IntegrationWorks partners with Koivu

IntegrationWorks partners with Koivu Solutions to integrate and synchronize data in Excel and enterprise solutions.

IntegrationWorks, the company that specialises in data connectivity for enterprise applications, infrastructure, and cloud environments, today announced their new partnership with Koivu Solutions, provider of the innovative platform for integrating Excel® with enterprise solutions, such as ERPs, CRMs and MDMs

“When I had my first meeting with Koivu’s founders in 2020, I immediately realised that their platform solves a problem that exists at most enterprises: The Excel Bypass of enterprise systems. When business needs change quickly, IT teams often struggle to change enterprise systems fast enough, causing employees to build the needed logic and data sets in spreadsheets. This results in two different data sets, or ‘truths’; data in spreadsheets vs. enterprise systems. Koivu.Cloud solves this problem in an elegant and repeatable way, and is a valuable addition to our toolbox,” says Rob Benson, Chief Executive of IntegrationWorks.

How does Koivu.Cloud work?

“Hundreds of millions of Excel users worldwide love Excel because it is a flexible personal tool that gives them what they need quickly. Companies have invested millions in enterprise systems with the goal of having all critical data in those systems. Koivu.Cloud is a solution that connects Excel to enterprise systems in a very innovative way, enabling one truth for planning and decision making while allowing users to continue to use the spreadsheet tool they prefer,” explains Sami Lahti, Co-Founder of Koivu Solutions.

Koivu.Cloud enables enterprises to accelerate processes, improve quality and reduce costs in four simple steps: 

1) Use existing spreadsheets. Keep the Excel sheets you love and let Koivu help you get the most out of what you’ve built into them.

2) Migrate data to the cloud. Create a cloud database from your Excel sheet in a super-easy way and profit from Koivu.Cloud’s powerful enterprise software capabilities.

3) Integrate and automate. Accelerate business processes and eliminate manual data entry with Koivu’s instantly created REST APIs that integrate Excel data to other systems via the cloud database.

4) Simulate and optimize. Leverage the cloud-based simulation engine for planning, pricing and other business critical tasks. 

“As a global leader in integration, IntegrationWorks is an ideal partner for Koivu. We are excited about our partnership and look forward to working together to deliver easy-to-use solutions that fulfill our customers’ business and integration needs,” says Janne Salmi, Co-Founder of Koivu Solutions.

For more information: 
Rob Benson, Chief Executive, IntegrationWorks
rob.benson@integration.works
Mobile +44 7367 156 165

Janne Salmi, Founding Member, Koivu Solutions Oy
janne.salmi@koivusolutions.com
Mobile +358 40 556 5771

About IntegrationWorks

IntegrationWorks enable enterprises to connect and use their data more efficiently.  

As a recognised global leader in integration, IntegrationWorks employs the best integration architectural experts and DevOps specialists who ultimately believe connected technology is fundamental to high-performing organisations. Paired with a range of world-class integration platform partners, including Koivu Solutions, IntegrationWorks work closely with clients to align emerging technologies with reliable and proven best practices, creating solutions tailored to their business and integration needs.

IntegrationWorks helps customers to:

  • Transform with an Integration Strategy
  • Invest with Confidence
  • Integrate Anything
  • Integrate Anywhere
  • Integrate at Speed

A strong IT business relies on the innovation, dedication, and insightfulness of talented technicians. IntegrationWorks expert staff have delivered over 500 successful projects in over 15 years, and we believe no one delivers better integration advice and solutions.

Learn more at integration.works

About Koivu Solutions

Koivu Solutions is a company focused on solutions that enable one truth across your organization through advanced cloud solutions that are super easy to use. Koivu.Cloud upgrades Excel® from a personal tool to a real enterprise system, which synchronizes data between spreadsheets and enterprise systems, such as ERPs, CRMs and MDMs. 

Example Koivu.Cloud use cases:

  • Pricing, promotion and campaign management
  • Configuration, pricing and quoting (CPQ)
  • Financial budgeting and planning
  • Scenario planning
  • Demand planning
  • For more information, visit koivu.cloud

Excel is the registered trademark of the Microsoft Corporation.

