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Case City of Espoo

City of Espoo develops automation with Digia's integration services

Espoo, Finland's second largest city, streamlines and automates work with the help of Digia's integration services. Digia implemented for Espoo a modern and secure integration platform, which helps reduce manual work. Digia takes care of the production and management of integrations using the ICC model, which has served the City's development needs well.


Espoo is not only Finland's second largest city, but also one of the largest employers in Finland. The City provides services to approximately 300,000 residents and approximately 15,000 City employees. It is therefore not surprising that improving the efficiency of services through digitalisation and modern information systems is very important to Espoo. 

“We aim to reduce manual work and increase the degree of automation as much as possible,” says IT Manager Saku Jokinen. The aim is to provide services with the highest possible quality while increasing efficiency. 

According to Jokinen, system integrations play a major role in this, as they can be used to build long automated process chains. “Typically, the need for integration stems from the fact that there is too much manual work somewhere. Of course, there are also other tools for automation, but integrations are among the most important ones,” he says. However, it became evident a few years ago that better tools were needed for integrations.

What we did

  • Centralised cloud-based integration platform

  • Integrations implemented through the Integration Competency Center (ICC) model

What we used

The new system has provided us with all the benefits we sought, and we have excellent cooperation.

Saku Jokinen, IT Manager, City of Espoo

The challenge: how to automate more efficiently

Previously, the City of Espoo had no centralised integration platform, but it used, for example, direct integrations between systems. According to Jokinen, this led to many challenges. One was the lack of visibility. If integration faults occurred, they were not necessarily noticed immediately, which weakened the reliability of the systems.

It was also difficult to create new integrations, and the same applied to the maintenance of existing integrations. “For example, implementing corrections was slow and difficult because we didn't have visibility into the entire integration chain,” Jokinen says. All this increased costs and slowed down the automation work.

Espoo strived to increase the efficiency of the work in two ways. First, a decision was made to acquire a modern centralised integration platform which would enable easier and more efficient implementation of integrations. In addition, the City wanted to establish an ICC that would implement integrations and develop automation comprehensively under the City’s guidance.

In October 2021, after a competitive tendering process, Espoo selected Digia to implement these reforms. The City had cooperated with Digia in the area of integrations already since 2018, and the new agreement further intensified the cooperation.

Modern platform and ICC enhance automation development

Digia implemented for Espoo a modern cloud-based integration platform based on Apache Camel software. Jokinen says that the City of Espoo has already benefited from the new platform in many ways.

First of all, the implementation of integrations is easier and faster than before, and data from information systems is better available to the City’s organisation. In addition, the reliability of IT services has improved. With automatic monitoring, problems with integrations are discovered immediately and can be fixed quickly in the centralised system.

Furthermore, maintaining integrations is now more efficient. “For example, centralised version updates and lifecycle management of integrations are now possible,” Jokinen says.

One of the goals for this purchase was to strengthen information security, and expectations have been fulfilled in this respect as well. “The new architecture has considerably improved the level of information security,” Jokinen says. The cloud-based system also provides flexibility and continuity in terms of the integration platform’s technical maintenance.

Digia and Espoo cooperate through the ICC model. This means that Digia's experts are responsible for the planning, implementation and maintenance of integrations under the guidance of Espoo's IT department. Digia is also responsible for the administration and management of integration service provision, which includes, for example, service and management models for integrations.

According to Jokinen, the ICC model has worked well. “We both listen to each other and try to achieve the best possible outcome. We have good team spirit,” he says. Development work is being carried out, for example, in relation to the new ERP system and the healthcare and social welfare reform, and the aim is to continuously improve the services provided by the City.