Posti has boosted its competitiveness by introducing tools for real-time tracking of parcels and goods.
Head of Consumer Services Industry
Posti, the Finnish state-owned enterprise, is a good example, having taken steps to upgrade its end-user services and boost capabilities.
The Posti Group provides a wide range of postal, logistical, financial administration and e-commerce services to multi-national clients, all of which have high expectations on the quality of deliveries. Efficiency and reliability are the cornerstones of Posti’s collective business areas, encompassing everything from e-commerce and direct mail to cargo services and distribution of newspapers and magazines.
Posti has operations in 11 countries, with key markets in Scandinavia, Finland, the Baltic States and Russia. To optimise the delivery of all enterprise and cloud services and to boost efficiency, the company has undertaken a migration and upgrade of selected network functions, systems and servers – in close collaboration with its full-service IT partner, Tieto.
'Our fundamental function is to make sure that letters, parcels and various types of goods get from one place to another, on time for our clients. To handle our cloud IT needs, we partnered with Tieto, the Nordic region’s largest IT services company,' stated Jaana Widenius, Head of CIO Office, Posti ICT.
Along with Tieto, Posti embarked on a seven-month migration project that resulted in a comprehensive upgrade of the company’s network infrastructure for end-user services. The project meant transitioning selected network functions, systems and servers to Tieto-based systems.
'E-commerce packages are a growing segment and this requires real-time flexibility, scalability and security for critical data that couldn’t be handled by our data centres alone. To keep our business moving, we needed to move our IT into the cloud,' Jaana Widenius explained.
A total package was tailored to Posti’s needs, including key data functions and tasks such as workstation management, end-user storage (file servers), messaging and email exchange for 1,000 mailboxes, Windows server update service (WSUS), remote site monitoring, new management servers, backup support and more.
The services are delivered from Tieto Productivity Cloud (TPC), which builds a robust base for Microsoft-based workloads orchestrated over high levels of self-service portals.
Tieto has prepared a hybrid solution, where the majority of Posti exchange users are hosted in the Microsoft public cloud – Office 365 and 1,000 mailboxes. Similarly, Microsoft Lync is hosted in TPC. For real-time collaboration, the Azure cloud service provides a proven, solid platform for file sharing. Service delivery has unified governance model.
In addition, Tieto provided complete project management and introduced its standard practices and processes – steering the project from start to finish with continuous progress reports and evaluation of results.
'A significant part of the project was completed during the summer holiday season, but the backup process worked well on both sides,' stated Emilia Harjula, Project Manager at Tieto.
'We worked in complete tandem with the customer’s project team. Posti has benefited from a smooth process of transitioning to an integral package of updated systems with new functionality.'
Migration in six steps
The transition of workstation management was an essential part of the migration project and was divided into six phases. The first phase involved preparation in the form of start-up surveys to assess the status of existing infrastructure.
This was followed by a planning and design phase for new infrastructure, an implementation phase, testing and piloting, final deployment and handover of the project. Tieto used the latest Microsoft technologies and also provided Posti with continuous maintenance and on-site training.
A new Configuration Management (CM) platform was introduced, while parts of existing SCCM infrastructure were modified with new servers set up for remote support. Other services included Symantec End-Point security management, packaging and distribution of software and hardware, and a new communications platform.
Flexible to seasonal changes
All objectives for the project were achieved on time, on budget and with successful results that would meet Posti's end customers' demands for real-time information management. Data on deliveries is now processed in a more flexible and fast IT environment.
Beyond this, the migration project has helped Posti and its subsidiaries to manage their operations in a more efficient way. Not only is postal logistics a cyclical industry with intensive periods of peak demand, it is also sensitive to weather conditions for delivery and performance.
'We now have the flexibility to scale and provision employees as the season requires. Our partner Tieto and the Microsoft Azure solution help us provide excellence, all year round and without interruptions, regardless of both season and the weather,' concluded Esa Viitamäki, Vice President, CIO at Posti ICT.
Posti is a leading provider of postal, transport logistics, financial administration and e-commerce services. The company is wholly-owned by the Finnish state and is headquartered in Pohjois–Pasila, Helsinki. Posti has operations in 11 countries, with roughly 26,000 employees. Its key markets are Scandinavia, Finland, the Baltic States and Russia. Posti’s subsidiary companies include Posti Mail Communications, Posti Logistics and OpusCapita. In Finland, Posti is the largest company handling the delivery of letters, direct mail, newspapers and magazines through its subsidiary Posti Oy.