Information on parenting and learning is crucial for families. Gofore is involved in several Finnish early childhood education projects, aimed at creating better digital services for families. The projects are also important steps towards creating smarter cities.
A child’s education path begins in day care and continues far beyond. Ensuring a smooth and happy daily life depends on understanding how a child experiences and explains an issue to its parents, as well as communication between parents and day care and teaching staff.
A tremendous amount of knowledge is accumulated along the learning path – even before day care begins. Can we use such knowledge to make everyday life smoother and happier? Can we provide services which families with children do not yet have – or develop activities currently viewed as challenging? Although the key communication forum is the dialogue between parent and child, we can develop other interaction through digitalisation.
Gofore is involved in several early childhood education development projects in Finland. In addition to improved service interaction for families with children, a smarter city is being built. Data can be used to make everyday life easier and respond proactively to residents’ service needs.
“At Gofore, we are strongly involved in the SmartCity development project, exploring how to use data more intelligently for the benefit of urban citizens, and how it can help people to make smarter and more sustainable choices,” says Simo Turunen, Business Manager, Cities, at Gofore.
Towards a unified digital education path in Helsinki
Day care centres in Helsinki have lacked a digital system that enables communication between early childhood education professionals and parents. This is now being developed, while shaking up digital systems along the entire education path. Wilma, the school communication system used in Helsinki schools, is obsolete and must be developed alongside other services.
The development project for ASTI (common transaction information system), a public interaction system launched in Helsinki, aims to create a unified digital education path for children: from early childhood education through to secondary school. This is an outstanding opportunity to consider what we really want from a digital interaction system – now and in the future. Gofore is strongly involved in developing a digital system for early childhood education. For Simo, the project involves a much larger mission than this suggests.
“The public debate in Helsinki has largely been about replacing Wilma, but we need to see the bigger picture. Digital systems for teaching and early childhood education will become much more comprehensive, service-oriented and customer-friendly.”
Towards development and an end result that responds to change
Digitalising early childhood education in Helsinki is no small project, but a joint development effort that will take years. Our multi-talented team at Gofore will ensure that future technology meets the requirements in question, and works. In addition, the collaboration between the public and private sectors will be strengthened, as city officials join forces with software development teams to shape development work.
“If we just go ahead and make a ‘finished’ product, it will be obsolete in 10 years’ time. People love digital products, but who ensures that such products are kept up to date? Deeper cooperation between businesses and the public sector will provide a range of opportunities for urban service development,” Simo explains.
Developing – or creating new and better – services is not always about big investments and budgets. It is more about challenging existing practices and taking them to a new level. Can we genuinely create savings by developing our current practices and activities?
Gofore has a strong track record of steady development of urban services through agile development principles. Instead of thinking that we know everything from the start and working to a pre-set plan, we believe in moving forward on a thoughtful and collaborative basis.
“By identifying current operational problems and finding user-friendly solutions in close collaboration with a range of stakeholders, we can create well-functioning services and ease the everyday lives of residents,” says Simo.
Raise your hand if preparing travel invoices is the highlight of your day. Or if you enjoy recording working hours and reserving tickets for a business trip. These mundane tasks can become a pleasant and even attractive experience – you only need an open mind and a splash of new technology. Gofore’s ”bot addict” Aapo Tanskanen tells us how artificially intelligent bots have made everyday work more pleasant and fun.
Artificial intelligence helps Netflix recommend programmes we may like and Facebook tag friends in photos. Even a robot car could not drive by itself without machine learning. But can artificial intelligence also help ordinary office workers? Yes, it can. We have developed three intelligent chatbots that help people perform many essential every day tasks effortlessly.
Seppo, Granny and Gene are text-based conversational chatbots that operate in the Slack instant message environment frequently used by Gofore employees. Seppo chatbot is the veteran of the bunch and was developed in 2016. Like many other successful projects, it grew out of a real need. We do not have an actual middle management. This does not, however, eliminate many of the tasks that are performed at this level in more traditional organisations.
Seppo, for example, helps to manage working hours. It notifies you if an employee has worked too many hours, or if entries need to be fixed. Based on the good experiences with Seppo, we started to develop new chatbots to help with everyday routine tasks. Gene, for example, takes care of booking train tickets, which greatly helps employees who work in various locations. Granny, for her part, is a laid-back generalist, who can be consulted on general matters regarding the company.
