Nortal and VTT start cooperation in the fast-growing big data market

October 16, 2014

Nortal and Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) will begin developing advanced practical solutions for analysis of large amounts of data, known as big data, targeted at industrial companies. The global big data market is expected to undergo annual growth of up to 27 per cent.

VTT and Nortal see rising potential in big data technologies, and extensive customer interest both at home and abroad. The potent combination of research and rapid business evolution will give the two companies an effective way of serving their customers in the development of digitalised businesses.

Both see the anticipated strong market growth as the starting point for the creation of a new kind of technology architecture, one that will allow digital services to be based on a variety of aspects drawn rapidly, even in real time, from a vast amount of data.

Nortal is a software development solutions provider focusing on industry, with expertise in gathering large amounts of data using the Apache Hadoop platform, supplied by partner Hortonworks. The company also has experience in gathering analysis results, reporting and visualisation for both private and public sector customers.

"This cooperation will strengthen our big data offering and know-how even further. With the support of VTT and Hortonworks, Nortal will be capable of offering and delivering a comprehensive Big Data solution, ranging from data collection right through to visualisation. With the world in sore need of specialists in the analytics of large amounts of data, we are delighted to have VTT as our partner," says Timo A. Rantanen, Nortal Business Area Director.

VTT will be focusing on advanced data analytics and management of large masses of information.

"VTT is a pioneer in real-time data analytics. Our new strategy also emphasises exploiting large amounts of data in the industrial internet. We consider it vital that consolidation of our high-level technological research takes place alongside the customer's business. Cooperation with Nortal also gives VTT an opportunity to identify new research challenges," says Tuomo Tuikka, Head of Research at VTT's Digital Systems and Services.

The parties see a growing number of opportunities in big data technologies, as well as burgeoning customer interest at home and abroad. By combining research with rapidly evolving business, Nortal and VTT will be working together to best serve their customers in digitalised business development.

The major transition now under way is driven by the progress in business digitalisation and the industrial internet. The business benefits are being sought from services related to information processing.

Today's Internet carries more data in one second than was contained in the entire Internet of 20 years ago. On average, business connected with big data is expected to grow six times faster than the ICT market. Research firm IDC estimates that the big data market will grow annually by 27 per cent, which by 2017 would give it a value in the order of USD 32 billion.
 

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Tietoviikko: Nortal is not frightened by the jackpot

October 14, 2014

Tiina Siltala from Tietoviikko interviewed Juha Laakkonen for their STRAIGHT TO THE POINT column.
October 6th, 2014. 

The system reform of the tax authorities is a giant project for the Estonian Nortal. There were no credibility problems, according to Juha Laakkonen, the newly appointed director of the Finnish branch.

The complete software project for the Finnish Tax Administration is a huge deal for the Finnish Nortal. Are you concerned about implementing the project?
No, we are not. Nortal has provided the tax administration with software systems and has been one of its main partners for decades. This is how we know the tax administration and taxation in Finland. The American Fast, in turn, makes software packages for tax administrations. Its GenTax product is one of the most used among taxation software. I believe that together with the American partner we have the best possible options. 

How can an IT company of Nortal's size get the project to a successful conclusion?
Success always starts from expertise and the fact that project management is working, the project is being implemented by professionals, communication with the customer is sufficient and the project is proceeding as planned. Understanding the customer's business is the key to success in terms of the Finnish Tax Administration as well as in other large projects. You will always meet obstacles in case of larger projects and these have to be openly discussed with the client.

What are the biggest pitfalls of a project?
In large projects, the pitfalls are generated by the fact that the projects are related to individuals. Adequate resourcing of both the supplier and the customer is an important issue. You have to be able to keep people happy and help them succeed. There will be problems if you're unable to arrange these conditions. The most important thing is human motivation and expertise.

See the full text in Finnish in Tietoviikko


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Tartu University Hospital launches Patient Portal developed and implemented by Nortal

October 03, 2014

Tartu University Hospital opened a Nortal developed patient portal called ePatsient​ on October 3rd, 2014. The portal allows patients to book outpatient appointments to see a medical specialist (in the rollout phase, patients can only book initial appointments). In addition to appointment booking, patients can see their health files and analysis’ results, as well as to examine their medical history dated back to the year 2007. Also to control and edit contact information. 

The patient portal’s content and functionality is fully based on the hospital’s information services and data gathered by Tartu University Hospital. As there will be other additions to the system in the near future, the users may therefore and due to the renewal of content services witness temporary and short-term interruptions in the workflow of the patient portal. For example, the hospital wishes to add bookings of paid and repeated doctor appointments as well as booking for another person (parent booking doctor appointments for a child). 

Nortal eHealth Business Area Director Taavi Einaste said that the development of Tartu University Hospital patient portal has been an interesting challenge for the whole team. "A seemingly simple task was made difficult by the size of the hospital and the complexity of its business process. For example, the hospital has more than 10 different types of appointments, the submission of which is managed by different rules such as channel, time or cancellation of the bookings,"explained Einaste. 

See Tartu University Hospital patient portal at https://epatsient.kliinikum.ee. Patient Portal can be used by anyone who has an ID card or Mobile-ID. The patient portal enables to: 
  • ​Book appointments 
  • View booked appointments
  • