Walki relies on its ICT partners

Net 1/2014,  2014-04-16

Jarkko Marjasalo, ICT Director, considers himself as being in a service occupation. If the systems are down and information ceases to flow at Walki factories, the trucks will stop at the gate.

Jarkko Marjasalo’s office is overlooking a lake that conveniently curves along the side of Walki’s red brick factory building. From these production lines at Valkeakoski, functional laminates and wrappings are shipped to construction sites and for the needs of the metal and food industries. The most familiar of the pictures hung on the wall are the lid of a yogurt carton and the wrapping of a butter bar.

walki

This Monday morning there was an incident at the factory. Communications between the different parts of the plant were down. It was a human error: the agreed changes in routings had been executed a couple of days too early. However, this did not affect Jarkko Marjasalo’s working day at all, and he began his day at 8, as usual.

”The incident was handled by people who know best what to do in situations like that. We follow a well-oiled daily routine and if there is sense of hurry, something out of the ordinary has happened, and we need to huddle up.”

If communications are down, production at Walki factory runs for another three hours. ”After a longer outage it would get pretty quiet at our gate, when there is no way to print out freight documents and not a single truck would leave the plant.”

Besides Finland, Walki has factories in Germany, Poland, Russia, Holland and China. The company employs almost one thousand people, with nearly 200 of them at Valkeakoski.

Partnership pays off

Walki’s ICT team is a compact group of less than ten people. In their work, the team relies on their partners. The relationship with Fujitsu is long-standing, dating back to 2007.

”Of course we do a lot ourselves, although the actual coding has reduced over the years. We acquire IT infrastructure as services and aim at finding the best partners for doing different things.”

The purpose of ICT for Walki is to provide a reliable operations environment. Drawing a line between business and IT is difficult sometimes.

”Often the line lies between the system and data. The business owns the data, which means that if wrong raw materials have been assigned to a certain product, it is not likely to be the system’s fault. It is people who make these choices. Whatever happens in the system is the ICT’s responsibility.”

This industry is getting increasingly complex which is why the likelihood of application interoperability is weakening. In fact, development is challenging IT management.

”A smallish company operating in multiple language areas needs solutions that fit it perfectly. Finding the right partners is about balancing between players that are too large for Walki and ones that are too small. At both ends of the extremes it is difficult to find a suitable service concept.”

Local service in your own language

Fujitsu has taken care of Walki’s ICT since 2007. During this time, Fujitsu has tailored Walki’s managed IT infrastructure services to meet its needs.

The latest improvement took place at the turn of the year, when the Service Desk expanded its range of languages.  The Walki staff in Europe now receive service in their mother tongue, the range of languages now covering Finnish, Polish, German, Russian and Swedish.

The ease of collaboration is also reflected in that system support is provided by one point of contact. The trickiest problems are resolved using on-site support. With a service environment that fits the purpose, the customer saves in maintenance costs.

The managed IT infrastructure service also covers the maintenance and single sign-on of Microsoft’s Office 365 service used by Walki. Thereby, taking up the cloud service did not complicate the day-to-day working of the email users. In addition to IT infrastructure services, Fujitsu manages Walki’s SAP system maintenance as a service.

More Information
info@fi.fujitsu.com

Published in the Net Magazine 1/2014,  2014-04-16

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