”Bots have really changed every day work here,” says data analyst Aapo Tanskanen, who confesses to being a bot addict, and who has been closely involved in the development of Gene. ”Their use, for example, in entering hours worked, is considerably easier and more pleasant than clicking menus in a traditional interface.”
The short history of improvements in working life
Our bots are a great example of how the quality of working life can be improved with technology. Work hour entries, ticket reservations and travel invoices are an obligatory part of our work, but liked by few – especially when they steal a disproportionate amount of time from the work itself.
When routine tasks become smooth and pleasant, job satisfaction also increases. “Since our communications are based strongly on Slack anyway, the threshold to making daily obligatory routine entries is very low. You don’t have to open separate applications, instead you can take care of things quickly right away. In addition to making life easier, bots make routine activities more efficient and even more fun.”
Indeed, bots have become very popular with Gofore employees. For example, more than 200 train tickets have already been booked with Gene, even though it was rolled out only a few months ago right before the holiday period. People are not, however, forced to interact with bots, and old methods are used alongside the new ones.
”Our bots are made to be approachable, and the threshold for using them is very low. They already understand natural language really well and continue to develop through use. Using natural language makes interaction with bots somehow more human,” says Aapo.
Bots are not faceless workhorses, but instead they all have their own personalities. Especially the newest family member Granny’s personality is the most developed. As her name suggests, Granny’s nature is gentle and uncomplicated, and she knows how to tell jokes. Seppo, on the other hand, is more of a managerial type, and Gene is a snappy assistant, who manages designated tasks efficiently.
”Bot’s personality traits may lower the threshold to use them again. The user experience plays a large part in determining whether people start using the bots. Therefore, their good design is key.”
Bots help people develop at work
Fortunately, sometimes one good thing leads to another. Bots have also been found to be good for onboarding new employees. It is easy to ask them basic things about the company and its practices without having to bother a colleague every time.
”Of course a bot does not replace personal onboarding, but it does offer excellent support and enables people to review things at a convenient time for them,” Aapo says.
Long-time employees have also been provided with new opportunities to develop themselves. “Our bots know, for example, to recommend what skills an employee should develop. Behind this are skills profiles collected from the staff, with which the algorithm knows how to make recommendations based on the said users’ profile.”
The breakthrough of artificial intelligence in the office is near
Many skills are needed to build a functional conversational bot. In addition to service design and UX development, essential knowledge includes cloud utilisation and understanding API interfaces. Natural language processing (NLP) and chatbot technology know-how is also necessary for developing the bot itself.
According to Aapo, many customers have been extremely interested when they have seen Gofore’s bots in action. “I have not run into bots such as Seppo, Gene and Granny that are internally used by a company and improve the employee experience elsewhere. In this respect, they are so far, quite unique.”
”There has been a lot of hype in the field, but now we have clearly arrived at a situation in which the benefits gained from them are obvious. I strongly bet on autumn 2019 being a real bot autumn.”
Watch the video and see how Gene books a train seat. If you want to hear more about bots, please contact Aapo via e-mail () or via LinkedIn.
Changing the world for the better isn’t just a state of mind, it’s about actions. We want all our actions to have a positive impact. Every year we choose collaborations that have that impact.
We have collaborated with Shadeshares, a company that puts their heart and soul, and expertise into ‘making good’. Shadeshare makes beautiful wooden sunglasses that aim to have a bigger positive impact than just sun protection.
The company was established by Finnish technology entrepreneur, Jan-Erik Westergård, and his Kenyan wife Veronica who strived to improve the lives in Kenyan slums by education and work. 30% of the sunglasses’ sales price is channeled to do good: 20% of every pair sold is directly spent on supporting the professional education and employment of young people living in the Kenia and 10% of the sunglasses’ sale price is donated to Finnish charities. We chose to support Icehearts. Icehearts is an organization that prevents young people’s social exclusion, enhances social skills and promotes well-being using team sports. They also provide consistent long-term support for vulnerable children in Finland.
