“We do not have any in-house IT personnel. Our entire IT environment is outsourced,” says Chief Financial Officer of Trainers’ House, Saku Keskitalo. “But I don’t like the word ‘outsourcing’. As a word, ‘partnership’ is much better. We want our IT partner to take real responsibility for the whole IT environment, not just to carry out technical functions. Keskitalo’s thoughts on partnership are very much in line with Itaito’s customer relationship management model: take at least as good care of the customer’s IT environment as you do of your own.
Taking control of the entire IT environment with a single project
When Trainers’ House was opening a new branch in Oulu, it was having difficulties with its IT service provider at the time. All Trainers’ House IT matters are Keskitalo’s responsibility, and he decided to entrust Itaito with the establishing IT solutions of Oulu office. “Itaito has a good reputation and I already knew them, so I wanted to give them one project to do,” says Keskitalo. The project went very well and the office was up and running, after which Trainers’ House decided to outsource the entire IT environment. The winner of the tender was Itaito, which had been a partner of Trainers’ House since 2015.
The critical importance of efficient network connections
Trainers’ House’s turnover is approximately €10 million and the company is divided into two business units. Saku is also responsible for the result one of this business unit, Ignis. As a business, Ignis is completely dependent on efficient telecommunication connections. Trainers’ House’s employees hold 30,000 meetings a year with companies in Finland’s Top 500 list, and they conduct audits of sales meetings and create reference stories, among other things. “We have about 200 people working at least part time in B2B telephone work. All calls go through the network, so faulty network connections mean losses of thousands of euros every hour,” says Keskitalo.
The Salmisaari office in Helsinki also has a TV studio, which also broadcasts over the network. Connections must be backed up as a faulty network connection will be immediately reflected in the cash flow. In addition to the telecommunications, Itaito also takes care of everything else: equipment, servers, workstations, local support in Salmisaari, mobile phones, etc. All in all, IT services are critical elements of the business for Trainers’ House, so a fully outsourced service provider must be fully trustworthy.
Everything is based on trust
“Everything in our partnership with Itaito can be summed up in the word ‘trust’. We can trust that, although we ourselves might not have technical expertise, things will be handled well from our point of view. I can always call and ask the account manager what to do in any given situation, and mistakes are learned from. All companies make mistakes over the years, but trust is created by being receptive to feedback and doing things better the next time,” says Keskitalo. “Itaito’s specialists are excellent at taking full responsibility for their customers. I’ve seen contractual partners try to use any number of excuses to justify why something is not their responsibility. I really appreciate Itaito as they shoulder their responsibility and don’t try to find reasons why they can’t do something.”
Keskitalo is also happy that Itaito really takes customers needs into account, and only sells services that it knows are suitable for the customer. “Itaito is really good at being able to view things from our perspective: what is right for the user and suitable in terms of cost.” Keskitalo also appreciates the fact that Itaito knows how to talk to non-technical people. “Itaito’s account managers can explain clearly what’s going on in any situation.
Customer satisfaction ensured with regular surveys
In order to ensure customer satisfaction, end-users take part in a survey twice a year where they can rate and give verbal comments about the service. The survey is conducted on all personnel from management onwards, and the ratings have always been excellent. “Our consultants are not shy of telling you what they think, but the results of the survey have always been great. The Itaito on-site support officer at our office is also considered very efficient. At first, he was only present four days a week but now it’s the full five. He can help in all IT-related issues from how to use Teams properly or the hardware in meeting rooms. The on-site support has been found to provide really effective and quick assistance in addition to the service desk.
The IT environment is, however, never perfect so development must be continuous. That’s why every three months, Trainers’ House holds a service meeting with Itaito to review the past months and plan the future development of the IT environment.
“Everything is based on trust and the shouldering of responsibility related to it. When trust is in order, many other things will be in order as well. And this has worked wonderfully with Itaito. Itaito is genuinely interested in our everyday work,” concludes Keskitalo.