SoftOne Ab is a Swedish software house that specialises in developing ERP (enterprise resource planning) software for logistics, accounting, invoicing and project control.
Back home in Sweden SoftOne, which was founded in 1985, is among the leading suppliers of ERP systems for electrical and HEPAC (heating, plumbing, air-conditioning)installation firms, accountancy offices, retailers and distributors.
"We develop and market software but also offer consulting, support and outsourcing services to our customers. Our services are tailored towards small- and medium-sized companies which have from five to several hundred employees," explains Håkan Lord, SoftOne's Managing Director.
Today SoftOne Ab has 65 employees and 2,800 customers in Sweden, Finland and Norway with a turnover in 2010 of 6.5 million euros. The company has offices in Stockholm, Malmö, Motala and Gothenburg. And nowadays there is a subsidiary in Helsinki too as SoftOne bought a majority stake in the Finnish IT company Tietosauma Oy in the early part of 2011.
"We have some customers in Finland, but we wanted to do more business here. So we contacted Invest in Finland and asked them to help us and make a plan to succeed in Finland," Mr. Lord explains.
A perfect match
Invest in Finland made a good impression on SoftOne. “They carried out market research and gave us lots of advice and different solutions for doing business in Finland. They guided us onto the Finnish market in a skillfull way which we appreciate a lot,” Håkan Lord describes.
"Invest in Finland also made surveys and profiles of the companies which would make suitable partners for us. After a year we were introduced to Tietosauma Oy which turned out to be the perfect match.”
“When I met Jarmo Hiltunen, Managing Director of Tietosauma, I understood immediately that we have a similar company culture. The companies are much alike with similar working processes. Also the Sauma Clientserver software is very alike the Swedish SoftOne Professional software. Tietosauma is a well-run company with a stable customer base. Together with SoftOne we can grow together”, Mr. Lord states.
Finland and Sweden have much in common
SoftOne´s vision is to be a Nordic brand company with operations in Norway, Finland and Sweden and eventually in Denmark too.
"Finland and Sweden are very much alike. There are many Finnish companies operating in Sweden and vice versa. Business is the same in both countries, even though both countries have their own advantages which we can benefit from. Due to their geographical proximity, Finland is a natural choice for Swedish companies."
SoftOne wants to continue its operations in Finland by luring more customers with the same products that they have succeeded with in Sweden. SoftOne Tietosauma Oy has developed a new product with a new technology aimed at the whole clientele in both Sweden and Finland.
"The Tietosauma name will gradually disappear and the company will become just SoftOne. Together we are stronger, and we are learning from each other. We are now harmonizing the organisation with a single trademark and it is all going very well. I believe we can triple our business in Finland in five years," Håkan Lord says.