2016 Magazine


Actionable fearless leadership needed: Coordination chaos will ruin your software design

Software solutions often go awry. The underlying reason is not technology, but poor management. Partial optimisation as well as divide and conquer strategy, will lead to fragmentation of activities and inevitably to an increase in bureaucracy.

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Era of Internet of Things needs new oblique business models

Internet of Things (IoT) means that businesses make use of electronic information exchange and interaction increasingly. IoT makes business modelling more challenging but also more valuable. However, majority of current business models do not take account the interconnected nature offirms that evolve in the same innovation ecosystem. New business models suitable for future needs were detected by the researchers of the University of Oulu.

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New Ecosystems Require Specialization and Internal Startups

Digile’s research programs IoT and N4S opened many new perspectives to the operation of a traditional device supplier such as Ericsson. Starting with a Capillary networks experiments Ericsson has now ended up in forming an internal startup type of a setup working in a development of operations (DevOps) mode. This means an environment where creating, testing and releasing software can happen rapidly, frequently and more reliably.

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Recipes for International Startups

Internal startups bring cheaper innovation execution and faster time to market, which eventually transforms the company into a growth company. The new book published by the N4S-program serves useful recipes.
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It is possible to forecast magazine sales with the help of data – and to add a new magazine to the assortment with no risk

Solita developed a data science method in the N4S-program that helps the sale of different magazines increase by nearly a third.
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2015 Magazine


Crowdsourcing in Vaadin Framework: A Global Community Repairing and Developing Web-based Applications

Vaadin Ltd. is the trailblazer of web user interfaces for business applications. Its technology base, the Vaadin Framework, is extensively utilized in the making of rich web user interfaces.
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Stairway to Heaven

These days, successful software development requires involving the clients in the design. However, this means that the management of customer feedback already has to be in order. Stairway to Heaven is a model which was created at the Universities of Malmö and Chalmers for industrial co-operation. Through the N4S programme, a similar, sufficiently long-term model will be created for the use of companies in Finland as well. Read the rest of the article »


Start Your Own Radio Station at a Conference

Jutel, one of the world’s leading digital radio station system providers, has developed a fully digital, web-based public audio solution for large public spaces. The project also involves speaker manufacturer Genelec and a healthy dose of agile software development. The system is the first one of its kind in the world. Read the rest of the article »


Snapwallet: A Safe Photo Service for Smart Phone

Snapwallet is a free smart phone application that offers a safe place for storing important documents and passwords. Snapwallet has military-level information security and privacy protection. Read the rest of the article »


Overly Fast Software Development Creates Technical Debt

In fast software development, companies may take shortcuts and utilize quick solutions that make further development of the software more difficult. These speed-driven shortcuts are called technical debt, which must be paid back during further development. A group led by Professor of Software Engineering Kari Smolander from the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) analyzes the birth process of technical debt and gives recommendations to companies on how to decrease it. Read the rest of the interview with Kari Smolander »


F-Secure’s location service source code will help spawn new location innovations in the open source community

The Lokki location sharing service, launched by F-Secure in 2013, shares information among a selected group about where each member is at a certain time. The service, based on voluntary information sharing, helps families and groups by identifying and sharing the locations of the group members that have been marked in advance, or by announcing a member’s new location if they so wish. Read the rest of Harri Kiljander’s interview »


JAMK Designs Product Line for Businesses and Communities

Company production lines are usually not public. Now the N4S@JAMK project team of the JAMK University of Applied Sciences has designed and implemented a holistic production line chain for the design of digital services. The production line chain, now known by the working title Corolla, and the different processes essentially related to it offer opportunities for software companies, startups, researchers and students to see for themselves and test in practice how a modern production development line works. A byproduct of this development work is the Contriboard tool used for validating the functionality of the product line, which will be released as an open source product. Read the rest of the interview with Jouni Huotari and Marko Rintamäki »

2014 Magazine


When the Novelty Value Wears Off

Research group PREAGO from Aalto University and IT company Reaktor are looking for cooperation possibilities within the N4S program for processing in-depth customer data with the help of data science and qualitative research. Aalto University has conducted research into customer behaviour related to products and usability of services for 15 years. The group has been one of the first to examine how emotions affect customer loyalty, for example. According to the research, emotions, memories and long-term user experience have a significant impact on customer loyalty, in addition to the utility and usability of the product. Read the rest of Sari Kujala’s (Research Fellow, Aalto University) interview »


New Services and Products Through Flexibility

Today, the success of companies requires software development to be done also in real time with the help of customer feedback. This is possible only by being flexible. The aim of the Mercury Business work package is to get companies to actively seek new ways of managing their current business operations, and to give them the ability to transform like mercury into entirely new business operations. Read the rest of Ilona Nevalainen’s (work package leader) interview »


Help from Design Thinking for the Creation of Digital Services

Service design methods are being developed to meet the needs of digital production for the companies of the N4S programme. With the aid of service design, customer understanding is increased in product development and the design of new products is speeded up. Read the rest of Satu Miettinen’s (Professor of Applied Art and Design, University of Lapland) interview »


The Objective: A Fast, Delivery Capability That Creates Value

The roaring success of the games company Supercell is partly a result of making use of customer feedback at all stages of game development. Medium-sized and large companies are also seeking a similar rapid product and service delivery capability, a feature of start-up businesses, by exploiting their benefits of scale.  In the N4S-program, working methods that support this are being constructed. Read the rest of Jari Partanen’s (leader of the Paradigm Change – Delivering Value in Real Time -work package) interview »


Big Data Knows the Customer’s Shopping Trail

Customer analytics making use of Big Data can significantly increase the business operations of companies. The N4S Program has also launched projects for studying this topic. They create pilot models for collecting and analysing in-depth customer data. Read the rest of Joonas Lyytinen’s (leader of the Deep Customer Insight work package) interview »


Better Software for Companies

Employees have to use more and more often software selected by the company, and their own work performance is dependent on them. For this reason, the functionality and usability of the software significantly affects the company’s performance. Read the rest of Tommi Mikkonen’s (N4S Academic Coordinator) interview »


The Sprint in Large Projects

When there are many organisations involved in a project, the danger is increasing bureaucracy and unnecessary work performances. The N4S Program utilises the principles of good software design also in the management of the entire project. Read the rest of Tua Huomos’s (N4S Program Coordinator) interview »


The N4S Program is building new infrastructure for industrial software applications

The N4S Program creates new business models and methods for accelerating service development and production of software-intensive products. The digital economy requires that services are created in nearly real time – while continuously listening to the customer. Read the rest of Janne Järvinen’s (N4S Focus Area Director) interview »