Houston Inc. x Telia: Creating a successful business partnership

Case Telia: Creating a successful business partnership

How do you create a long-term relationship between customer and software provider that’s based on trust? And what are the benefits of such a relationship for the customer? Our partnership with Telia goes back nearly a decade, and much has been achieved along the way.

The two businesses first joined forces in 2010. Back then, Telia’s customers still knew the company by its earlier name, Sonera. In the early stages of the collaboration, our involvement included the merging of Telia’s existing CRM systems and creating a user interface for the system that replaced them. Over time, our role has expanded, and today it plays a central role in facilitating the telia.fi website and other related services. The teams responsible for developing Telia’s online shop and the telia.fi CMS system includes many of our employees.

Deepening the collaboration

A key milestone for the collaboration came with Telia’s rebranding in March 2017. As part of this development and implementation process, four distinct brands and their digital services were brought under the same umbrella, leading to the creation of fresh new Telia. Being chosen as the partner for the rebranding was a significant vote of confidence in us, as the new brand identity was to be launched simultaneously across all Telia channels and the objective was to maximize visibility for the rebranding. We were involved in creating a new visual identity for various Telia services and ensuring that the changes were introduced at exactly the right moment. The project was a clear success and attracted significant media attention across Finland.

Growing and deepening collaboration requires a more thorough understanding and knowledge of the customer’s business. Large organizations will typically have several software development projects underway at any one time, that require the expertise of not just developers but also software architecture, design, and methodology experts. At Telia, our staff is working across five separate teams as developers, UX designers, scrum masters, data & analytic specialists, and methodology development experts. The collaboration has also featured a series of shorter projects as well as training and talks delivered by our staff on a variety of issues.

Telia’s current business priority is delivering a digital transformation; the visual, functional, and technological alignment of Telia’s entire online service offering.

Our experts created new development methodologies to complement React and Node, Telia’s key development tools. These methodologies are designed to deliver and maintain quality and drive higher productivity and close collaboration between Telia’s business managers and development teams. A new Design System library is being built to support visual management implementation, and we are also contributing to the Design System rollout.

SAFe helps with breeding

The transformation is not limited to Telia’s digital services but cuts right across the company as a whole: how do we deliver consistent, state-of-the-art software development and how do we choose the right methodologies for it. Furthermore, how are these methodologies best utilized at the individual, team, and company levels? Telia has opted for the SAFe framework and we have been on hand to help shape the development of Telia’s own internal processes by delivering SAFe training and coaching sessions to staff.

After ten years of collaboration, our role has grown into a multi-faceted one encompassing Telia’s entire software development function. Telia is an excellent case study for a long-term relationship between customers and external providers that is characterized by a mutual sense of confidence and trust. It is this trust that allows both businesses to commit to major joint efforts, which in turn results in more shared knowledge and skills. This positive feedback loop generates significant added value for both parties.

Jani Heinola, Planning & Strategy at Digital Channels, Telia Finland

”Our partnership with Houston has broadened and deepened over the years. The active and hands-on approach we’ve taken allows us to plan ahead, and Houston offers expertise that’s relevant to us on a number of different levels.”

Jani Heinola

Planning & Strategy at Digital Channels, Telia Finland

Contact us

Tomi Ruotimo

Chairman of the Board+358 40 544 3972tomi.ruotimo@houston-inc.com