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New integration solution of Colliers Finland enhances data management

The operations of Colliers Finland focus on maximising the value of customers’ real estate investments. Thanks to the integration reform led by Netum, Colliers is now better informed about its data and able to offer its customers a higher-quality service.

Many pension and insurance companies, real estate investors and retailers outsource the management of their property portfolios to Colliers Finland. The range of services is extensive, from strategic consulting to managing renovation projects, increasing energy efficiency and finding tenants. As part of a global group of more than 18,000 experts, Colliers Finland has a network spanning almost every continent in the real estate sector.

Leena Jaakonmäki, Director of Development and CIO at Colliers Finland, says that efficient data management is a prerequisite for the smooth running of the business.

As society becomes more digitalised, our customers’ demands for data sharing and knowledge management are growing. Providing our customers the possibility to lead their operations with a clear dashboard of data is a key element in our strategy. From an international perspective, Finland is one of the leading countries in digitalisation. Colliers Finland also stands out from other Colliers countries in terms of the usage volume of different information systems, says Jaakonmäki.


Leena Jaakonmäki, Director of Development and CIO at Colliers Finland

Aiming for a low-threshold integration solution

Over the years, Colliers Finland has accumulated dozens of different information systems, and by the beginning of the 2020s, the network of integrations had grown complex and difficult to manage. There was no real-time reporting option, monitoring errors was challenging, and it took time to complete new integrations.

In 2021, the Group's EMEA technology architect Laurence Andrews began a search for a partner to reform the integration solution of the Finnish operations. The aim was to find an integration platform with the help of the new partner through which data could be managed centrally, the information would be uniform, and it would move reliably and quickly between different systems.

We were looking for an IT partner that would be large enough to meet our needs but not too large and rigid. The prerequisite was that the company had extensive knowledge of the field of integration platforms but would not be dependent on suppliers, says Andrews.

Soon, Colliers was convinced by Netum’s long experience and strong expertise in integration solutions, and the cooperation was launched. The integration reform was carried out in two phases. First, Netum analysed Colliers’ starting point and needs for the integration platform. Four different suppliers were interviewed in more detail, and the FRENDS platform by HiQ was finally selected. In the second phase, the FRENDS platform was deployed.

The new platform is perfect for our needs as the user does not need to be a coder to manage the platform. In addition, it generates visual, easy-to-understand information, says Andrews.

Learning together

Netum’s Toni Salminen directed the project and describes the cooperation with Colliers as tight-knit.

Although our team of experts had decades of experience in integrations, we studied the FRENDS technology together with Colliers’ experts in joint courses, says Salminen.

Salminen praises Colliers for viewing the situation as an opportunity rather than a threat.

It was a perfect example of growing together with the customer.

With the introduction of the new platform, some of Colliers’ old integrations were transferred to the new platform, while others were completely redesigned. Supervision was concentrated in one place. Salminen emphasises the agility and flexibility of the centralised integration solution.

When different information systems are interconnected, and data moves efficiently at the right time and to the right place, it means that the decision-making is based on higher-quality information.

Netum's project leader Toni Salminen

An extension of your team

According to Jaakonmäki, the key benefit of the reform is cost-efficiency, which is enabled by the scalability of the integration solution. Colliers can now also offer its customers better service as data management has become smoother and more efficient.

–  The combination of a proper integration tool and our C360 datawarehouse platform provide us agile reporting, we also have much more in-depth understanding of our own data. This helps us solve problems and organise our operations better, and our customers now also have access to better tools for managing their portfolios, says Jaakonmäki.

The cooperation with Netum has been close. Andrews adds that a certain ideal state has been achieved in the cooperation as Netum no longer feels like an outsider.

We sit down and work together as a team. I am very impressed with Netum’s expertise and have great confidence that Netum has led us on the right path, says Andrews.