Sharing good impact with wooden Shadeshare & Gofore collaboration sunglasses
We want to give away 20 pairs of wooden, hand-made, Shadeshare & Gofore collaboration sunglasses. Find our the campaign post on Gofore’s Instagram and tell your story about a positive moment in the comment section. You can give praise to your workmate that smiled at you, to the person making you a fresh morning coffee or to yourself for doing something great. We want to hear all impactful stories however big and small.
The campaign time is from June 19th to July 4th, after that we will randomly pic the winners and send direct messages to the lucky ones.
All glasses are handmade and different. The shades are made from lacquer coated wood from the outside and painted blue in the inside. Brown lenses are polarized and UV protected. Glasses retail prize is 86,80€ (including VAT 24%). You can choose from two different shapes, Rouvali or Eppu. The prize includes one pair of sunglasses shipped to receiver’s home address in Finland.
If you decide to participate in the campaign, we will collect your user name and name in order to carry out the lottery and contact the winners. We will process the data confidentially and we will not disclose the data to any third party. After the campaign, we will delete the data in a data secure manner. You can find more information, how Gofore processes personal information at https://gofore.com/en/privacy-notice/.
Campaign time is 19.6.–4.7.2019. The campaign will run in Gofore’s Instagram. Winners will be announced on July 4th via direct message. Gofore won’t publish the names of the winners publicly. You can participate in the campaign by commenting on a story about a positive impact. Participation is open to all people who live in Finland and are over 12 years old. Instagram has no part in the lottery. Gofore pays the lottery tax. All rights reserved.
The City of Espoo has chosen Gofore Plc as one of its partners in the development of digital services for the next four years. Gofore was named the overall primary supplier in the procurement process. The total value of the development collaboration arrangement was evaluated at EUR 6 million in the call for tenders. Gofore reported (25.10.2017, in Finnish) on the co-operation: https://gofore.com/gofore-espoon-kaupungin-kehittajakumppaniksi/. After this the contracts have been signed.
City services to be re-structured
The projects to be carried out in collaboration with the City of Espoo will encompass much more than updates to the City’s IT systems. The aim is to comprehensively examine the organisation of municipal services in new ways.
“We are planning a micro services architecture which will work in the background for new digital services,” says Riikka Vilminko-Heikkinen, the Business Manager responsible for Municipalities and Regional Government at Gofore.
“The City of Espoo is a bold reformer of digital services in the public sector. This collaboration will allow us to conduct some very interesting projects in the coming years.”
Collaboration starting on many fronts
The procurement concerned several different service areas. The subject of the call for tenders was expert services for the development of digital and online services as well as supplemental support and administration services. The resulting collaboration will encompass work conducted by Gofore’s scrum master developers as well as UX and UI developers, among others.
In addition to this, the collaboration will also give the City of Espoo access to the expertise of Gofore’s software development, integration, backlog manager and release manager experts.
The competitive tendering encompassed the following service areas:
A: Scrum master developers
B: UX/UI developers
C: Developers (back-end, microservices)
D: Integration experts
E: QA experts and data security experts
F: DevOps experts
G: Release manager experts
H: Backlog manager experts
I: Multi-skilled teams.
Gofore was chosen as the primary supplier in areas A, B, C, D, G, H and I of the arrangement. In addition to this, Gofore was chosen as one of the suppliers in area F. Framework agreements will be prepared individually for each area. The City of Espoo does not commit to predefined purchasing volumes during the contract period.
This is not the first time that Gofore has worked together with the City of Espoo, as the company has previously supplied the City with the Kalenteri.espoo.fi service, which gives parents greater access to the everyday life of early childhood education.
Read more: https://gofore.com/en/asiakkaat/city-of-espoo/
GOFORE OYJ PRESS RELEASE 10.11.2017 AT 12:00
The University of Helsinki and Gofore continue their cooperation. Gofore was chosen for the next four-year term of the agile development framework arrangement of the University of Helsinki. The arrangement covers development and expert services and involves four suppliers.
The maximum value of the University of Helsinki’s framework agreement is eight million euros. Gofore estimates that its share of the agreement will be approximately a million euros per year.
The same suppliers who partnered with the University of Helsinki for the previous four years will continue this cooperation in the new agreement.
The University of Helsinki and Gofore are working together to develop the digital services of the largest university in Finland in order to meet the varied needs of the users.
“Gofore’s experts provide the University of Helsinki with software design, development, consulting and other services in accordance with the principles of agile development,” says Gofore’s Business Manager Ville Nordberg, who is in charge of the agreement.
