Case story Are


10 years of partnership – Are and Enfo on a strong development path together

Are has chosen to outsource IT services from Service Desk to cloud services and maintaining the entire data network as a whole. In the tendering held in 2017, Enfo proved to still be the most suitable partner for Are to grow with together into the future.

A comprehensive partnership, in which Enfo's experts proactively present development proposals, is important to us.

Mikko Särkkä, CIO, Are

“For those of us at Are, an outsourced model is first and foremost a sensible and efficient solution. The division of roles is clear, and it frees up our own resources for development. It isn’t necessary to maintain all IT roles in-house; instead, our own ICT experts can focus on supervision and development together with the Enfo service manager. This kind of cooperation works well, and we get the best benefits from outsourcing,” says Mikko Särkkä, CIO at Are.

The cooperation between Are and Enfo has already been long and fruitful, and the mutual trust is solid. However, even long-term partnerships should undergo tendering from time to time so as to ensure that the package is up-to-date.

“Cooperation means continuous learning on both sides. When the whole package is opened up, you typically find things that could be rationalized further. In connection with updating the agreement, the service descriptions, coverages and response times were reviewed, and new ways were found of doing familiar things. This also allowed us to achieve cost savings in a way that makes sense for both us and Enfo,” Särkkä explains the reasons for the tendering process.

IT services at a high level

In fact, the service agreement between Enfo and the building services and real estate maintenance expert Are includes all basic IT services: Service Desk, cloud services, capacity services, and the management and development of the entire data network as a whole. The results of continuous customer satisfaction monitoring show that Enfo’s IT solutions and services truly meet the users’ needs.

“The Service Desk in particular receives consistently good feedback from the users. Local production guarantees that the service is quick and of high quality. The service is produced in Finland, and the customer service employees are long-term experts who know Are as a company and understand its business,” says Veijo Aalto, Service Delivery Manager at Enfo.

IT development within the framework of the basic agreement has been carried out on issues such as modernizing the data network technology, but new kinds of cooperation areas in the field of business applications and analytics are also constantly being mapped.

Strong partnership, common development

“A comprehensive partnership, in which Enfo’s experts proactively present development proposals, is important to us. Enfo offers us expert views on issues such as how to build the basic infrastructure and develop different areas sensibly,” Särkkä describes.

Ongoing discussions include topics such as how to make the work of the personnel in the field more efficient by collecting, analyzing and utilizing data.
“We aim at ensuring that, while we guarantee reliable basic technical services for Are, we can also look to the future and the opportunities of digitalization in developing business together,” says Rami Virta, Account Director at Enfo.

Särkkä is very satisfied with the cooperation as a whole: “We are happy to continue working with Enfo!”

Mikko Särkkä’s tips for choosing an IT outsourcing partner 

1. Choose a partner that is the right size for you: sufficiently agile, but also capable of producing a comprehensive service package with high quality.

2. Make sure that the supplier is genuinely interested in you in particular. For example, one of our criteria in the tendering was that we would be one of the supplier’s ten most important customers.

3. Even with long-term partners, it is good to sometimes think through one’s needs from the beginning and start building the service with a clean slate, just like for a new customer. This ensures that the package meets the current needs, and rationalizing the services also brings costs savings.

Benefits of IT outsourcing and cooperation

  • Comprehensive service: An expert partner takes care of the implementation and maintenance of the IT package, which means that Are can focus its resources on development.
  • The everyday work goes smoothly, when the basic IT services and systems work reliably and ensure that Are has agile processes at its disposal.
  • IT outsourcing implemented with the right partner saves n costs.
  • The indicators and targets agreed together guarantee a high-quality service.
  • A clear division of roles makes work easier and frees up resources.
are logo

Are is the largest provider of building services in Finland. Its service offering covers all building services for real estate from the design phase to high-quality implementation, excellent commissioning and continuous maintenance. The life-cycle building services contracting and real estate maintenance services guarantee energy efficiency and comfortable indoor conditions on customer premises. Are has been in operation for more than 100 years. The company employs some 2,900 people at 25 locations in Finland, and it also has employees in St. Petersburg, Russia. Are is a Finnish family business and a part of the Onvest Group.