potential customers in Amsterdam or Frankfurt (as well as in Stockholm). In addition, the new network provides flexible and convenient access points to global cloud services. “It’s fantastic that we’re able to expand our network and provide resilient NNIs – in both of these new locations – to our clients,” says Hyvärinen, pointing out that the expansion has required a big effort from DNA, in terms of both finances and manpower. “With the launch expected to take place this summer, we feel confident that the network is very attractive from the point of view of big customers and gives us plenty of business opportunities.” Getting Personal However, providing cutting-edge technology and solutions is just one part of the winning formula. Hyvärinen observes that once again in Chicago it became very apparent what it is that the customers appreciate and what they respond to the most: “The value of personal, long-term relationships with the customers can’t be overstated in this business. This industry is very much about collaboration, and you need those trust-based, durable relationships to make it work.” Meet the DNA Wholesale Team also in the upcoming events: Capacity Russia & CIS, Moscow 18.-19.10.2016 GSMA WAS (Wholesale Agreements and Solutions), Dublin 31.10.-3.11.2016 Capacity Europe, Paris 7.-9.11.2016 Please contact: email@example.com ;
This industry is very much about collaboration, and you need those trust-based, durable relationships to make it work, believes DNA's Sales Director Juho Hyvärinen
Get rid of your digital addiction
Personal trainer Tomi Kokko, a pioneer of online coaching, has completely rethought his way of using digital devices. When business operations are based on interaction with customers on social media, it is easy to accumulate incredible amounts of screen time. A year ago, Tomi Kokko realised that he was continuously in a reactive mode, ready to respond to an endless stream of requests and demands via social media and email. “Because of frequent interruptions, I was not always able to achieve my daily goals at work. I needed to find a new way of working.” Kokko searched for information about how other busy business owners had solved the problem and established a new daily rhythm based on what he learned. His morning and evening routines changed the most. He no longer checks his social media notifications first thing upon waking up. Instead, he keeps his phone on flight mode for the first two hours of the day. “I devote that time to exercise, meditation and a nice cup of coffee. When my working day starts, I’m ready and able to deal with whatever lies ahead.” During the working day, Kokko no longer peeks at his email continuously. He now has two time slots for checking his inbox. This calls for self-discipline, and the email notification function must be turned off. In the evening, Kokko turns off his phone two hours before bedtime. He focuses on relationships, hobbies and other aspects of life that help him recharge. Allowing sufficient time for recouping in daily life enables him to fully focus on work and be efficient and creative during the working day. These changes in his digital habits have improved Kokko’s quality of life. “The most significant change is that I now feel in control of my time. I can focus on what is relevant and meaningful instead of simply reacting to various stimuli.” His new habits may sound challenging, but he says sticking to them is easy once you notice how much they improve your efficiency at work. If the challenge feels insurmountable, you can try changing your digital habits for two weeks at first. Make a commitment to controlling your digital habits instead of letting them control your daily life. ;
Are you in control of your time? Or do email and social media control your time management? Read how online coach Tomi Kokko changed his digital habits.
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Finland – a test bed…or a deathbed?