Financial Planning and Budgeting

Today it’s a spreadsheet management hassle. Tomorrow it’ll be an integrated planning process.

Budgeting time is over, and you’ve finally managed to get almost all the input from all your departments. Now you just need to spend the whole weekend mastering spreadsheet data and ensuring that the formulas are still correct. Sounds familiar?

And how about that feeling when your CEO asks you to create rolling monthly planning? Are you a financial specialist or a spreadsheet transaction administrator?


Here are typical challenges we’ve seen when doing rolling plans with spreadsheets:

  • New spreadsheet templates need to be created and distributed for each period. A lot of time is wasted doing this manually.
  • People complain that they do not have access to the spreadsheet because someone else has locked it. So you create a separate spreadsheet for each department.
  • That again creates performance problems, like how to consolidate all data. The worst-case scenario is that you wind up doing it manually.

Then there are technical problems:

  • The spreadsheet has absolute references to specific cells. When people add new rows and columns (against your advice), they break.
  • The actuals need to be manually entered and are easily out of sync, presenting a different truth than the accounting system.
  • The data and business logic are together in the spreadsheet. When people add their own data, they break the formulas by mistake.

And then there are the security concerns:

  • It is relatively easy for people to see each other’s data. No role-based access control.
  • Spreadsheets are distributed by email and understanding what is the latest version is unclear.
  • There is no information about who has changed what and when.

When looking at the above list, it is actually surprising that we manage to run the budget rounds with Excel in the first place!


The important question is: Can you trust your numbers?

Something needs to be done to get rolling planning done each month smoothly – and in these volatile times – to react faster.  There are many ways to improve, from merely agreeing to do it better next time, all the way to implementing a massive and expensive planning system.

While Excel is probably the most efficient user interface on the market for data management, many of the above problems exist because it was initially designed to be a personal tool. It needs a good set of enterprise enablers in order for it to work well as a planning tool. Luckily it has a useful add-in framework so it can be enhanced to meet the process needs.

At the very least these requirements must be met to make Excel work in the budgeting process:

  • A rolling plan can be executed without creating and distributing new plan templates for each time-period
  • The same spreadsheet template can always be used and rolled forward automatically
  • Collecting information from many departments or business functions concurrently needs to be easy: All budget owners can simultaneously modify their data, and their data only
  • There is no need to use absolute references or formulas in the spreadsheet
  • Logical APIs are needed for in and out connections to other systems
  • Still, you want to have all of Excel’s excellent capabilities available related to charts, formulas, and pivot tables!

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably interested in hearing how we can help you. Reserve a time to meet from our calendar: Book a Demo.

Excel Bypass of IT systems exists at all Enterprises regardless of size, industry, or geography!

Written by Dr. Pallab Chatterjee

Excel owns the real enterprise data at the employee desktop!

Despite billions of dollars spent across enterprises large and small in all geographies, employees continue to use Excel as their personal decision-making tool. This continues unabated through many generations of IT systems.

The ERP era in the 1990s was supposed to create a single system that would be used by all functions. It was heralded, implemented, and used as the  IT  backbone of enterprises. As these expensive new systems were installed, the IT management community instituted strong policies to make these systems stable and highly available. These policies made the system rigid and set up business processes that worked when the system was installed.   Changes and updates were decided by IT management that prioritized and sorted change requests from business.

This is the “Excel Bypass” movement that has endured generations of IT applications.


Business needs and processes evolve rapidly, and employees were under pressure to operate at the speed of business. They learned to export data from ERP to their Excel sheets and bypass the use of the enterprise system because they wanted a personalized way to use data to make their own business decisions. Excel became the new “arithmetic” skill that was necessary for most jobs, and employees felt empowered to create their own reports and make decisions based on them. They did not want to wait for IT to respond.

