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Holmen catapults themselves into the future of forestry

Tietoevry’s cloud architecture framework matched crucial data with the customer’s use cases, providing a valuable tool for business users and customers.

Karl Forsman

Business Consultant

Historically, forestry company Holmen Skog has amassed huge amounts of data concerning forestry and logging, with most of it coming from their harvesting machines. They’ve always been aware of the data’s usability, but it wasn’t until recently that Holmen saw true benefits from extracting real value out of this data.

A need to bring more value to the business itself, become more effective and productive was clear, and through data-driven applications Holmen would be able to reach those goals. And this is where Tietoevery came in.

“We proposed a cloud architecture framework based on our experience and global knowledge base,” says Karl Forsman, data platform architect at Tietoevry Create. “This was based on use cases from Holmen and our own knowledge of harvester data.” Making it possible to define key processes and identifying, or prioritizing, use cases which was then applied to the technical architecture built by Tietoevry.

Running data against use cases

The solution was designed to integrate the data source, interpret and simulate missing data from the files, store the data in a storage effective manner, model and combine the data to serve the use cases described by Holmen, and serve data to the visualization solutions of Holmen’s choice.

But how does it work?

After working at the preliminary study level, together with their own forestry experts, Tietoevry integrated, modeled and served the data to the use cases found in collaboration with Holmen. “Our cooperation around harvester data goes back a couple of years, with efforts to discover potential use cases and prioritize efforts to enable the use of harvester data”, Forsman explains.

For Holmen, having this type of access to data in greater detail than ever before, is a very valuable benefit. Some of this data was never even accessible to the user at all.

Making valuable data accessible to customers

Javier Segura, business developer at Holmen, knew they were sitting on a lot of useful data – but needed help to bring forward a new way to access this potential. “We have customers who want to know more about the forest, and here we had the opportunity to match those needs with the data.”

Holmen reached out to Tietoevry, asking for guidance when it came to pinpointing exactly which data from their forest machines could best solve their business use cases. A pilot study gathered representatives from Holmen and Tietoevry and generated a list of some 100 use cases where this data can be relevant for different business segments at Holmen. It spans from forest operations, logistics, industrial processes and the planting and nurturing of new forests. “From all these segments, we received insights that had one thing in common – they were all missing crucial data that would help them make better decisions in their work,” Segura says.

The collaboration with Tietoevry resulted in the creation of a database that collects and cleans the information from production machines, which later is grouped and visualized for different clients within Holmen. “We were also able to put the first technical steppingstones towards data quality and accessibility and we´re learning how the data should be best utilized”, Segura says.

Rich history with a focus on staying current

At the core of Holmen Skog is the Swedish forest. Holmen was founded over 400 years ago, in 1609, as a small weapons manufacturer in Kvarnholmen, Motala Ström, in the middle of southern Sweden. The company has since developed and grown along with the industrial revolution in Europe. In 1986, after 300+ years of paper production on an industrial level in the central parts of Norrköping, Sweden, Holmens Bruk’s paper mill was shut down.

Today, Holmen Skog is one of Sweden’s oldest companies with a rich and fascinating history. Catapulting themselves from the old hand paper mill on Kvarnholmen 400 years ago to extracting value out of harvester data in the 21st century, it’s clear that Holmen has always been able to adapt to the times, even though it isn’t perhaps as clear in the DNA of the forestry industry.

Read more about Holmen Skog

“Forestry is quite a conservative industry,” says Javier Segura, “and things move pretty slow”. "There are many proven methods that have worked in the past but moving forward we are confident that understanding this data will strengthen the way we work.”

Balancing data with the human experience

For Javier Segura and Holmen, it’s all about finding balance. On one side, Holmen has sensors and machines able to measure on a systematic level. Much more accurate than a human ever could. On the other hand, decision making is still something only a human can achieve on the kind of level that’s required.

The team at Tietoevry working on the Holmen account in the second stage, where the technical solution was adapted to Holmen’s needs, consisted of a hybrid setup staffed by roughly 50/50 from Sweden and India. “We integrated with product owners and architects on the customer side to ensure a business close collaboration, as well as compliance with customer policies and strategies“, says Karl Forsman. “Our joint ambition with this platform is that we will grow with more capabilities to further unlock the potential of the harvester data source, perhaps in cooperation with other data sources.”

“I liked the aspect of having an international team work with us,” Javier Segura says. “I introduced our case to the India-based team and had feedback with them on multiple occasions, and I think the support from there was really unique. Everyone had excellent technical knowledge and skill, which worked out great since there was a lot of testing involved.”

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