"While China is the world's factory, Finland could well be its brain." - Miki Kuusi, the founder of Slush
The meagre success Finns have had in the race for digital services is increasingly hampering the vitality of the national economy. The increasing success of international online stores in Finland means that capital is lost abroad. “People in Finland have not even realised that added value is going somewhere else. People here have been in some way blind to the fact that the world around them is changing”, says Miki Kuusi, the founder of the annual Slush business startup event and the Wolt online store. It seems that Finland has become the prisoner of its past success, and new developments taking place elsewhere are ignored here. Even though technological change has shaken cornerstone enterprises like Nokia, the forest industry and Stockmann, Finland’s stance has remained largely unchanged. “But the Chinese will buy their food online, even if we Finns won’t”, Kuusi says. New technology is altering structures in all industries. The most striking examples are the sharing services Uber and Airbnb. For instance, Airbnb has shaken the dominant position of large hotel chains – a position they have built up through investments worth millions. Travellers have traditionally used familiar chains in exotic locations because they have wanted to spend their night in a familiar and trusted place. The familiar brand has guaranteed that expectations are met. The Internet is changing the playing field of the online service, as consumers can now follow different occupants’ reviews of an apartment, its owner and the prices. Now, consumers have enough information to no longer need to rely on the information provided by a brand. Finland needs to retake the pioneer position Finland’s speed is being slowed down by a detrimental dichotomy that has arisen. On one hand, Finland has a group of internationally oriented young people, many of whom work in the field of technology. On the other hand there is the Finland of traditions, where Finland is seen as the best country for Finns. The divided country should restore the belief in the ability of Finland to again be a pioneer country – as we have been several times in the past. Kuusi points out that we Finns surely must have some good qualities, as our country has so often been at the forefront of development. “China is the world’s factory. Could Finland be the world’s brain, doing things that others will only do later on?” Finland’s problem is that strong structures have been built in the country to support past success. Those structures support the established position, but not change. This concerns legislation and other regulations, among other things. If we wish to be a pioneer in digitalisation, our legislation needs to reflect that.” ;
Services of the future – easier life and new experiences
In the future, the typical service will involve home delivery – but for goods or services? “In the 1950s, people on average travelled eight kilometres a day; today, the distance is 40 kilometres. Finns use a vast amount of time to fetch items like discounted minced meat, over increasing distances”, says Mika Pantzar, research director at the Consumer Society Research Centre. He is one of the experts whom DNA invited to discuss the services of the future. In the future this group theorizes, consumers no longer run after goods or food, but order them more and more often from an online store directly to their home. “We compare our experiences of service to the best service on a global scale. We are constantly in touch with the whole world”, says Minna Koskelo, an expert in forecasting and futures thinking. More services, less goods Miki Kuusi, the managing director of the food ordering and delivery service Wolt, believes that bricks-and-mortar businesses will not disappear as online shopping increases; instead, it will change into a different kind of experience. In the future, a bricks-and-mortar store can be used, for instance, as a showroom for an online store, a place where you can view, try out and fully experience the products. People will seek out experiences – even from services which have previously not been considered to offer any. “It has been observed that people prefer to sit on the front seat rather than the back seat of Uber cars. The dynamics are different than with traditional taxis,” says Markku Wilenius, a futures researcher. The Uber service provides other insights into the future as well. It is a transport service which does not own any cars. In a similar way, the retail giant Alibaba does not own any warehouses, and the accommodation service Airbnb does not own any properties. Tuuli Kaskinen, Operations Director at the Demos Helsinki think tank, believes that the consumer’s need to own things will also decrease and in the future, consumers will instead purchase services rather than goods. “A big question is who owns the platforms through which business is handled, who collects the profits and how the services are paid. “We can be liberated to become more truly human”, he says. It feels that we still should own some things together. ” Artificial intelligence to become the butler of the future In addition to people, services will be increasingly offered by machines. For instance, in a smart home, artificial intelligence can serve people the way butlers used to. “We have been thinking that smartphones contain everything. We could equally well think that the home contains everything, and when your own intelligence and an artificial intelligence capable of learning are combined in your home, the environment will become increasingly responsive. The home will order a medical check-up, cleaning or food,” says Juha Kostiainen, SVP, Urban Development and Corporate Relations at YIT. Wilenius believes that technology will create prerequisites for even better human communication. On the other hand, increasing technology may also lead us completely astray. Wilenius emphasises that the good effects can only be realised if the wasting of natural resources can be brought under control. See the episode “Services of the Future” of DNA’s Professionals of the Future documentary series here. ;
Will bricks-and-mortar stores become showrooms for online business in the future? And what can be expected to be found in a smart home?
