November 27, 2015

Turning open source culture outwards

Juha Lauritsalo

Customer Executive, Tieto

The reason for my existence – in my working life, at least – is to enable, support or improve our customers’ businesses by means of Tieto’s services, and in such a manner that the business engagement is profitable and sustainable for both parties. As simple as that? Well, not quite. If it were that simple, myself and my colleagues would already have been replaced by machines. I hope that doesn’t happen anytime soon because I am quite happy with what I do, thank you very much.

On a more serious note, matching Tieto’s offerings with our customers’ needs - current, future, known or still unidentified - requires a lot of information and knowledge. Internally, Tieto promotes what we call open source culture, which means sharing the information and knowledge that we all possess for the benefit of our customers. Learning from each other is strongly encouraged. In practice, it means that when you actively look for information, ideas and suggestions, you are very likely to find what you need. It is also extremely useful to keep your eyes and ears open for things or information that you may not need just now but which may be useful or valuable to you, to your colleague or to your customer sooner or later.

At Tieto, the open source culture is definitely more than a catchword. The results of our recent employee engagement survey, one that we run annually and take very seriously in developing the way we work and making our daily work more enjoyable, has provided unambiguous answers. It clearly indicates that our personnel feel that today there is more information sharing taking place than before, especially the kind that helps us all to do our work in a more productive, innovative and satisfying way. Our most recent survey also showed a significant rise in employee satisfaction. Is information sharing and open communication linked with employee satisfaction? Yes, I really believe it is.

Whilst the internal sharing of information is instrumental in organizational learning and development, it remains an academic exercise if it is not utilized to the benefit of our customers. Therefore, I strongly encourage extending the philosophy and practices of the open source culture to our customer relationship management as well. Tieto’s way of promoting, selling and delivering IT services is based upon nourishing our customer relationships in the long term. Our way is not to sell and deliver something quickly and then walk away. Instead, our approach gives us the possibility to over time develop a deeper understanding of our customers’ needs. Furthermore, it also allows us to create innovative solutions that help them be more competitive and successful in the environment where they operate.

Innovating does not mean re-inventing the wheel time and time again. This is where sharing of information, or the open source culture as you know by now, comes in again. To mention an example; at Tieto, we occasionally arrange events where we invite two to five of our customers from different fields of business or government to share ideas and have creative discussions, facilitated by us. Ideas generated through such interaction sometimes lead to development activities within any participating organization. But more interestingly and more importantly, it can also lead to partnerships between organisations that until then have operated in totally different fields of business or government. This is true information sharing and out-of-the-box thinking put into action that benefits not only our customers and us but the whole of society. This may sound like a bold statement, but bearing in mind Tieto’s presence in e.g. retail, manufacturing, logistics, energy, telecom, healthcare and government domains, we can truly say that such interaction has all the elements in place to make a difference. It’s good to talk.

Stay up-to-date

Get all the latest blogs sent you now!