Enterprise data warehouses, big data and analytics, and data lakes were put in place by IT management to address the needs for “personalization” of information needed to make business decisions. However, Excel Bypass continues to defy the attempts of CIO’s to get employees to use the systems they have put in place.  Click below to know how much Excel Bypass exists in your company.

CLICK HERE to know how much Excel Bypass exists in your company.


Koivu.Cloud enables one truth across your organization through advanced cloud solutions that are super easy to use. Koivu.Cloud upgrades Excel® from a personal tool to a real enterprise system, which synchronizes data between spreadsheets and enterprise systems, such as ERPs, CRMs, and MDMs.

Finally, Excel and IT systems can live in harmony!


Dr. Pallab Chatterjee

Dr. Pallab Chatterjee joins Koivu Solutions as advisory board member to assist with global growth

Koivu Solutions Oy announced today the appointment of Dr. Pallab Chatterjee as an advisory board member. Dr. Chatterjee is an internationally recognized high-tech executive with vast experience in software company management, strategy, technology, operations, and private equity.

“I’ve known the Koivu founding team from the time I was the CEO of i2 Technologies where they developed enterprise software for some of our most demanding solution areas and customers,”

“I trust the team and am convinced that their focus area has potential for significant global growth.”

Dr. Chatterjee

Executive experience from leading software and technology enterprises

Dr. Chatterjee has an impressive track record in leading and growing software companies. Dr. Chatterjee is currently the Chairman of 3 Lines VC, which invests in AI-focused companies. He recently retired from the CEO position at Symphony Retail AI, where he built the company from $50M to $150M focused on customer intelligence and supply chain solutions for the grocery industry.  While at Symphony, Dr. Chatterjee was also Managing Director and Operating Partner at Symphony Technology Group, a strategic private equity firm that invests in building great software and services companies.

Before joining Symphony, Dr. Chatterjee was the CEO of i2 Technologies, Inc., a leading supply chain software vendor.  Prior to assuming the CEO role, Dr. Chatterjee was President Solutions Operations responsible for product development, product marketing, and delivery of i2 Technologies’ solutions. It was during this time that Dr. Chatterjee got to know the team that later founded Koivu Solutions.

Dr. Chatterjee also spent 24 years at Texas Instruments in various executive management positions, including Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Chief Technology Officer, President of TI’s Notebook and Calculator Business, and the Global CIO.


DR. CHATTERJEE

  • Chairman of 3 Lines VC
  • Recently retired from the CEO position of Symphony Retail AI
  • Former Managing Director and Operating Partner at Symphony Technology Group
  • Served as CEO and President Solutions Operations of i2 Technologies, Inc.
  • 24 years at Texas Instruments as SVP of Research and Development, Chief Technology Officer, President of Notebook and Calculator Business, and Global CIO


Goal: Global growth

“We are grateful for the interest that Pallab has shown in Koivu and are excited to have him as an advisor to our team,” says Janne Salmi, co-founder of Koivu Solutions. “Hundreds of millions of Excel users worldwide love Excel because it is a flexible personal tool that gives them what they need quickly – no need to wait for the IT department. On the other hand, companies have invested millions in enterprise systems with the goal of having all critical data in those systems. Koivu.Cloud synchronizes the data in Excels and enterprise solutions while allowing users to continue to use the spreadsheet tool they prefer,” says Salmi.

“When I had a web session with Koivu’s founding team this summer, I immediately realized that they solve a problem that exists at all enterprises regardless of size, industry or geography. I like to call this ‘the Excel bypass of enterprise systems’ resulting in a situation where there are two different data sets – or ‘truths’ – in spreadsheets vs. enterprise systems. Koivu has developed a solution that connects Excel to enterprise systems in a very innovative way enabling one truth for decision making.”

DR. CHATTERJEE


Strong team with proven results

“Our core software development team has worked together since the early 1990s, first at Innomat Oy that was acquired by i2 Technologies in 1998. Our team moved in 1998 to the US for a couple of years to be integrated with the i2 product development process and continued as i2’s only European development team based in our home region of Ulvila, Finland. When JDA acquired i2 in 2010, our Finnish team continued developing solutions for configuration, pricing, and eCommerce for global customers like Lenovo, Caterpillar, and GUESS,” says Sami Lahti, co-founder of Koivu Solutions.

