The new IT manager was given a clear mandate around infra: “Make it work.”

Mitta Oy’s exponential growth meant that its IT infra was on the verge of its capacity. Data did not move, host computers were full, remote connections did not work, e-mails were not sent and the user database was failing. Within a year, the new IT manager and Tietokeskus sorted these issues, piece by piece.

Mitta Oy is a surveying company, with approximately 400 employees spread around Finland producing data for customer needs.

“Mitta has grown exponentially within a short period, but the IT was built for a significantly smaller company”, says Marko Ukkola, IT Director at Mitta Oy.

“We had reached the point where IT began to interfere with work. Data was not being transferred, host computers were full, remote connections did not work, e-mails were not sent and the user database was failing. I was tasked with fixing these issues.”

Mitta Oy decided to introduce Microsoft’s ecosystem. They requested Tietokeskus to join this effort.

“Together we began to implement Microsoft’s services in the best possible way. Mitta gets everything it needs from Microsoft, which clarifies infra and its management significantly. The on-premises world combining several technologies was very quickly replaced by a unified and modern cloud-first world”, says Miikka Määttä, Salesperson at Tietokeskus.

“We have carried out a four-year IT infra modernization project in a year,” Ukkola laughs.


Outdated e-mail system without main user rights

Previously, Mitta used Zimbra e-mails. “The system was outdated. We had no admin access to the e-mail system, did not receive statistics of any kind and were not able to monitor e-mail traffic ourselves. If an account of ours had been hijacked, we would have no knowledge of our e-mail account spamming others,” Ukkola points out.

The infra modernization project first allowed e-mails to be administered by the company, and they were brought to Microsoft Outlook. M365 plans were activated for employees, and this gave Mitta an Azure AD user database that also supports other services.


Smooth device and user management maintains employee computers remotely

The introduction of Azure AD also allowed for device and user management to be developed.

“We previously ran the Samba 4 AD register on top of the Linux system from the company’s own server. Samba 4 did not support integrations, and user information could not be utilized elsewhere. The configuration of hardware was also lacking,” Ukkola states.

Since the company operates in dozens of regions and a large share of our surveying employees do not visit the office in weeks or even months, device and user management is a very important part of functioning IT infra. “With Microsoft’s Intune, it is possible to manage all devices. If a device is stolen, it can be locked from a distance, and hardware and software can be updated in a centralized way,” Määttä explains.

Because there was no centralized administration, users had downloaded the software they wanted and needed on their own. As a result, the devices contained several malicious software. The spam filter of the previous e-mail had also let in all kinds of non-wanted material. Now the spam filter of Microsoft’s Defender and M365 plan has kept the devices clean.


Mitta Oy’s massive quantities faster to transfer by car than over the internet

Once the hardware and user administration was modernized, databanks were the next area of development.

“Mitta produces an incredible amount of data, and the amount just keeps getting bigger. The data of open projects alone is 200 terabytes, and the land and sea surveying during this summer will produce 120 terabytes more. The size of a single customer project is 0.5–3 TB – so large that transferring this data from the surveying location to a server room would be faster by car than on current data networks,” Ukkola says, describing the situation.

The data is now stored at both Mitta Oy’s own server rooms and Tietokeskus’ file servers. “The server halls of the offices have databanks, which can be accessed from workstations with fiber-optic cables, as any other data transfer solution is too light and cannot be moved quickly enough,” Ukkola continues.

These databanks located behind firewalls must also be accessed through remote connections, and this is enabled by a temporary Linux integration.

“Thankfully, the user does not care how a solution has been built but how well it works. Now databases can be accessed more easily and better than before, the service is reliable and the remote connection faster than before. The experience is the same as for a user inside the company’s intranet,” Määttä explains.


Hardware ordered from the online store, installed from the cloud

A year ago, Mitta’s computers passed through the Oulu office and were installed manually by their one-person IT department. “Computers were brought to the IT booth, dismantled, installed and activated by hand, after which they were sent to the end user somewhere in Finland,” Ukkola reveals.

Now, hardware is ordered from the Tietokeskus online store and delivered straight to the user. The user turns the computer on and logs in with their credentials. Then the device is installed from the cloud, and all the necessary software are downloaded. “The user has immediate access to a computer compliant with the company profile, one that is connected to device management, the user database, data centers and a firewall,” Määttä sums up.

“If something is missing, or something needs to be added to the device later, we can log onto it with a remote connection and take care of it,” Ukkola praises.

The cycle of renewing passwords, which strains the IT department and user support, is now history. “After their holidays, people would forget their information. Previously, employees would call the IT director, who would reset Windows and e-mail passwords. Now there is only one password, and users can quickly reset it on their own without having to wait for IT support,” says Ukkola, pleased.


IT services now easily available and usable for employees

Within a year, Mitta Oy’s IT infra has taken a giant leap.

The opportunity was a unique one for Tietokeskus. “When a bright light goes off one customer’s end, it gives us great joy to go along with it and consider how IT services can bring a strategic competitive edge. Previously, the IT infra slowed employees down, as all services were not always available, connections were slow and information was not accessible when necessary. Now IT supports work better, since projects always include the perspective of service accessibility and usability – and how Microsoft’s ecosystem can be utilized to their full potential,” Määttä says. 

“We could have completed this project with someone else, but I don’t believe the result would have been as good. Tietokeskus has the best consultants in the field. They review the customer’s situation as a whole, suggesting solutions and new technologies that work in the future as well,” Ukkola praises.

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