CASE ELO

Technology must meet business needs – Elo modernised its corporate loan system in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic

Corporate financing services are part of Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company's investment activities. When Elo's previous loan system reached the end of its life cycle, they chose Digia as the supplier of the new system through a competitive tendering process. The new system was delivered within the agreed budget, schedule and scope in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company ensures that its customers receive the pensions they have earned. This takes place by managing the funds entrusted to Elo in a productive, safe and responsible manner. Corporate financing is part of Elo's investment activities. Elo's corporate financing offers diverse complementary financing solutions for companies of different sizes, for example, to support growth and for acquisitions and investments.

In 2020, just before the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the modernisation of Elo's loan management system became topical as the old system was reaching the end of its life cycle.

mita-teimme.pngWhat we did

  • Corporate Loan System
    • Suomen Asiakastieto API
    • eInvoicing
    • Loan and Collateral Management
    • Electronic abstract of the register of mortgages
  • Capacity Services
  • Service Management

We are very satisfied with the cooperation with Digia. Despite the difficult circumstances, we managed to carry out a large project on schedule and budget and in good team spirit.

Silja Bjondahl, Head of Corporate Finance, Elo

milla-teimme.pngWhat we used

 

Digia convinced with its product, experience and vision in the tendering process

Elo had previously drawn up an internal requirement specification for the new system, which served as the basis for the tendering. Elo’s goal was to acquire a ready-made system that would suit Elo’s needs with as few customisations as possible. Four suppliers were selected for the tendering process, which assessed not only the suitability and scope of the system offered but also the continuity of the technology, the supplier’s business and project expertise and the price.

Digia Financial Systems won the tendering process by best meeting Elo’s requirements. Based on the previous enterprise financing system projects Digia has implemented, the company proposed already at the bidding stage that the project should include a joint specification phase that would cover the capabilities already in place in the product.

The specification phase was carried out through workshops in spring 2020. The first workshop was held face-to-face, but after that the COVID-19 pandemic worsened and the rest of the workshops were organised over remote connections. During the specification phase, ways of using Digia’s product solution as efficiently as possible were identified in close cooperation between the companies. As a result of the specifications, it was found that most of the development required for the project was ultimately interfaces with Elo’s other systems, as well as the modification of materials to reflect Elo’s visual appearance, rather than functional changes to the ready-made system. The minimisation of customisations significantly reduced the duration and costs of the project, while laying the foundations for the smooth and cost-effective maintenance and updatability of the system.

The result was a more detailed functional system specification, a project plan for the system delivery and a conversion plan for migrating production data to the new system.

Delivery proceeded according to plan – Digia's industry expertise made it easier to overcome challenges

From the very beginning, both parties were committed to the project plan. Despite the exceptional circumstances, cooperation was efficient with continuous project communication.

There are always unexpected elements in large system projects. Elo's Planning Manager, Panu Laamanen, who was in charge of the project, says that the industry expertise of Digia's team and project manager, as well as their experience in delivering loan systems, made it much easier to overcome challenges.

Converting and migrating old data to the new system was known to require a lot of effort. Both sides thus worked hard to ensure a successful outcome.

“The cooperation with Digia was excellent throughout the project and the end result is rewarding. The conversion phase, which was known to be laborious, was also implemented according to plan, and the programmatic data collection and technical execution were practiced in several iterations. Elo's internal expertise and commitment to conversion exercises bore fruit in the production conversion,” Laamanen says.

Project Manager Anna Virtanen, who was responsible for the project at Digia, also praises the smooth cooperation with Elo. “Elo was committed to the implementation of the project according to the planned scope and schedule. This commitment was shown to Digia, for example, in conducting the customer’s exceptionally extensive acceptance testing within the schedule planned for it. Elo employees were also ready to challenge their own specifications and use the procedures that already can be found in the product. Although the specification phase took its time in the beginning, it created a common overview of the project’s goals, which enabled the project to achieve a great result. A successful project is always the result of good cooperation.”

The new loan system meets business needs

The production use of the new system started in late 2021, and the new system was first used in parallel with the old one for two months in order to ensure a smooth process for the preparation of financial statements.

The new system provided Elo with the expected business benefits:

  • Many operations that were previously manual could now be automated.
  • It was also possible to create system-external automation through interface solutions that were readily available from Digia or developed in the project.
  • The integration that was built in the course of the project for Elo's data warehouse immediately improved Elo's internal reporting and enables further agile development of reporting for future needs, as well.

Silja Bjondahl, Elo's Head of Corporate Finance, says that the system has met business needs well.

“The automation enabled by the new system significantly improves the efficiency of our operations. In the future, the system will certainly make our operations even easier, as it includes many functionalities that we are just learning to use.”

Elo applauds the successful system project in difficult circumstances

Elo's loan system project started in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why both parties were worried whether schedules would be met. However, with determined project work, the business-critical system was delivered within the agreed schedule, budget and scope, despite the exceptional circumstances. The development of the system will also continue in the form of continuous services.

According to Elo's organisation, the system project and the cooperation with Digia were a success.

“We are very satisfied with the cooperation with Digia. Despite the difficult circumstances, we managed to carry out a large project on schedule and budget and in good team spirit,” Bjondahl concludes.