“We welcome Pallab as a mentor and advisor. I worked closely with him at i2 as the director responsible for developing mission-critical eCommerce and pricing solutions. Pallab is a visionary leader and has the experience that will be valuable in building Koivu to a global software vendor,” Lahti sums up.

For more information:

Sami Lahti, Founding Member of Koivu Solutions Oy
sami.lahti@koivusolutions.com
Mobile +358 40 544 4088

Janne Salmi, Founding Member of Koivu Solutions Oy
janne.salmi@koivusolutions.com
Mobile +358 40 556 5771

Koivu Solutions Oy is a company focused on solutions that enable one truth across your organization through advanced cloud solutions that are super easy to use. Koivu.Cloud upgrades Excel® from a personal tool to a real enterprise system, which synchronizes data between spreadsheets and enterprise systems, such as ERPs, CRMs, and MDMs. For more information, see https://koivu.cloud/

Excel is the registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

Find It Faster! Engineering information in documents and images

System engineering, plant maintenance, and service organizations spend a lot of time finding all the necessary information to plan services, upgrades, and enhancements to an existing plant, factory, and other large systems. 

Finding the full set of documents and photos is time-consuming even if only one pump needs to be replaced, for example. When engineers and service persons spend dozens of hours every week to manually find connections on documents, that results in millions of euros wasted every year.

The hidden value

There is a lot of meta information available in photos, drawings, and PDF documents but it is not easily accessible. This information is typically not linked, tagged, or structured to be searchable and browsable. For example, there are no connections from part numbers to document paragraphs and sentences. Neither are there summary descriptions from multiple documents as browsable database records with related photos.

Engineering needs a system that organizes unstructured data into structured information automatically. This data then needs to be available for intelligent search and browse directly in engineering tools. An engineering knowledgebase is the answer to the need to have faster findings.  

Machine Learning (ML) can be used to find engineering information and create connections to the documents and images.  

Partnership to dig out the value

All3D Oy and Koivu Solutions Oy formed a partnership and developed an ML based system to increase engineering data creation and linking productivity. 

All3D has deep domain knowledge of building digital twins. One of their key challenges is that the manual search-and-connect process for engineering information takes a lot of time and energy. Having an AI to assist in this process is speeding-up the value delivery significantly. 

Koivu developed a state-of-the-art ML system that recognizes engineering information from images taken from a plant, shop floor, ship’s engine room, etc. For PDF documents written by design engineers, Koivu developed an NLP*-based system that automatically creates links between part numbers, sentences, paragraphs, and documents. Then a searchable knowledgebase is built of this information. 

*) NLP stands for Natural Language Processing, so a method of how systems can understand written text. In this case, the result of this is a triplet database, so a browsable database of subject-predicate-object sentences associated with meta-data.

The system, Aila.ai, runs on the Koivu.Cloud platform and is easily customized for the needs of many industries. 

For more information, please contact Markus Helmle, All3D Oy, +358 050 568 7627 https://www.all3d.fi/ or
Sami Lahti, Koivu Solutions Oy, +358 40 544 4088, https://koivusolutions.com/

See what Koivu.Cloud offers for pricing and campaign management teams

VP of Sales

If your team is managing, for example, sales campaigns, promotions, discounts, rebates, or prices in Excel, you can use Koivu.Cloud to get business processes automated with ease.

CIO

If Excel spreadsheets are by-passing enterprise systems in your company, Koivu.Cloud enables you to easily integrate spreadsheet data with other systems and add powerful enterprise software capabilities.

Data Analyst

If you would like to get a real database infrastructure behind the spreadsheet apps you develop then Koivu.Cloud is the solution you’ve been dreaming of. It is the easiest way to get spreadsheet data into a cloud database.

