The position of Microsoft’s M365 as a platform for Finnish intranets has only strengthened in recent years. The Covid-19 pandemic has exploded the use of Teams. In some organizations so much so that Teams has become a synonym for the word ‘intranet’. SharePoint communication sites are created in the M365 environment with only a few clicks. Hence, one can easily set up a small set of internal instructions, messages and tools.
North Patrol is a consulting firm specialized in the design of digital services and information systems. We shape ideas into a vision and service concept, find the best architectural and technological solutions, design a functional user experience, and compete to find the ideal partner for implementation work. We do not sell implementation projects, nor do we sell licenses; we are genuinely on the side of the customer.
However, as the amount of content grows, it has often been discovered fairly quickly that one's resources are no longer sufficient to design and manage the whole environment. Acquiring a knowledgeable partner is particularly important when there is a lot of communicative content like instructions, current affairs, events, etc. The information should also be available to users in a clear, visually pleasing, and easy-to-find format. If, in addition to this, more functionalities are required that are not found directly in the M365 package, purchasing from an external supplier becomes mandatory.
The supplier field for M365 intranets looks good
A surprising amount has happened in the M365 supplier field in recent years. The old familiar names have held their ground quite well, but some fresh players have also entered the industry. Some movement in the field has also resulted from personnel changes and/or corporate reorganizations, as the focus of operations has been focused slightly differently.
While Microsoft seems to be constantly making immense changes to its platform, suppliers have had time to adopt best development practices for modern intranet implementations, and expertise has been gained from numerous implementation projects.
For this blog article, we picked out those companies that have participated in tenders that we have facilitated over the past four years or so. Of course, this does not tell the whole truth about the M365 intranet solutions made in this country. However, it certainly gives a good idea of which companies are investing in M365 specifically.
M365 “Top Guns”
“Top Guns” are the companies we’ve come across often in our M365 tender processes in recent years. These companies show off their M365 expertise in the efforts towards their quotations, and they also have plenty of fresh references to similar implementations. These include (in alphabetical order):
- Cloudriven is a company specializing in Microsoft solutions founded in 2012. The company has grown rapidly in recent years and employs more than 30 experts.
- Digital Illustrated is also a company that primarily designs and implements Microsoft solutions for businesses with more than 60 employees. The company was founded in 2010 and has been part of Visma since 2015.
- Innofactor has a long history, at least as a name, dating back to the last millennium. However, there have been many different mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals along the way. Currently, the company is focusing on providing a wide range of Microsoft ecosystem solutions to its customers. There are more than 500 employees in the entire organization, most of them in Finland.
- Meltlake is a company founded in 2020 as a subsidiary of Futurice. The company is a newcomer in terms of building Microsoft environments. However, Meltlake has quickly gathered a team of knowledgeable Microsoft experts, and one can already find recent references.
Sulava calls itself a pioneer in Microsoft’s cloud technologies, and there’s certainly some truth to it. The company has been in business since 2010, and in 2017 it merged with Onsight Helsinki. Now they employ more than 100 members of staff. In the past, Sulava was considered more of a consulting and Microsoft implementation company. Nevertheless, in recent years one has also seen many good suggestions for more project-based implementations.
Other M365 suppliers
The second group consists of companies that participate in our tenders less frequently and/or have participated in the past, but have recently been quieter concerning tenders. These are (in alphabetical order):
- Atea Finland
- CGI Suomi
- HiQ Finland
- Solu Digital
- Systems Garden
- Valtti Kumppanit (formerly called: Sininen Meteoriitti IT consulting)
Of this group, few names stand out in particular. Sininen Meteoriitti is familiar to many who have been working with M365 implementations, at least as a name. A few years ago they were actively participating in intranet tenders with their product called Valo. Later, Sininen Meteoriitti IT consulting business was transferred to Valtti Kumppanit Ltd, but the product development of Valo remained with Sininen Meteoriitti. Recently Sininen Meteoriitti changed its name to Valo Solutions. Since then, we have not seen a lot of quotations, at least in our tender competitions. However, this should not be a permanent turnaround. Hence, the Valo intranet product is still alive and Valtti Kumppanit continues to provide M365 solutions.
HiQ and KnowIt are also familiar names from years ago but there have been no recent quotations for intranet tenders. This might be due to some staff turnover, but possibly also a shift of business focus towards other types of solutions.
CGI and Tieto, on the other hand, stand out from the group mainly because of their size. Both are large companies and their know-how is wide-ranging. Thus, the low number of quotations in the intranet field is explained at least by the fact that making M365 intranets is nowhere near as commercially significant for them as it is for smaller companies.
(This article has been translated from the Finnish original. Read the original article.)