Kela gained a vital digital agency in HiQ

Kela, The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, faced an acute problem with elevating its digital abilities. Where was the digital boost found?

Ambientia's public sector unit is now part of HiQ. Read more.

Nearly every Finn is a customer of Kela, the provider of social security in Finland, at some point in their lives. Kela had digital expertise internally, but more was needed and increasingly so: concept design, interface design, graphic design, front-end development, analytics...

“It doesn't make sense to buy one piece from here, another from there to manage such extensive entireties,” says Päivi Bergman, Kela's Development Manager.

"We specifically sought after a comprehensive solution, meaning an entity capable of acting as a full-fledged digital agency for Kela," Bergman explains.

The focus of the digital agency's efforts was especially on the development of Kela's online services.

"Our kela.fi and kanta.fi websites are important to all citizens, and they need to be developed consistently and responsibly, with user experience at the forefront," Bergman states.

A familiar name as a partner

Through open tendering, HiQ was selected as Kela's digital agency, already having experience collaborating with Kela. According to Bergman, HiQ's certified expertise and excellent technical skills, including OpenShift, weighed most heavily in the decision.

"We believed that in collaboration with HiQ, we would take the development of kela.fi and kanta.fi to a completely new level," described Bergman the feelings when the framework agreement was signed.

HiQ's team has proven themselves as top-notch professionals with the ability and willingness to listen to the customer. Miia Luoma, Kela's communication specialist for the Kanta services, cites the recent update of the kanta.fi homepage as an example:

"Now the homepage is sensibly structured, comprehensible whole where content is highlighted appropriately," Luoma comments.

Getting more out of analytics

A bigger – yet less visible – change is the monitoring of user count and services utilized through log information, without cookies.

"Traficom (Finnish Transport and Communications Agency) controls the use of cookies quite strictly, and we are pleased that we don't have to rely on them in our own data collection," Päivi Bergman explains.

Developing website analytics is a central theme in the collaboration between Kela and HiQ. According to Bergman, Kela wants to advance its services more and more through analytics.

"Through analytics, we can engage in service design that benefits the customer. Understanding them better allows us to serve better," she summarizes.

We specifically sought after a comprehensive solution, meaning a partner capable of acting as a full-fledged digital agency for Kela.

Development Manager, Kela

Päivi Bergman

Motivation at its peak

Service Manager Auli Sarvikivi from HiQ agrees there's still a lot of untapped potential in Kela's website analytics alone, and the arsenal of service design techniques is constantly expanding.

"For us developers, this is really exciting. It's amazing to be involved in something with such a large user base," Sarvikivi remarks.

Kela knows that the customer is often impatient: they want the information they're looking for immediately. If the information isn't found, an application might be submitted with incomplete information – only to come back like a boomerang with a request for correction. This is not beneficial for anyone, Päivi Bergman reminds.

"At this point, we want to clarify our websites and assist customers in finding information, reducing the number of unnecessary applications," she states.

Information tray in the production pipeline

In addition to flagship sites kela.fi and kanta.fi, something new is already simmering in the digital pot. Kela is working on the Info Tray, which provides research and statistical information on social security as a service to professional organizations in need.

“The new service targets new welfare regions and political decision-makers,” explains Tiia Lundqvist, Kela's editor-in-chief.

HiQ has been involved in the Info Tray by providing interface design, among other things, and is otherwise ensuring that the new "digital treat" is successfully delivered.

New levels of digitalization for better service

Kela is looking into the future in other ways and at other levels. This is why the recent tender required the partner to have expertise in designing and implementing content containing artificial intelligence and robotics.

"We already have service robots on the kela.fi and kanta.fi websites, which answer customers questions. However, this is just the beginning: in the coming years, we will surely delve more into the possibilities of artificial intelligence, and we are pleased to have HiQ supporting us in this work," says Päivi Bergman.

In Kela's case, engaging content and innovative use of content are of interest, says Auli Sarvikivi. The service packages are vast, and the goals are ambitious – as they should be.

"The people at Kela are very willing and open to development and are constantly looking for new perspectives," Sarvikivi praises.

The digital agency delivers on promises

The framework agreement gives plenty of time and opportunities to continue and deepen the partnership. But how would Päivi Bergman describe the collaboration with HiQ so far?

Bergman says that Kela got exactly what it needed most: a flexible, skilled digital partner.

"We now have a digital agency that serves us well. Our interaction works, and everything can be discussed," she describes.

A special mention goes to the shared digital workspace between Kela and HiQ teams, where it's immediately clear where things stand and what's coming.

"The collaboration is transparent, which promotes smoothness at all levels."

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