See their story

See how Bob, Clark, and Emma got themselves into deep trouble with a new pricing model and how they found their way out with Koivu.Cloud.

Econia eases corona life with a free app that digitizes receipts

Due to the coronavirus, working from home will continue through the spring and summer for many. Econia, a full-house accounting company, has developed a new Artificial Intelligence-based mobile application to digitize accounting documents. The Econia Pocket app is now available free of charge to Econia customers.

“We wanted to provide an easy and secure way for our customers to deliver receipts and other accounting documents even if their company has not yet made the jump to e-financial management. So, we developed an app that enables users to send accounting documents via a mobile app thus avoiding unnecessary travel and personal contact,” says Elina Salmivala, CEO of Econia Ltd.

The corona virus pandemic accelerated the project – Econia made the app free of charge

“We have developed the Econia Pocket app and underlying system together with Koivu Solutions, a company specialising in Artificial Intelligence solutions and enterprise software. The onslaught of the corona virus pandemic threw the project into high gear and also changed our pricing logic: As a gesture of good will, we want to support our customers by offering the mobile app free of charge and even give them a discount on monthly accounting fees,” explains Salmivala.

Econia Pocket makes accounting routines easier

The Econia Pocket app allows you to quickly capture pictures of various vouchers – such as receipts, contracts, sales summaries and reports – and send them electronically to the financial management system. The browser-based app works on all smartphones and can also be used on a tablet and computer without installation.

The app was piloted in May. Thanks to positive user feedback, it will be offered free to all Econia customers starting June 2, 2020.

“I was surprised by how easy Econia Pocket is to use. I can just take a picture of my invoices and send them in minutes regardless of how many pages long they are. This makes life so much easier for entrepreneurs like myself and ensures that all my supporting documents are saved electronically,” says Virpi Nikula, owner and operator of beauty salon Kauneussalonki Silkki, who participated in the pilot.

“When a customer sends us their digital receipt soon after the transaction, the accountant can make the entries earlier so the monthly reports are completed faster. Digital material also accelerates completion of financial statements,” says Salmivala.

Artificial Intelligence helps automate accounting

Econia Pocket’s AI recognizes vendor information, labels and sums from photos and pdf files, making the work of both the sender and accountant easier. As a result of ongoing use, AI learns to know the company’s accounting practices.

“Econia challenged us to develop a cost-effective AI solution. We used our long enterprise software experience, powerful cloud platforms and the latest technology to develop an AI system and supporting software that fits perfectly into Econia’s new operating model,” says Sami Lahti, founding member of Koivu Solutions.

“In the long term, digitization saves time and resources for both the customer and the accounting company. And to help our customers through the corona crisis, we decided to pass these savings directly onto our customers in the form of discounts,” Salmivala sums up.

For more information, interview and image requests:
Elina Salmivala, CEO of Econia Ltd, M.Sc. (Economics), KLT, HHJ PJ, HT
Tel. +358 40 544 7344, elina.salmivala@econia.com
www.econia.com/pocket
www.econia.com

Sami Lahti, Founding Member of Koivu Solutions Oy
Tel. +358 40 544 4088, sami.lahti@koivusolutions.com
www.koivusolutions.com

Econia Pocket is a browser-based application for digitizing accounting documents. The application enables taking pictures of receipts, invoices and other accounting documents and sending them electronically to the accountant. AI recognizes and categorizes information from vouchers, facilitating accounting routines.

Econia Ltd is a Finnish company founded in 1996. It employs over 100 experts in financial and human resource management, and international business. Econia operates in 14 locations in Satakunta, Pirkanmaa, Central Finland, Uusimaa and Fuengirola, Spain. Econia’s revenues are approximately 11 M€. The company has grown strongly in recent years, and the growth forecast for 2020 remains positive despite the corona crisis. For more information, see www.econia.com.

Koivu Solutions Oy is a company focused on Artificial Intelligence and advanced digitalisation solutions with more than 25 years of experience in developing enterprise software. Koivu Solutions’ services consist of consulting, software development and proprietary products such as the Koivu Value Flow Cloud, which integrates Excel spreadsheets into your company’s business processes and other IT systems. For more information, see www.valueflowcloud.com. 

