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How a custom Teams application can help to work more efficiently – learnings from the City of Helsinki

Niina Nykänen / June 08, 2020

Microsoft Teams applications vary from ready-made, quick to applicable apps to completely custom solutions. The idea of these applications is to make work more efficient, streamline processes and help with better and more transparent collaboration. We implemented a tailored solution for City of Helsinki. What did we learn?

We see Teams as a great back office hub for handling data, process items and collaborate. Teams application can be integrated to end-users’ channels, or alternatively to employees’ channels.

With custom Teams application as a back office solution it is possible to:

  • enable the customers’ or employees’ voice to be heard and implement two-way communication towards the customers/employees.
  • make the handling transparent with workflows, collaboration and reporting.
  • maximize automation and efficiency by increasing intelligence.
  • take a sensitive information into account.
  • make processing possible even in the field conditions

Unleash the ideas of employees: case City of Helsinki

We have built this kind of back office solution for the City of Helsinki to handle employees’ ideas and initiatives. Employees can enter the ideas via the third-party channel from which the ideas and initiatives move to a Teams application through an integration. The items are then handled in the Teams transparently by the handlers from the different city services. The statuses are reported with Power BI.

There was a significant need for such a solution since the ideas and initiatives were earlier handled manually in Excel. The processing work was time consuming, inconvenient and non-interactive. It was challenging to coordinate the process since the handlers were working in different city services. The reporting was also difficult and there were difficulties to get an up-to-date status information of the handling process. Additionally, the handling process lacked interactivity and there was no flexible filtering and search options for the ideas.

It was decided to implement the solution to Teams because it was already a familiar tool for the employees in the City of Helsinki. Our role was to design and implement the solution, and train the key people to use it. The implementation was a quick and an agile project, and the solution was easy to adopt and learn. There was no need for massive end-user training sessions and user manuals since the solution was so intuitive to use. The project was carried out agilely in close collaboration and hence the City of Helsinki got a polished solution that perfectly suited to their needs. We can say that the agile delivery method to which the customer participates also actively is the best in Teams application projects. This project also confirmed us that Teams suits well for enabling back office work.

Now, the handlers from different city services can start to process the ideas and initiatives using the Teams application and see straight away the information and statuses of the ideas, comment them and process them in Teams. Power BI reports enabler the up-to-date statistics and overview of the handling process. The status and comments of the ideas are transferred back to the submitter through an interface. Therefore, the Teams application has speeded up and streamlined the overall handling process. It has decreased the risks where the assigned ideas are not processed by the handlers. Eventually, thanks to a new idea handling back office solution, the city of Helsinki can now make more use of the employees’ ideas due to the time saved in the handling process.

Microsoft Teams is a versatile collaboration platform which can help the organization to modernize its internal processes. During this spring, it has been proven that Teams enables a seamless collaboration and working from home. Naturally, we have now seen the growing interest towards leveraging the usage of Teams with the applications and take the full power out of Teams apps and Office 365 services.

Got you interested? We are here for you!

Are you interested in figuring out how to get to a next level with Teams? We have an approach to help you to investigate and ideate the possibilities for Teams applications. Connect with me on LinkedIn to learn more!

Niina Nykänen
Head of Online solutions

Niina is a sales and business development professional in the customer experience unit in TietoEVRY. She helps the customers to re-think, re-image and transform their business and customer engagement models, as well as core customer-facing processes. Her passion is to help the customers in building full lifecycle digital services (e-commerce, digital marketing and sales, customer service, digital channels) and utilizing data and analytics to unlock the value of customer experience.


Niina Nykänen

Head of Online solutions

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