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Case Marimekko

Digia built a global retail store solution for Marimekko – “Few companies had Digia’s extensive Dynamics 365 Commerce expertise”

Digia built a global store solution for controlling design company Marimekko’s retail business and point-of-sale system. International operations and the business-critical nature of the system meant there were stringent demands on Digia’s solution. “Digia has all the right capabilities for project implementations like this”, Marimekko’s IT Director Pekka Kivenjuuri says regarding the years-long collaboration of the two companies.

Marimekko is a Finnish lifestyle design company renowned for its original prints and colours. Marimekko’s product portfolio comprises high-quality clothing, bags and accessories as well as home décor items ranging from textiles to tableware. Globally, there are roughly 170 Marimekko stores, and the online store serves customers in 35 countries.

“Our business is very international, and we operate in numerous time zones around the globe”, Marimekko’s IT Director Pekka Kivenjuuri says.

Previously, the company’s retail business was controlled using an older Microsoft-based solution that was located in a data centre and utilised the company’s own hardware. The system’s technical lifecycle was coming to an end, and Marimekko wanted to transition to a more modern, cloud-based solution.

“We also wanted to overhaul our business processes and make life easier for our sales personnel”, Kivenjuuri explains. The company was also looking for better support for new store concepts, such as mobile point-of-sale systems. On the technical side of things, the new solution needed to be scalable and perform well in international applications.

Marimekko came to the conclusion that a modern, cloud-based solution would be the best option for the company’s international operations. The decision was made to transition to a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce solution.

What we did

What we used

“Digia’s expertise when it comes to extensive project implementations is top-notch, and this is clearly their greatest strength. Their consultants know what they’re talking about, and they manage the project and overall solution excellently. With these positive experiences, we have a strong basis for further collaboration in the future.”

Pekka Kivenjuuri, IT Director, Marimekko

“We were extremely pleased with Digia’s previous project”

Marimekko selected Digia to implement the new solution. Kivenjuuri explains that this choice was based on a number of considerations. The two companies started collaborating on IT solutions in 2021, and Digia’s first project with Marimekko involved implementing a financial management ERP system based on a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance solution.

“We already had the framework for effective collaboration in place, and we were extremely pleased with Digia’s previous project”, Kivenjuuri says. He explains that, thanks to its professional approach, Digia stood out from the competition as early as the tendering phase. “Just like before, Digia’s project plan was highly detailed, clear and convincing”, Kivenjuuri says.

“At the time we were considering our options, there wasn’t a whole lot of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce expertise on the market. Few companies had as much expertise in this area as Digia did, and that played a part in our decision. Digia could offer multiple experts to work on the project, which meant we weren’t reliant on just one person”, Kivenjuuri says.

“Digia is also well versed in the Microsoft Azure cloud service when it comes to integration, which meant we didn’t need a separate partner for the purpose. This eased the project along and cut down significantly on surprises”, says Marimekko’s System Manager Samu Salmijärvi.

With a business-critical retail solution on the line, functional and effective support services were also a high priority for Marimekko, and Digia’s comprehensive support services were another point in its favour.

Deployment of the business-critical solution was a resounding success

Agile development methods were employed to carry the project through to completion. Due to the extensive, international nature of the solution, a variety of challenges arose during the implementation phase. “Digia’s project team knew what they were doing and managed the project excellently on both the technical and administrative fronts. For that, I want to extend our thanks to Digia’s people”, Kivenjuuri says.

“Whenever the project hit a snag, Digia reacted swiftly. The project was also marked by exemplary flexibility on all sides”, Salmijärvi says.

The project’s international deployment was divided into phases, each consisting of a single market area, and each phase was followed by an appropriate pause. This approach proved to be a prudent solution, and, according to Kivenjuuri, deployment went excellently overall, without any critical incidents.

“The retail store solution is a business-critical one for us. If the whole system went down for just one day, the impacts would be significant. From this perspective, deployment was a resounding success. We didn’t encounter any large problems that would have significantly disrupted our sales internationally”, Kivenjuuri says.

Digia is highly capable of delivering project implementations

Kivenjuuri and Salmijärvi praise Digia’s handling of the project. “Cooperation between our key personnel and those of Digia was close, and we were able to communicate openly and effectively. This was yet another factor contributing to the project’s success”, Kivenjuuri says.

Salmijärvi also complements the documentation Digia prepared as part of the project. “Digia provided excellent documentation in previous projects as well, but I think they raised the bar even higher with this one. Everything is documented in even more detail and with even more accuracy”, Salmijärvi says.

“Digia’s expertise when it comes to extensive project implementations is top-notch, and this is clearly their greatest strength. Their consultants know what they’re talking about, and they manage the project and overall solution excellently. With these positive experiences, we have a strong basis for further collaboration in the future”, Kivenjuuri concludes. The collaboration between the two companies continues in the form of maintenance services and further system development.

Digia also values its partnership with Marimekko. “Our collaboration on modern, international systems over the past few years has been a great experience. Marimekko is implementing a systematic, long-term strategy in their IT development, and they have been very smart about phasing their project implementations. It is a joy working with Marimekko”, says Digia’s Vice President Jarkko Savolainen.