For more information, please contact:
Business Manager, Education & Transportation
tel. +358 (0)50 506 0017
Gofore Plc is a digital services company operating since 2002. We offer modern services that help operators in the private and public sectors to face digital change. Our mission is to change the world for the better through digitalisation and by renewing ways of working. Our services cover the entire value chain – from management consultation to service design and implementation as well as cloud services. Staying on top and ahead of the development requires us to be fast-paced, regenerative and competitive. We have 15 years of expertise in this. Our operations are characterised by top expertise, alacrity and genuine interaction. We believe that we are the best partner to our clients on the path to digital change. Gofore currently employs over 350 people in Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Tampere, Swansea and Munich. Go-fore was chosen as the best workplace in Finland and the second-best workplace in Europe in the Great Place to Work® survey in 2017. More information: www.gofore.com.
Kela has chosen Gofore as a supplier to promote the implementation of its strategy. The collaboration is set to begin in October 2017 and encompasses expert services in the areas of strategy development and organisational development.
The collaboration is based on a framework agreement on management and development consulting services, which supports the achievement of Kela’s vision and strategic objectives. Gofore’s management consulting experts will be serving as subject-matter experts and coaches in the areas of strategy development, the management system and development programmes. Coaching will be provided to everyone who participates in the implementation of Kela’s strategy, meaning experts, supervisors and top management.
Customer impact snapshot as the basis for management
Kela’s aim is to provide an excellent customer experience for both internal and external customers. In addition to this, Kela is also aiming to make its information system development more agile. In order to achieve these objectives, top management must be able to evaluate and change Kela’s strategy even at short notice.
– Kela’s aim is to improve and develop its operations in a customer-oriented manner, says Kela’s Strategy Manager Heli Korhola. Key focus areas in regard to this development include impact on society and active participation in networks.
Gofore will be providing Kela with innovative new operating and working methods for strategy development and implementation. Fore example, Kela is currently looking to adopt new operating and working methods in impact management.
– This collaboration is an indication of Kela’s open-minded approach to development and its readiness to accept new agile methods in strategic management. This bodes well for our client in terms of their potential for renewal. For Gofore, the collaboration provides a chance to participate in work that has a significant impact on society, says Mikael Nylund Director of Digital Transformation Advisory from Gofore.
Gofore’s plan for managing strategic development was praised especially for its customer-oriented approach. In addition to this, Gofore also earned praise for its understanding of Kela’s operating environment and foresight.
– Digitalisation has the potential to improve society’s ability to anticipate changes. We are developing towards genuinely customer-oriented thinking, says Gofore’s Principal Consultant Petri Takala.
For more information, please contact:
Director, Digital Transformation Advisory
Tel. +358 (0)40 540 2280
What is Business design? How should customer needs be taken into account in strategic decision making? This brand new Gofore’s Business design booklet gives you answers to these questions.
This booklet provides an introduction to the topic of business design. The purpose is to define what business design means in practice and to give examples of challenges solved within business design projects.
– The key in business design is to involve both company experts and customers to identify new business opportunities, Senior Business Designer Hanna-Riikka Sundberg, booklet author.
Co-operation between these parties guarantees that the identified business opportunities respond to both the customers’ needs and the company’s strategic goals.
Our goal at Gofore is to work with clients to define their specific business design and look at how they can develop their business in a more customer-oriented way. The contents of this booklet are based on the knowledge gained from several business design projects and discussions with colleagues and peers on the topic. It is also written to inspire readers to think about customer and user experience in a new light when designing services and making strategic decisions.
The Business design booklet is written for anyone interested in getting an initial glimpse into the topic, professionals working among business design related issues, and for those who believe that business design is the answer to finding new opportunities in increasingly competitive markets.
Following the acquisition of Leadin that came into effect in May, new appointments have been made to the management of Gofore. The rapidly-growing companies are integrating and from now on will write their success story together.
Topi Koskinen has been appointed as Gofore’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Ville Tuominen as the Director of International Business. Both appointments are effective 9.6.2017. At the same time, Koskinen and Tuominen are joining Gofore’s management team.
