We want our partners to challenge us and actively propose new ideas.
In May 2019, two municipal veterans, KuntaPro and Taitoa, merged. The new company was named Sarastia, and the goal of this service center was set to enable the efficient operation and digitalization of municipalities. At the heart of the goal is Sarastia365, a comprehensive and modern cloud-based system solution for municipalities based on Microsoft Dynamics 365. Help was needed to support the development of the solution, and through a tender, Sarastia found a competent partner in Efima for the financial management entity.
Customized software offering brings added value to customers
Even before the merger, KuntaPro had developed its own software products for its customers, and it was decided to continue along the same lines during the merger. According to Janne Santanen, Sarastia's business unit manager, the software solutions made in-house have added value for the company's customers. “Sarastia has many years of experience in how service centers should serve their customers. Through our own software offering, we can also offer our customers an even more cost-effective solution, efficient processes and systems", says Santanen.
Joni Talvitie, Business Director of Software and Business Intelligence, agrees with Santanen. “Work on Sarastia365 began about two years ago, even before the merger. The purpose of the project, which bore the name Kunta365, was that we would not only be a provider of financial services, but also an enabler of digitalization of municipalities and cities”, Talvitie describes. The cornerstone of the project was a solution tailored to the specific needs of municipalities and cities, built on top of Microsoft's cloud-based Dynamics 365.
Everyone benefits from the project
The financial management of municipalities and cities is at the backbone of Sarastia. The company's financial management service center employs more than 300 people, and there are already more than 150 customer communities, cities and companies in total. Kati Kälviäinen, Business Director of Sarastia's Financial Management Services, considers the Sarastia365 system project important in the operations of the new organization. “Everyone benefits from Sarastia365 – our customers in their own operations and we in the production of our financial outsourcing services. The basics of the economy, such as debit and credit, are still the same, but with the new system, processes can be honed as efficiently as possible and completely new solutions can also be found.”
According to Kälviäinen, the project has also played a major role in the success of the merger. “As a project, this is really exciting. A merger had just been made and the new organization immediately set about implementing the new software system. The project has been received with great enthusiasm and has brought new colleagues well together.” Santanen echoes Kälviäinen's thoughts: "We set out together towards a new challenge, and it has also helped to create a team spirit in the new organization."
A lot is required of a partner – even courage to challenge the customer
Sarastia strives to offer its customers the best solutions and services in their field, which is why the company also demands a lot from its partners. “The goal of the project is a seamless overall solution, and our partners are required to be flexible, to understand their customer's operations and to maintain a continuous discussion with the project team”, says Talvitie. According to Kälviäinen, in-depth knowledge of financial management and the provision of best practices are also important qualities. “We expect the partner to also actively offer new ideas and be even a step ahead in our industry”, he adds.
Santanen, Talvitie and Kälviäinen are satisfied with the partneship with Efima. "Efima was perceived as a reliable partner who has both the desire and the know-how to make a difference in a project," says Santanen. According to him, the goal is a long-term relationship where both parties challenge each other to do things better. "There will certainly be challenges along the way, but we firmly believe that Efima, as our partner, will strive to solve them in the best possible way," Santanen concludes.