New trade register reduces the Finnish Patent and Registration Office's processing times by several days
Rauni Hagman, Ulla-Maija Sarkkinen and Olli Koikkalainen.
A new processing system for the trade register was taken into use by the Finnish Patent and Registration Office in the spring of 2014. The old system only allowed registrations to be made once per day; now it happens in real time. The number of pending registrations decreased by 5000 between June and the end of October.
"The administrative burden has been lightened more quickly and easily thanks to the process. The system's performance has proven excellent and we believe that we will be able to achieve two- or three-day processing times," Hagman says.
The Finnish Patent and Registration Office's customers were already able to register limited liability companies and submit notifications of changes using the business information system. Now the entire registration process is significantly faster as the background processing system and several of the work phases involving payments and registrations have been automated.
The most important project in the Finnish Patent and Registration Office's history
The Finnish Patent and Registration Office is a highly IT-oriented organization where various different deployments are constantly underway. To enable such a large project to be completed successfully, it was necessary to keep to the budget and schedule, and to ensure a successful, usable result.
"This is the most important project that our organization has completed so far. Overhauling the trade register system has a significant, wide-ranging effect on Finnish society, so it was an important thing for Finland that the project was a success," Hagman says.
The project was implemented using a multivendor model. "Tieto played a significant role in the application development sections, as well as operative services and deployment. Outi Susiluoto and Esa Manneri, experienced Senior Consultants from Tieto's consulting unit, worked with their supporting team to help the Finnish Patent and Registration Office's project office to prepare and rehearse the deployment to ensure that it could actually be implemented as planned. The enthusiasm of youthful participants was combined with the experience of more senior parties to enable the project to be completed successfully," says Ulla-Maija Sarkkinen, the Finnish Patent and Registration Office's Project Manager.
A major success factor for the project, which lasted several years, was that the key personnel remained the same throughout, both at the Finnish Patent and Registration Office and at the suppliers. In the spring of 2014, all of the parties resolved to bring the project over the finish line.
"The project had several moving parts but, fortunately, everybody had the will and ability to keep things going. The teams showed amazing flexibility. I am proud of our personnel and the contribution made by all of the suppliers," Hagman says.
Successful deployment requires practical experience
Thorough testing and dress rehearsals ensured that the deployment would succeed.
The first dress rehearsal tested the conversion functionality and the second dress rehearsal focused on the deployment as a whole, along with predictions of what may occur during the change-over.
"I praised Tieto's expertise during the change-over and the deployment. They brought practicality and experience to the project but they were also able to roll their sleeves up and get involved without taking a textbook-style attitude," Hagman says.
Sarkkinen emphasizes the significance of practical experience in deployment projects.
"We needed Tieto's experience. Of course, deployments can be carried out by reading textbooks but it is a totally different matter when the partner has genuine, practical experience. We would not have been able to organize this type of dress rehearsal alone. We benefited from the viewpoints of our partners, both young and old, and we succeeded in organizing a personalized deployment."
Development of automation continues
Hagman says that the Finnish Patent and Registration Office has developed its electronic services for customers to a high standard in comparison with the other Nordic countries and to a middling standard internationally.
The Finnish Patent and Registration Office has other plans for the future in addition to automation. The Finnish Patent and Registration Office is working with the Finnish Tax Administration and Statistics Finland to promote the use of structured financial statements.
"We are encouraging companies to do this and we aim to create channels by which structured financial statements can be received by working in collaboration with other agencies. Society as a whole could benefit from this solution
Manually entering Trade Register applications into the system was tying up a lot of resources and consuming significant time. Processing times were long.
A new processing system implemented in the form of a multivendor project. Tieto's role in the project was to take responsibility for application development and operational services. The system's deployment was preceded by large-scale dress rehearsals, which benefited from Tieto's expertise. The multivendor project also involved CGI, Nortal Oy, Nixu Oy, Forgerock Ltd, Accenture and Deloitte Oy.
Processing times have decreased from eight days to five days. In the future, the Finnish Patent and Registration Office expects to be able to process applications in two to three days. The process is completely electronic, freeing up human resources to complete work that adds greater value. Faster processing times increase customer satisfaction.
The Finnish Patent and Registration Office
The Finnish Patent and Registration Office registers companies, foundations and associations. It also researches and grants patents, utility models, trademarks and design protection. The Finnish Patent and Registration Office offers a wide range of services including advice, information and training. The Finnish Patent and Registration Office belongs to the administrative sector of the Ministry for Employment and the Economy and it negotiates its operational objectives with the Ministry annually.
The Trade Register is an official public register of companies. The majority of companies are limited liability companies and private sole traders. In addition to companies, some other associations are on the Trade Register, such as limited liability housing companies and right-of-occupancy associations. The Register provides official company data covering the entire country. (source: the Finnish Patent and Registration Office)