Topi Koskinen is responsible at Gofore for production management and for continuous development of agile governance of the company. He will also continue as the Managing Director of Leadin. Ville Tuominen is responsible for Gofore’s international business operations. In addition, he will lead sales of Gofore’s Design services. Alongside his new duties, Tuominen will continue at Leadin in the role of Commercial Manager.
“Traditionally, people have grown into managerial roles at Gofore – previously, no-one has been recruited from outside for the position of a director or manager. Through our first company acquisition, we got not only skilled personnel, but also management,” says the CEO of Gofore, Timur Kärki.
The area of responsibility of Gofore management team member Mikael Nylund has been expanded. Mikael will be leading the mergers & acquisitions process at Gofore, in addition to his current role as a Head of the Management Consulting business. The objective for the M&A process is to support the growth strategy based on organic growth of the company with acquisition transactions in Finland and in selected other market areas. The aim is to find targets with which Gofore can strengthen its ability to comprehensively help its clients in digital transformation.
The acquisition of Leadin was confirmed on 31.5.2017, when Gofore acquired all the shares of Leadin. The growing companies will seek to recruit a total of 170 workers during this year, increasing the number of personnel at the offices of Finland, Great Britain and Germany. Gofore was selected as the best workplace in Finland and the 2nd best workplace in Europe in the Great Place to Work 2017 study. Leadin will continue to operate under its own name for now, and business will go on without interruption.
Gofore, CEO Timur Kärki, +358 40 828 5886,
Learn more about the acquisition of Leadin
The best place to work in Finland is now also one of the best places to work in Europe. Gofore, an expert in digital services, rose to 2. place in the ranking of the best workplaces in the Great Place to Work Europe. The announcement was made during a gala dinner held in Paris on June 8th. Gofore is seen as an innovator of work culture, which relies on solid expertise and a relaxed and open atmosphere. This innovative culture is also helping as Gofore opens new offices across Europe
“The heart, hands and feet of operations of Gofore are our enthusiastic employees, who are at the peak of their profession. The award is recognition of the fact that the people who are extremely important to us also sincerely enjoy their work, and we’re not only the best place to work in Finland, but also one of the absolute top places in Europe,” Erkki Salminen, Director responsible for the company’s culture and competences, says with delight.
The fantastic work culture of Gofore is an example of a way of managing companies that are capable of modernising and which are required in a changing world:
“In this day and age, the companies that survive are those that are capable of change and that boldly look to the future. We believe that this is achieved through inspired people, shared learning and openness. The same cultural change can also be seen at the moment in our customer base – in addition to development of services, the digitalising world also needs reforming work and operating procedures” continues Timur Kärki, the CEO of Gofore.
Through the acquisition of Leadin, completed in May, Gofore is a genuinely international company and expanding operations in Europe is a natural part of the growth path of the company. The strong work culture serves as an excellent basis for internationalisation and the top ranking indicates that Gofore is also an attractive employer on a European level.
Rapid growth and even more satisfied employees
Growth into new markets does not only mean expansion of business operations, but also new work opportunities for employees of the company. Gofore’s style of management emphasises a wide-ranging search for things that are new, both at a company and at an individual level. Work roles which are invigorating and support one’s own development are at the heart of the open culture and offering international opportunities is one way to create an even better work community.
“Recruiting the best professionals in their fields is important to us. We have always believed strongly that people who get fired-up by their work also inspire our customers. In this way, top expertise and creation of
customer value are combined and the end result is a satisfied customer. Everyone takes pleasure in the successes,” adds Salminen.
The company’s rate of development is intense, but right from the beginning the number one value of Gofore has been that the company is as good a place as possible for everyone to work at. The annual rise in the Great Place to Work rankings, combined with continuous growth, is evidence of this. Last year, the company was sixth on the European list. Earlier this year, Gofore was chosen the best place to work in Finland rising from 3rd in 2015 and 2016.
100 companies from a group of 2 340 companies were selected onto the Great Place to Work Europe list. The list is based on national surveys carried out by Great Place to Work in 19 different European countries.
Erkki Salminen, Director, Culture & Competences
+358 40 738 5650,
Erkki is in Paris representing Gofore. The best way to reach him is by phone or with a text message, where you can also leave a request to be called back.
