We envision a future with information and data as the biggest driver of continuously increasing social and economic value. We seek a pivotal role in this change and believe in significant opportunities of the future data-driven world.
Ishtar Touailat has been recruited to Tieto as Head of Innovation Incubation in Sweden. She will be placed within the Data-driven businesses unit and drive the company's innovation and change initiatives related to areas such as AI, machine learning, deep learning, fintech and digital health.
Ishtar joins Tieto from her previous role as Chief Innovation Officer and Business Coach at Stockholm University's Innovation Office, where she has trained and coached thousands of current and future entrepreneurs.
Ishtar is a well-known and awarded profile on the Swedish startup scene and was named “IT woman of the year” in Sweden in 2016, for her work and commitment to increase the percentage of female entrepreneurs and number of startups driven by women. In 2015, Ishtar was named one of Sweden’s Innovation Angels, and this year she was also recognised as one of Sweden's super talents and top influencers 2017 by the business magazine Veckans Affärer.
– Ishtar is a true top talent who already has extensive experience in coaching and driving innovation in different organisations, including her own startups. With her unique capabilities, she will contribute to strengthen Tieto's Data-Driven Businesses and related offerings. We share the same values, and together we will continue to work for a more inclusive and equal IT industry and startup scene, says Ari Järvelä, Head of Data-Driven Businesses, Tieto.
At Tieto, Ishtar will inspire and coach customers, partners and our own employees to create new data-driven business models and services.
- With our solutions within AI, Big Data and Machine Learning, we will be able to create value for both companies and society at large. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to drive the innovation and change work with the team at Tieto. Together, we will be able to move mountains and contribute to a more innovative and equal IT industry, says Ishtar Touailat.
I've discussed before how today's office spaces need to evolve in order to meet the demands of the new, digital way of working. And here at Tieto, we feel it's important to be at the forefront of this. That's why we've recently overhauled our campus at Keilalahti to be more intelligent, more empathic and more in line with the way people work today. The goal of this is to make sure employees always have the tools and technologies they need to work in the way that best suits them at any given time. In my last blog, I talked about how we aimed to build a more open and innovative environment, and here, we'll see how it works in practice.
Finding the most appropriate space
At Tieto Keilalahti Campus, we have several different alternatives to work your daily activities, amongst them, around 700 work desks serving our 1,200 employees. This is by design, to foster a collaborative, flexible culture of working. But how do the users of the building actually determine in the activity based environment which location will be the most appropriate when they arrive in the morning, or when they need to switch tasks?
This is where our real time data visualisation, Tieto Intelligent Building, comes in. We've built an web based platform that visualises our office layout and shows every work desk and it’s assests- for example, whether we have a single or dual-screen setup. Users log in to our Intelligent Building platform and see find free desks and most suitable areas for their daily activities.
As mentioned, this is all web-based, so you can also, for example, sign in from home to see how busy the office is that day, or if the people you need to collaborate with are in the building.
Finding our colleagues
Of course, when moving into an open environment with non-dedicated desks, the natural question is , “how do I find my colleagues”, who may well not be in the same location they were yesterday. That's why we've also developed an indoor positioning layer to the map that lets a user find any individual by typing their name into the search box. This search tool works as well when trying to navigate to find that meeting room for the meeting you’re almost running late from.
This will then show them in real-time where they are in the building - with certain exceptions for privacy, such as dressing rooms etc., of course - meaning it's never been easier to pinpoint the colleague you need to collaborate with at any given moment. No more hunting around the building or asking everyone else if they've seen someone, and no more guessing if that skype offline status, means that the person is actually out of the office or just screen down on the laptop.
Our staff have really embraced these solutions because of how easy it makes keeping in touch. The technology is based on Bluetooth that can be turned on and off in a user's profile at any time, which means it's easy to opt out whenever they wish. However, we've found the majority of our employees are eager to take advantage of what the Tieto Intelligent Building tool can offer.
Improving experiences through information
The indoor positioning certainly creates a 'wow' factor for both employees and visitors to the building, but being able to find colleagues is just the start of what it's capable of.
For example, it can create a heat map of the location, showing at a glance which locations are most heavily trafficked and which are rarely used. This is very useful for building management and maintenance personnel as it can indicate where they should be focusing their activities. Other layers that can be added to this include, for example, noise level sensors, air temperature and quality sensors and more, giving much greater insight into the situation across the location at any given time.
