Technopolis Plc, the leading provider of smart business parks in the Nordic-Baltic region offering flexible and modern office space combined with business supporting services, wanted to enhance the way they serve their customers. They made a strategic decision
to connect their existing information systems via SharePoint, developing a Business-Critical SharePoint (BCSP) solution, called MyTechnopolis, improving their customer services and productivity across the company.
|Real estate business
Technopolis Plc. is a listed real estate company specializing in real estate leasing and supporting services for approximately 26,000 people and 1,400 companies and organizations in in Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, and Russia. Their core business
idea is to combine business support services with modern, flexible, multi-user business environments.
||We had to rethink our business processes to be simple and straightforward towards the customer.
| Tommy Kankkonen
Technopolis wanted to modernize its service experience by enabling customers to easily access relevant information regarding their services and how to order and update them online. Previously, Technopolis needed to support all of its customers one on one via
email, telephone, or face to face, as they lacked a real digital service channel. Whether finding new office space or just a meeting room with catering for a meeting, Technopolis wanted to empower their customers to do business online without having to walk
away from their desks. Digital online channels would only require minimal intervention from Technopolis personnel.
Online services were lacking from Technopolis’ portfolio, so one requirement was to create a channel providing these services. Another need was to further extend this service portfolio quickly and easily, as the business environment kept evolving. Furthermore,
digital services were expected to be tailored to the needs of the different user groups, each requiring their own specific management views. For example, the security services teams’ needs are very different from catering services team’s requirements.
“We did not have any digital service channels except for a simple static website. Basically we we’re serving all of our customers directly either face to face or via telephone or email. These channels are important but also very laborious compared to the
customer mostly serving themselves through digital channels.” states Tommy Kankkonen, Development Director at Technopolis.
Technopolis made a strategic decision to concentrate all of their online services, including intranet, extranet, and internet services, on the SharePoint 2010 platform. They hired Sininen Meteoriitti, a Microsoft partner to develop a Business-Critical SharePoint
(BCSP) solution, called MyTechnopolis where line-of-business (LOB) systems, such as Microsoft Dynamics AX and UniAssociation are connected with SharePoint to improve productivity across the company.
The MyTechnopolis portal serves as an extranet, the service channel for existing customers. Customers can now easily find and order various services offered by Technopolis such as book a meeting room on any Technopolis’ campus. Technopolis personnel delivering
these services (e.g. lobby personnel, customer service, catering, security and cleaning) have customized views and features to manage the service offerings and help their customers with their orders.
The master data for the offered services and spaces live in the Technopolis Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, Microsoft Dynamics AX, which is accessed through BizTalk. One of the main services Technopolis provides is booking meeting rooms. The calendar
data related to the booking is stored in Microsoft Exchange. MyTechnopolis service prices are calculated in another LOB system, called UniAssociation, where the list prices are combined with customer and service-specific discounts. All of the user information
is stored in Microsoft Active Directory which is managed through standard SharePoint interfaces and BizTalk to update user information and create new users.
“We had to change our way of thinking a little when introducing the new business system.” explains Kankkonen. “The services and solutions provided had to be simplified in order to be provided through the digital channel. This meant that we had to rethink
our business processes to be simple and straightforward for the customer to use. Now our processes have more clear inputs and outputs to our services. This mindset helped us a lot on following up on service quality. And now we can also get bigger benefits
through economies of scale.”
Today digital self-service processes enable Technopolis customers to order services online. Due to a much more efficient process, customer services and lobby personnel save significant amount of time completing their work. Digitalization removed several
manual steps from the processes. Kankkonen states that previously the input of two or even three people was needed for each service order. Now with the use of the digital channel, no human interference is needed in most of the cases, which helps reduce misunderstandings
and manual errors.
New services that previously were not possible can now be offered through the digital channel, improving their competitive advantage. Working with digital services also helps improve their brand image, as customers today expect online services. The customer
can choose their preferred service channel – whether it is digital, face-to-face, or via telephone.
“The digital self-service solution is in the very core of our business so we needed the solution to be agile. First we needed to catch the customer’s identity to our systems. After we have that we’re able to offer even new types of services very easily.
Some of these services may be provided by our partners and were just exposing them through MyTechnopolis. We also let the customers manage their own user accounts so we do not even need to do that anymore.” says Kankkonen enthusiastically.
“In our field of business our new approach is also somewhat of a blue ocean strategy as our competitors do not yet have this type of digital services available. This is something we’re quite proud of.” finalizes Kankkonen.
Business-Critical SharePoint (BCSP) is a Microsoft partner program
that includes top solution and service providers who focus on advanced SharePoint scenarios, including LOB connectivity.
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