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Paving the way for a 360-degree unified customer experience


HSY, Helsinki Region Environmental Services, provides municipal water supply and waste management services to the Helsinki metropolitan area, as well as information on the region and the environment.


HSY provides water supply and waste management services to the Helsinki metropolitan area, but these two main strands of the company’s operations don’t currently have shared visibility over their customers. This disconnect – with customer and business information in multiple locations and no way to ensure data quality – has made it hard to have a unified strategy when moving to self-service digital solutions. This, in turn, has affected the customer experience and hampered the adoption of digital services.

Key objectives

HSY also wanted to reduce the amount of manual work caused by the number of systems they’re currently using, aiming to move to a customer data master that will serve as the backbone of their future digital services, connecting industry-specific solutions to customer data. This transition will improve the customer experience and reduce the cost of serving customers.

HSY had already selected their preferred technology, but with a huge number of legacy solutions, they were looking for advice on what to do with them, whether their chosen technology was the right one, and what time, money, skills, and resources they would need. They came to Columbia Road for help in how to approach the problem and develop the architecture needed to take the next steps towards realising their digital strategy vision. By setting the direction of this sizeable digital transition and linking it to the company’s vision, the aim was to make it easier for HSY to start building high-quality digital services and running them efficiently, providing a world-class experience for their customers.

We aim to offer a world-class customer experience, improve the quality of our services, and become more efficient – and with this strategic planning project Columbia Road have helped us to do the groundwork to achieve this.

Jari Matero, Digitalisation Development Manager, HSY

Our approach

We worked closely with their core team, who owns the development stream and reused as much as possible of the prework they’d already done to make our work together more efficient. We ran a set of workshops, first tackling the big picture on the process side and then the architecture side, identifying critical areas and talking with solution providers and vendors.

The whole process took us less than a month working intensively, taking into consideration the fact that HSY is a public organisation and needs time for public tendering – this short timescale also helped the company avoid analysis paralysis.

Based on this work, we created a high-level roadmap showing what the digital transition will enable for HSY as they remove the silo-based processes and provide a digital customer interface that rests on a customer data layer and an industry processes layer. Our approach focused on the business impact rather than being lost in the technological architecture details. This, combined with our broad technological capabilities, meant we could help HSY to serve their customers better and deliver a better customer experience.


Most of the transition work outlined in HSY’s digital vision relied on a shared single source of customer data, and our work together laid a clearer roadmap to achieve this goal. The team at HSY now have more confidence in the approach they have chosen, with a better understanding of what they need to do next to move forward.

From a situation with 20 or so applications, many of which were at the end of life, and a very high-level digital vision that wasn’t connected to the realities of their situation, they now have a streamlined blueprint for making their vision a reality. They know what the project will cost, the potential roles of their future applications, which apps they still need to support, and what skills and people they need to continue their transformation.


  • HSY now has a well-thought high-level architecture and processes to support it, scoped together in facilitated workshops
  • HSY also has a clear vision of how to drive forward the rest of the project based on the help and advice provided with the budget, schedule, and resources
  • The Columbia Road team’s advice on changing roles and retirement of current legacy systems helps HSY to focus resources on the key systems and processes
  • Columbia Road’s role in validating technology choices as a trusted partner with broad technological capabilities was crucial in guiding HSY towards a more lean and efficient organisation
  • HSY now has coherent project plans with options for how to run the project and realistic timeframe estimations

Photography copyrights HSY / Elina Manninen, Hannu Bask

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