What makes Tieto's system unique is how easy it is to visualise and understand what's going on at a glance. Placing sensors into office buildings is a fairly simple step that any business can take to improve their understanding of the environment, but without this clear visualisation, how can companies really make the most of this data?
The impact on work and wellbeing
One of the most exciting parts of the system for me is the incorporation of biometric data into the system. In the future, when workers are equipped with the right wearable technology, we can actually measure their pulse, for example, and spot if they are feeling stressed or in a perfect flow state. This can then be visualised on the map highlighting any relevant areas, helping us determine the actual factor of the “flow-level”, being it an environmental factor or for example an interesting project.
This is just one example of how an intelligent building can help improve users' work life and wellbeing. At Keilalahti, since we deployed these solutions, we've really seen silos break down and collaboration improve, as people start to use the building in the way it was designed to be used, rather than remaining stuck in their familiar routines. We've still got more to do to improve the system, but we're delighted with the results so far, as it's met our expectations, and then some.
Unwrap the opportunities of the data-driven world: www.tieto.com/datadriven
Head of Concepts and Innovations - Facilities, Tieto
Getting a business idea from the drawing board to reality can be a long and complex process, and startups will need to overcome many hurdles along the way. Therefore, it's crucial that innovative entrepreneurs are able to access the support and coaching they need to succeed.
However, when it comes to progressing an idea from initial thought to profitable business, what do startups need to know? I often speak with companies in the very early stages of development, and what I've learned is that it's vital to understand as early as possible where the potential lies, and how real-world progress can be measured.
Don't fail fast, learn fast
One phrase that has become a bit of a buzzword in the startup scene in recent years is 'fail fast, fail often' - the idea that innovative businesses should not be afraid to experiment, to try new things that may not work, as long as they can do it quickly and move on. While this is a good approach, often startups tend to forget and misunderstand where the real focus is.
Yes, failure will intrinsically and inevitably be part of that process, but what's really important is how you react to it. Making sure you capture the right lessons from a test is much more important than simply saying 'that didn't work, let's try something different'.
This is something I try to emphasise when working with startups, and it's a mindset that has to be in place from the very earliest stages of the development process. If you're not taking the right lessons from every step along the way, you're going to have no idea if the concept you're working on actually has any real value. Startups focus should be on 'learning fast' to be able to grow.
Understand customers problems first
The truth is that customers don’t care about your solution, they care about their problems.
That's why right from the start, we place huge importance on making sure that ideas are validated.
The first thing you need to do when looking to progress your ideas from initial concept to a practical business model is to get out there and talk to prospective customers to validate your assumptions.
These conversations will determine whether or not your vision is actually in line with the demands of users. If there's no pressing need for a product, it doesn't matter how innovative it is, it's unlikely to succeed.
What we advise startups to do is to go and talk with who they think are their customers. They need to observe them in their real-world context, interview them, and figure out if this is really a problem they would be interested in being solved. Based on the findings, this may alter the solution you propose, or you may have evidence that your concept is a solution customers might care about.
Measure your progress
One thing that is important to remember is you can't rely entirely on what your customers tell you, as often, what people say and what they do may not always match up. For example, I've done research in stores where I've watched how people select certain products. When speaking to them afterwards, they often find it hard to explain exactly why they made a particular decision, and asking them questions such as 'were you aware you physically picked that item up?', many didn't even realise.
That's why it's so important to have your customers interact with your product as early as possible and build the solution to learn from qualitative and quantitative data. This way, you will be able to visualize and measure your customers journey to fully understand what your customers do and why they do it.
At the heart of this, we use five key measureable metrics to gauge the progress of a startup - acquisition, activation, retention, revenue and referral. These need to be tracked closely as you keep developing your product, as the numbers will be the key proof that there is a genuine need for and interest in whatever you're offering.
For example, if you're looking to learn how many customers are interested in your idea, one way to do that is by measuring how many visitors sign up to your website within a week.
This not only gives you a great potential customer base to work with, it gives what you're doing much more strength, as you can point to each week’s numbers to demonstrate that customers are showing real interest in what you do.
Of course, these numbers only tell part of the story. Talking to the customers behind these numbers is equally important to understand their actions.
An idea only has value once it can be proved it is worth something. You need to go out and talk to customers, test it and then validate your assumptions. Ultimately, the responsibility is on the startup to conduct these activities and make sure they learn how to grow the business.
Read about Tieto Data Incubator.
Innovation Coach, Tieto