Meet Hannu Juottonen, the integration architect responsible for the design and implementation of integrations and API-interfaces used by Lähtitaksi’s new “Taksini” app.
HiQ delivered a digital platform and an easy-to-use and user-friendly mobile app. Taksini offers an easy way to order a taxi, check up on the arrival of your ride and watch your location on the map while your taxi drives you to your destination”, Hannu explains.
To begin with, Lähitaksi did have an existing application for ordering taxis, but it needed a full remake. The goal was to create a new app that would be modern and easy to use. “Our customer had a lot of feature ideas for the redesign. We used the early planning phase to decide what to add to the final release version, including technical details. The possibility to pre-pay for your ride and get a fixed price for a future ride, were some of the things that our customer considered essential. We needed to take these must-have features into account during the UI design phase. The desire was to significantly improve the user experience and make it easier to order a ride and to pay for it.” Hannu continues.
Hannu’s work concentrated on designing integrations and APIs that the application needed. “I had to understand how the different parties and systems involved were connected and what kind of data moved between them. That is how I was able to create meaningful and implementable tasks for the integration developers. And I even participated in some of the development myself. As the user experience was crucial, I did much of my work with UI designers and developers. And even though the development team consisted of people from different departments, it felt that we were more of a single development team, united for the common goal of creating an awesome application. I find this project to be an excellent example of how units in a bigger corporation can work together for achieving top results”, Hannu contemplates.
To realize a multitude of features we used a vast variety of different services for things like sending SMS messages and emails, accepting credit card payments and data storage. We used HiQ’s FRENDS-integration platform to integrate these services with the Taksini app. Using FRENDS made it considerably faster and easier to develop and maintain the different kind of integrations involved. We had to create dozens of API interfaces and with FRENDS the implementation and publishing was straight forward and efficient.”, Hannu explains.
The development team can be proud of their achievement. It’s been more than a year since the Taksini app was launched and it has found its users, which amount to over 50000. The amount of actual transactions processed varies quite a lot, but the normal variance ranges from 100 to 200 transactions per day. Special seasons and holidays like Vappu do spike the activity up.
” I found it quite interesting to be involved in taxi delivery system related integrations. It all consisted of a nicely balanced mix of real-life issues and technical challenges. Overall, I got to know and learn about new technologies. This made the project more intriguing and quite rewarding. We will continue to further develop the Taksini system and we’ll have new innovative features in the future.”, Hannu explains excitedly.
What makes HiQ such a good place to work?
“To begin with, it has to be the crew. I have affable colleagues and we’re on the same level. As to the actual work, my projects have a pleasant variance between different kind of industries and work tasks. In general, understanding the customer needs and having a working, communicating team, are essential in this line of work. Any project will be more progressive, if the team working on it openly shares ideas and reaches a common understanding of how things are done. I think this is the way we do things in HiQ”, Hannu describes.
Hannu is experienced in the art of programming and he is fluent in Microsoft technologies. He’s been integrating with different platforms and he’s also experienced in platform development. “I want to understand customer requirements both as larger real-life entities and as technical details. This enables me to decide on the best architectural designs, but also to describe development tasks in technical terms. I believe my strong background in software development is a big asset in this line of work”, Hannu points out.
Lähitaksi provides everyone in Helsinki and the capital area prime taxi service 24 hours a day and every day of the year. We wish to fulfill our customers’ demands in a way that will leave our customers image of an easy, quick and friendly service all the way from the first call to order to the end of the ride. Lähitaksi provides also taxi service to and from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.
Lähitaksi was founded in 1965 and is one of the leading taxi centres in Finland. In the beginning the centre consisted of 90 taxis. These days Lähitaksi actively dispatches rides in 24 cities surrounding Helsinki and has over 1 500 taxis serving customers.
Photos: Sam Jamsen