Leading North American retailer is using the Koivu.Cloud for campaign planning

A distinguished fashion brand with hundreds of stores in North America is using the Koivu.Cloud to plan its sales campaigns. Previously, the chain used only Microsoft Excel to plan its sales campaigns, which created many challenges including pricing mistakes.

The so-called Amazon effect has markedly changed retail competition in many countries in recent years. The ability of Amazon and other online retailers to change prices fast has affected the entire marketplace. Brick and mortar stores experience it as a challenge because they usually use very traditional IT systems for pricing and sales campaign planning. These systems do not match today’s demands for various pricing models and general agility.

This often leads to a situation where a process is created outside enterprise systems with tools such as Excel. Even if such an “Excel process” may be usable, it causes delays and errors and is tied to one person. If that person is, for example, out sick the process can stall altogether.

Koivu’s solution digitizes the process, automates the workflow, and eliminates human errors in data entry. Campaign planning no longer requires the manual input of previously approved discounts from one system to the next because the Koivu.Cloud transfers the data automatically from Excel. Also, the user interfaces of rigid traditional enterprise systems do not stand in the way of changing prices quickly.

Koivu.Cloud also manages data tracking and change history. User actions are limited by user roles but Excel can still be used as a tool for data creation, gathering, review, and confirmation.
Koivu Solutions, together with its North American partner, implemented the project on a fast timeline at the beginning of 2019. Configuration, integration, and deployment took three months in its entirety. User feedback has been glowing – we can say that for the first time an enterprise system actually delights its users. 

Koivu’s cloud solution streamlines Excel-based processes

With business constantly changing, the enterprise software landscape becomes spotted with “white spaces” that are filled by isolated Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

TEXT BY KARI KUISTI, IMAGE BY VIA RAMSTÉN


More and more companies are trying to rid themselves of Excel spreadsheets because of their vulnerability.

– Excel spreadsheets pose major issues for companies because they generate manual processes. Excel files are usually tied to one person, which causes additional headaches for digitalization, says Koivu Solutions Oy co-founder, Sami Lahti.

The company’s founders have been trying to kill off Excel for more than 20 years, unsuccessfully. Now, they’ve tackled it from a different angle by developing a tool that enables the universally used spreadsheet program to operate seamlessly in enterprise processes, automation and integration.

– The Koivu solution enables the user to continue using Excel, yet the company’s IT systems see a clear interface and structured data.

According to Lahti, the Koivu Value Flow Cloud solution enables Excel users to work just like they have in the past, yet the data they create gets stored on the cloud making data immediately available to all other systems. This makes the entire arsenal of cloud services available from computing power and analysis tools to machine learning.

Cloud opened the gates

Janne Salmi, also a co-founder of Koivu Solutions, says cloud services reduce costs and accelerate operations.

– Koivu’s solution makes Excel-based processes more transparent, faster and much more efficient. Deployment is easy because users can continue using the familiar Excel and, if they wish, also use Koivu’s mobile and web interfaces, Salmi emphasizes.

All Koivu Solutions founders have vast experience in developing and implementing enterprise software to support enterprise processes – they’ve been working the industry since the early 1990s.

Koivu also has experience in the United States where the company operates in addition to Finland.
– Straight out of the gate we positioned ourselves as a global company and today most of our projects are on American soil, Salmi says.

Customers in several industries

Koivu’s current client companies operate in the manufacturing, retail, and services industries. For example, a well-known American fashion brand uses the Koivu VFC solution to plan their sales campaigns. Their pricing analysts manage the creation of campaigns for 300 brand stores in the US and Canada. Salmi says the user experience has been great.
– Users love our solution. The Koivu application accelerated campaign planning by 80 percent while reducing pricing errors by 90%, Salmi sums up.

Alkuperäinen artikkeli suomeksi:  Innovaatio-julkaisussa.