Information flows through Espoo
Espoo is one of the cities that is on the front line in the march towards a more digital tomorrow. New electronic service solutions and mobility play a key role in the city's strategy. It comes as no surprise that Espoo has invested in creating and running a powerful IT infrastructure.
The City of Espoo and DNA Business have concluded an agreement for voice and data communication services and this agreement has now entered its second contractual period. Jukka Pitkänen, the Manager in charge of Espoo's IT services, says that it is crucial for a large city to ensure that these matters are handled as well as possible.
"The functionality of voice and data communications services is in one way a foundation for all of the other systems. If there are problems, we must be notified immediately. The problems must then be solved rapidly or the situation must be escalated," Pitkänen says. Such are the challenges faced by a city with 240 000 inhabitants, 14 000 municipal employees and 500 offices.
DNA Business provides Espoo with a package of data communication services including a wireless LAN (both a fixed network and a guest network), data communications connections for the city's offices, maintenance of local area networks at offices, and construction and maintenance of Espoo's fibre network.
Voice services include mobile services, a landline service, a switching environment and call-back services that address the appointment-booking needs of the city's various units. Over the last year, Contact Center services have been introduced, representing the newest front-line service. Espoo had previously used Contact Center services on a smaller scale. "Now the plan is to make serious investments in this area," Pitkänen says.
"We believe that functionality will reach new levels, resulting in better service and availability."
According to Pitkänen, even more Contact Centers will be deployed in 2015.
DNA Business and Espoo have been working together for ten years. Pitkänen has only been in his present position for a couple of years but the DNA Business way of doing things has already made an impact:
"DNA Business clearly knows Espoo well and is familiar with its needs. We have a close partnership formed over years of teamwork."
A deployment project for the new contractual term is now underway. When this is finished, activities will be developed within the on-going service framework. If requested, DNA Business will also participate in Espoo's other development projects.
Top-class development projects
Over the last decade, DNA Business professionals have been hard at work developing services that meet the City of Espoo's needs: designing and constructing Espoo's own fibre network is close to the top of the list, as is developing order and reporting services to align them with the city's requirements.
"Recently, wireless technology has seen significant investment, particularly in schools," Pitkänen adds.
According to Pitkänen, the crest of the next digitalisation wave is on its way and the city must do everything it can to make sure that it is able to keep up with developments. For example, new applications are constantly making in-roads into people's everyday lives and networks must provide a kick. Alongside performance, security is also of primary importance.
"We aim to construct an IT entity with foresight, ensuring that the transition to a new era will not be held back by the infrastructure."
Developments have already reached the stage where cloud services are dramatically changing the ways how people store and exchange information. Working with a partner such as DNA Business, it is possible to eliminate bottlenecks and comprehensively optimise systems.
"We will be using even more end-to-end quality control to ensure sufficient capacity and information security," Pitkänen says.