Demanding project was carried out in two parts.
The implementation of the project began in late 2022 with a fairly large project team, whose participants included up to around twenty people from Digia and Alko. It was decided to divide the demanding project into two parts.
First, Digia had to take over Alko’s current cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 environment. This kind of takeover can have its own unique challenges, as it is not possible to know in advance the exact level of the application code or documentation, for example, from the previous supplier. The level of challenge was increased by the need to complete the transfer quickly, by the end of 2022.
The first part of the project was a success, and Digia took over responsibility for the maintenance of Alko’s Dynamics 365 system on schedule. Some new functionalities were also implemented in the ERP system. For example, invoicing switched to the Digia Dynamics 365 Finvoice added-value solution.
“The project progressed very systematically. The whole time there was a feeling that things were well under control”, Westermarck praises.
At the beginning of 2023, the team moved on to the more challenging part of the project, where the integration layer of the ERP system had to be completely dismantled and replaced with new solutions. Alko uses the ERP system for accounting, purchase and sales invoicing and inventory management processes, for example. There are dozens of connections to other systems, and the transaction volumes are high.
Westermarck says that renewing the integrations was one of the biggest concerns of the project, as their previous implementation was not transparent and there was no sure knowledge of the exact implementation method. However, the whole package working was critical for Alko’s business. Despite the challenges, the replacement of the integrations progressed well and the project was completed at the end of April 2023.
“The team’s expertise was one of the cornerstones of our success, as the role of architecture and integration design is emphasised in a project like this. Deployment into production was smooth and painless, which also speaks to the right things being done in the project”, Westermarck says.
After the completion of the project, the ERP system and its integrations were transferred to Digia’s continuous services. Already at the tendering stage, Alko appreciated Digia’s own Service Center, which provides maintenance services in Finnish. The continuous services include, for example, service management, maintenance, updates and continuous development of the ERP system and integrations. Such services keep the system up-to-date and in good condition.