Soon, goods will move faster and independently
In the future, transport robots will circle the streets in the night, and quadcopters will fly packages to islands and mountain areas. “At the moment, it is more expensive to store goods in Manhattan than to place them in a container that circles the globe,” says Tuuli Kaskinen, Operations Director at the Demos Helsinki think tank. She is one of the researchers and visionaries whom DNA invited to discuss the distribution channels of the future. For the past hundred years, goods have been moved across the world, powered by oil at an increasing rate and in increasing volumes. However, the price of oil is increasing, its availability is weakening and environmental objectives are becoming more and more important. According to Kaskinen, the amount of transport will increase or decrease significantly depending on how biofuels can be utilised, and at what price. Risto Linturi, a futurist and Chairman of the Board at Sovelto, expects solutions to be found in the development of battery technology, and in the decreasing price of solar energy. “The range of electric aircraft could be the same as that found in traditional airplanes, but their size could vary from very small to quite large”, Linturi says. Goods and people in a robotic car Automatically flying quadcopters, which are already used experimentally to transport goods from shops to homes in different countries, give an insight into the future of electric aircraft. In Finland, quadcopters have already been used by the national postal service. “We will probably have self-driving cars that distribute goods at night within cities”, says Mika Pantzar, research director at the Consumer Society Research Centre. However, he does not believe that robotic cars would start transporting people who are used to driving themselves. Linturi, on the other hand, has a vision of the future in which a robotic car arrives at the door within five minutes of being ordered and drives its passengers to the trunk network. He also sees hyperloop capsules that can take people from Tampere to the Helsinki city centre faster than is currently possible from Itäkeskus, located within the Helsinki region. “This changes the entire geography”, says Linturi. Production at home and in the home block “An interesting question is whether it will be products or raw materials that will be transported in the future”, Kaskinen says. She believes that the turning point in 3D printing is near. Soon, it will not be necessary to order a spare part for a washing machine from Asia; instead, you can print it with a 3D printer in your home, or within a block of where you live. “If we have a flexible production facility in every village, the hierarchy will flatten. A factory manager will lead a small production unit, rather than a huge plant. We will all become small-scale factory managers”, Linturi adds. Linturi predicts the collapse of the economies of scale. The manufacture of goods in China requires a huge, global logistical network, and having energy produced in a centralised manner requires huge power distribution networks. According to Linturi, all these increase the vulnerability of our present-day society. “The economies of scale are ultimately based on a poor ability to process information”, Linturi summarises. Sensors streamline transports With increasing digitisation, the ordering of goods and paying for them become easier, and customers also expect increasingly efficient deliveries. “The availability of products and the time it takes to get them determine who will succeed in the business”, says Lari Hovi, solutions architect from DNA. In the future, suppliers and distributors will get help from an increasing number of sensors which connect products to the Internet of Things, (IoT). “In the future, the location of goods will be known at all times, and goods can even communicate with each other to determine where they should be located”, Kaskinen says. ;
Self-driving robotic cars, quadcopters and hyperloop capsules: the logistical solutions of the future will transform the world.
Consumers challenge companies' logistics
"Within the next few years, homes may have talking refrigerators that can order basic groceries automatically, while the consumer's task will be to fill in special requests on the order list" - Tuuli Kaskinen, Operations Director at the Demos think tank.
