Finnish tram streamlined project with Google Cloud and Google Workspace

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City of Helsinki and HKL choose Google Cloud Platform as the foundation for data management solution and reporting platform for the city's new tram project from Kalasatama to Pasila. Google Workspace ensures efficient collaboration for the over 20 contractors. All delivered from The Cloud People. 

Visit Kalasatama–Pasila

Data management solution and reporting platform from The Cloud People ensure efficient coworking between all participants in the 79 million euro tram project from Kalasatama to Pasila in the city of Helsinki, Finland. The platform is built on Google Cloud.

 

Helsinki is soon to have a new tramway between Kalasatama and Pasila. The general plan for the project was accepted in the summer of 2018, and the contractor parties were chosen in the spring of 2020. The goal is to start commercial operation of the tramline in 2024.

The project owners are Helsinki City and Helsinki City Transport (HKL). The contractors form two alliances with a total of over 20 contractors and subcontractors: Sörkan spora and Karaatti. Among the suppliers we find large Finnish and international contractors such as Destia, Sweco, WSP, GRK and Afry.

Built a Business Intelligence Platform

“Helsinki City and HKL needed a data management solution and reporting platform, a tool for risk and operational management,” Marko Mikkola, managing partner at The Cloud People Finland, starts. 

"In addition they also needed a platform for collaboration and sharing information, both within their own organizations, but also across all suppliers on the project. And the solutions, tools and platforms needed to be put in place quickly," Mikkola continues.

To succeed in delivering complex construction projects on time and cost, information flow and access to data and reports is a key role. In record time, The Cloud People has developed a data management solution and reporting platform that supports data driven decisions. At the top, The Cloud People has set up an intranet platform for The Kalasatama-Pasila Project, which ensures collaboration across more than 20 suppliers of the project.

“Our intention was to develop a new way of data management for a project of this kind from the very beginning,” says Lauri Metsovuori, Data and IT Infrastructure Management for The Kalasatama-Pasila Project.

He continues: “Our Happeo-based intranet solution, called “Katiska”, has been the main collaboration hub for the experts working in The Kalasatama-Pasila Project. All essential tools are available through the Katiska solution and teams have been able to communicate the progress and results of their work in a transparent way.”

Real time data streams

Can you give some examples of how the data management solution and reporting platform have benefitted The Kalasatama-Pasila project?

“The Google Platform has been easy to use and has technically enabled us to develop a project dashboard which gathers together several data streams into a one, real-time view. The basic tools of Google Workspace are simple and useful. Most of the problems we have faced are caused by the unfamiliarity of the tools provided. Many of our experts are familiar only with the Microsoft 365 product family and its logic,” answers Lauri Metsovuori. 

Asked if the data management solution and reporting platform have made it possible to work efficiently despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Lauri Metsovuori answers:

“Google Services have provided a stable environment for working during this global pandemic, but efficiency is always a result of commonly agreed rules and proper guidance. If the process fails, the data management is determined to be unsuccessful.”

Three most important results

Ville Nieminen, Communications and Stakeholder Relations Management at The Kalasatama-Pasila Project, summarises the three most significant results from the data management solution and reporting platform for the project:

“For the first. The parties of the alliance are equal when it comes to accessibility of data management and services. A domain owned by The Kalasatama-Pasila Project and common service agreement have enabled a full user experience in the Google Platform. This is a big thing for us as we do not have to deal with guest roles.

Number two. The real-time project dashboard, built on Google Cloud Platform, is a forerunner in the infrastructure and construction industry. The reports in the dashboard consist of several data sources. Most significant amount of work is however done in establishing the data sources and in validating and developing the data. 

The third is the Risk Management Tool and the reports originated from its data are clearly a success. Well structured and managed data form a basis for reports of a high quality. When the data entered into the tool is predefined, the data quality assurance is less painful.” 

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Illustration: The Kalasatama–Pasila Project

Ensures data quality and traceability

Petri Pantitila, project manager at The Cloud People, explains that data quality is ensured through tracking and that no information can be entered without ownership.

“Through rules, traceability, change history – who has done what and why – we get much better data quality than comparable platforms. Being confident the data is correct is necessary when making data driven decisions,” says Panttila.

With dashboards and visual reporting (Business Intelligence), the need for meetings is minimized. Those who need to decide something always have access to updated data.

“These companies are used to working with Microsoft Office and Sharepoint, which makes it difficult to collaborate and share documents with partners outside the organization. With Google Workspace, sharing information and working on the same documents is easy and hassle-free. Or convene video conferences. We have established a common platform for collaboration, documents and information sharing that does not set limits,” says Panttila.

Data management platform in record time

The Cloud People managing partner Mikkola says that they did not have time for a traditional IT project with a long preliminary project and where one after a year has still not gone live and in use. At a very low cost and with minimal effort, The Cloud People developed a platform for data collection and analysis and reporting in just 2 weeks. Today, there are 250 users of the Business Intelligence platform.

“Google has very good tools for developing applications that are free to use. We made a prototype that we put into operation in just ten days. By using methodologies such as DevOps, launching the simplest possible product, getting feedback and acceptance and working in sprints, we ensured an efficient and affordable development,” says Mikkola.

Originally, before the corona pandemic, the plan was for all suppliers to gather regularly in a large meeting room with room for over 100 participants. There, information was to be exchanged and the prosject progress discussed. With Google Workspace (former G Suite), Helsinki and HKL have been able to drive The Kalasatama-Pasila Project at least as efficiently with digital tools.

“Users are very happy with the platform and the solutions from Google. Many tell us that we have created a completely unique solution, which has made project work and collaboration much more efficient and user-friendly,” says Mikkola.

The customer has had a vision that the solutions developed for this project can be conceived as examples for the future projects on how project level data is maintained and project dashboard data is formed. Also, all developed solutions can be utilised by the customer and other project parties in the future.

The project has been delivered with the Smart Resourcing model from The Cloud People.

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