Timur Kärki, CEO
+358 40 828 5886,
Riikka Nurminen, Marketing & Communications Director
+358 50 486 8600,
High growth companies Gofore and Leadin will merge into a leading digitalisation company. Expert in digital services Gofore, acquires service design expert Leadin. With the merger, Finland will have a new service company that operates internationally and helps its clients in a comprehensive manner with digital transformation. The acquisition also opens up new career opportunities for the more than 300 employees of the combined companies.
“During the coming years, all services will be redesigned – the speed of development is very fast at the moment. Organisations that can renew themselves in as agile a manner as possible and understand changing customer needs will be the winners. From the very first discussions, the merger of Gofore and Leadin seemed like a natural choice. We are merging Leadin’s international business operations and design competence with Gofore’s development and change consulting services. With the merger, we will have a unique group of people designing the future,” says Timur Kärki, CEO of Gofore.
A fast growing new company – complementary clientele and competence
Gofore is known for its strong position as an agile information system supplier and consultant for the public sector. Leadin’s clientele consists of domestic and foreign businesses in the sectors of engineering, services and technology. Both companies are characterised by enthusiasm and constantly looking for ways to benefit their clients.
“Our ways of meeting clients’ needs and focusing on people as the core of the change design process are consistent with Gofore. Together we will be a strong partner for all clients regardless of sector when they wish to produce added value from user insight through design and digital development,” says Topi Koskinen, CEO at Leadin.
With the merger, the companies’ clients will receive a more comprehensive service than ever before in their digital change process. Gofore’s state-of-the-art technology competence and ability to manage and steer large projects combined with Leadin’s business-oriented planning and user interface expertise will make the company even stronger. Through Leadin’s international presence and clientele in, for example, the United Kingdom and Germany, the companies can expand and offer all of their services globally.
Gofore’s turnover was EUR 18.6 million in 2016, and Leadin’s turnover was EUR 4.2 million. Both companies are growing rapidly. This year, target turnover for Gofore is EUR 27.5 million and for Leadin the target is EUR 8 million.
Gofore will acquire all shares in Leadin from the current major shareholder, BCM Consulting, and all other shares will be exchanged for shares in Gofore. The acquisition price will not be made public. The acquisition is expected to complete at the end of May 2017
Everything starts from company culture
Digitalisation requires new modes of operation and the ability to adapt to constant change. The company’s agility derives from the company culture, at the core of which is our personnel. People are at the centre of everything, both at Gofore, winner of the Great Place to Work Finland 2017, as well as at Leadin, both when developing the client’s working culture and, in their own daily work.
“Our operations are based on satisfied employees. We want to be the best place to work now, and also in the future. The acquisition opens a door for our personnel to work on international projects and the possibility to expand their expertise in the field. We welcome Leadin’s people with joy and want them to become a part of our great and open work community,” Timur Kärki says.
The companies’ personnel will move into the same premises as soon as possible. Leadin will continue under its own name for the time being, and business operations will continue without disruption. The rapidly growing combined company aim to recruit 170 employees during this year, increasing the number of personnel in their offices in Finland, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Gofore, CEO Timur Kärki, +358 40 828 5886,
Leadin, CEO Topi Koskinen, +358 40 517 0039,
Gofore‘s expertise is in designing and developing digital services. Our mission is to make the world better through digitalisation and by revolutionalising work culture. Gofore designs and builds digital services together, engaging with customers. We are excited about the new digital age, which continually offers the exhilaration of new experiences. More than 220 in number, we are located in Helsinki, Jyväskylä and Tampere, Finland, and this year we are striving for EUR 27.5 million in revenue. Gofore was chosen as the best place to work in Finland in the Great Place to Work 2017 survey. The company was established in 2001. www.gofore.com
Leadin is an international expert in user experience planning and production, and service design, producing outstanding added value for their clients based on user insight. We are especially motivated by challenging user environments, new technologies and a demanding user base. Our operations are guided by genuine enthusiasm and the desire to provide our clients with the best possible user experience. Leadin employs approximately 80 experts in Helsinki, Tampere, Swansea and Munich. The company’s turnover was EUR 4.2 million in 2016, a third of which came from outside Finland. This year, Leadin aims for a turnover of EUR 8 million. The largest owner of the company, BCM Consulting, is owned by the founders of Leadin, Juha Lehikoinen and Jaakko Lehikoinen. Further information: www.leadin.fi