Consumers want their everyday shopping to be easy and friction-free. Consequently, companies need to respond with user-oriented solutions for the whole process, from the shop to the consumer’s home. Technology will drive economic growth, assist in elderly care, and accomplish many other good things. However, this strong belief in digitisation begins to waver when your elderly relatives do not know how to use their new TV, and you have trouble instructing them yourself. An unpleasant user experience is all too common. “Hopefully, this is a transitional period after which user-orientation will be implemented in devices and everything will become easier”, says Tuuli Kaskinen, Operations Director at the Demos think tank. A successful company considers user-orientation across the whole logistical chain, from the online services to the user’s home. Consumers want to view the products through a smoothly functioning online service. The purchasing transaction needs to be easy, whether it takes place online or at a bricks and mortar store. Of course, the purchased product also needs to be easy to use. Rather large transformations may take place in this chain over the next few years, the strength and speed of which are difficult to estimate. Will 3D printing become common quickly? Will miniature helicopters make taking products home easier on a large scale? What kind of intermediary services will there be for products in the coming years? “In the future, the big question will still be how the last kilometre of the transport will be handled”, Kaskinen says. Old truths of logistics should be challenged Companies should challenge their existing ideas of what the best solutions are, as future development is unpredictable. Many here would not forecast a great future for the Dabba Wallahelle courier service operating in Mumbai, India, which delivers about 200,000 lunches from suburban homes to workplaces and returns the empty dishes home at the end of the day. However, the system has worked successfully for years and attracted a lot of attention in international financial media channels. In the era of the Internet, similar intermediary companies will step forward at an increasing rate. For example, with the ResQ application, consumers can order food from nearby restaurants that would otherwise be wasted. The service is available in four Finnish cities. Another example is Wolt, a service that can be used to order lunch from 400 restaurants in Helsinki, Tampere and Turku. Distribution channels have become more diversified already, and new ones are expected to appear. Kaskinen believes that within the next few years, homes may have talking refrigerators that can order basic groceries automatically. The consumer’s task will be to fill in special requests on the order list. “Consumers want to have easy solutions, and with digitalisation, shops will be able to offer them.” Kaskinen believes that online shopping will become a standard solution that people will use to do business. However, new solutions will not inevitably put an end to bricks and mortar business, but consumers will be able to select from an increasing variety of solutions. Digital logistics solutions also have strict requirements for data networks. Thanks to the new IPv6 standard, an unlimited number of new devices can be connected online. However, at the same time, it is important to ensure the customer-oriented development of information security for online services. ;
Global network as turn-key solution
DNA Ltd. is a service provider that takes care of device installation and maintenance for international companies. DNA’s customers are global businesses with operations in various countries, including Finland. Mikko Kannisto, Head of Access Network Department, says that DNA works with a wide partner network, which enables the company to offer services to 180 countries. “Device installations and maintenance is a relatively new service that has arisen from customer need. The customer is looking for a partner to maintain and develop its IT infrastructure so that it can focus on its core business,” Kannisto explains. Solid service brings results According to Kannisto, DNA strives to become a company that does more than just maintain hardware: DNA is eager to keep developing its level of service, pushing it further. “On-site installation and maintenance complement the solid over-all service, steering it even more towards a turn-key approach. The customer can, for example, acquire a WLAN network – which covers all the company’s locations – as a convenient service package. We take care of fine-tuning the WLAN to fit the customer’s needs. In addition we install, maintain and develop the backbone network, which we are currently expanding to Amsterdam and Frankfurt.” Going for best practice Kannisto considers the Finnish data traffic market as one of the most advanced in the world: the data services are in fine form (and relatively inexpensive) and the cooperation between operators is seamless. However, in an international context, the collaboration between various operators requires more work as there is no common standard. In addition, such issues as punctuality can fall prey to cultural differences. “Delivery times – as well as other aspects involving the delivery – need to be monitored very closely, so you get a better picture of who to do business with it,” Kannisto says. Eye on quality When it comes to its partner network, DNA clearly values quality over quantity. A good partnership and tight collaboration is a better way to serve the end customer than the traditional subcontractor model. “Our strongest market is the Baltic Sea region, where we want to be first choice for our Finnish customers. For this reason, we place a lot of emphasis on Baltic Sea partnerships, and, if you look at the numbers, we have more partnerships there than in other regions, both in installations and networks.” In other regions, DNA aims to provide at least two suppliers per continent in order to facilitate a better discussion on customers’ needs. As the installation partner, DNA deploys the biggest international players in the market. “This way we are able to achieve smooth delivery and maintenance processes, which work via integrated, electronic interfaces.” Targeting Central Europe DNA is also expanding its backbone network to Amsterdam and Frankfurt. The objective is to complete the network during the summer of 2016, confirms Kannisto. “From the perspective of our wholesale operations, for instance, this investment makes it possible to establish a better presence in Central Europe, so that we can construct network-to-network interfaces (NNI) in Amsterdam or Frankfurt as well as in Stockholm. It also provides flexible and convenient access points to global cloud services.” ;
DNA Business provides installation and maintenance services for networks, domestically and abroad. When your IT infrastructure is in safe hands, you can fully concentrate on your core operation.