noun_Email_707352 noun_917542_cc Map point Play Untitled Retweet Group 3 Fill 1

UPM boosts experience, engagement, and growth through collaborative innovation approach

Joint innovation program accelerates UPM's group-level innovation process, culture and enhances business development. Learn more about the program and how it helps to flourish innovation.

Aleksi Kärkkäinen

Head of Advisory, Design & Innovation

Learn how UPM, a pioneer in the forest-based bioindustry, helps innovation to flourish. A wide-ranging collaborative program focused on customer engagement and digital footprint promoted UPM’s innovative working culture by identifying, validating, and concepting ideas that deliver value for the business and customers alike.

The ongoing global health pandemic has done little to slow the hunger and drive for innovation at UPM – a company that is leading the forest-based bioindustry into a sustainable and exciting future beyond fossils. Innovation plays a core role in supporting UPM’s different business areas to create value from renewable and recyclable materials by combining expertise and technologies.

In spring 2020 UPM initiated a group-level joint innovation program with TietoEVRY. The innovation program supported UPM’s strategic initiatives by speeding up development and providing valuable resources for innovation.

The program explored and developed ideas under two strategic themes. The customer engagement and experience theme focused on creating customer understanding that translates into actions and provides value, while the digital footprint theme explored the benefits of digital product information for the value chain.


A wide-ranging, collaborative innovation program

The program began with a series of business foresight sessions that helped to stimulate critical thinking by demonstrating best-practice ideas, taking an outside-in approach. The program processed 30 different ideas from participants that came from across UPM’s different business areas. The five best ideas were taken forward to the co-creation stage to be further developed into more concrete concepts.

“This forward-looking, outside-in approach with cross-functional and business teams created impactful UPM-wide initiatives. Agile innovation involving diverse internal and external experts helped to drive our innovative culture forward.”

Jaakko Avikainen, IT Service Manager – Global Functions at UPM


“Co-creation is an effective way to proceed in the early phases of innovation. By engaging different stakeholders and key players we gain cumulative knowledge and diverse viewpoints that ensure the focus is on the right things. The goal was to identify solutions or outcomes that are technically feasible, generate value, and are desirable to the users.”

Tiiu Koort-Fallström, Service Design Manager – Data Management and Digital Capabilities at UPM


In the co-creation stage, the goal was to analyze the business and user needs and model the business case for each idea in a series of business design workshops.


“It has been great to see so much enthusiasm from across the organization. I'm delighted that many concepts are directly connected to enhancing customer experience and engagement as well as UPM’s growth strategy.”

Jyrki Ovaska, Executive Vice President, Technology at UPM 


The teams behind the five ideas, which covered a wide range of topics and trends pitched their ideas to a jury, which would then select the overall winner.

Aleksi Kärkkäinen, Head of Advisory, Design and Innovation at TietoEVRY, acted as Innovation Lead in the program and shares the UPM team’s overwhelmingly positive view of the process and the ideas that it helped to develop:

“We achieved great results, especially considering the need to work completely remotely throughout the program and the economic downturn. The winning idea is now being developed further and we are expecting some excellent results.”


Customer Experience is one of the fastest-growing business areas for TietoEVRY. We create digital experiences that are easy-to-use, data-driven, intelligent, and cost-efficient – and which make a business impact. 

We believe that a successful customer experience is built on a deep understanding of user behaviour and needs, and continuous process improvement. We focus on providing full-lifecycle, end-to-end support for customer-facing processes with our industry-leading advisory, platform, and development services. 

Read more about Customer Experience Management services.

Share on Facebook Tweet Share on LinkedIn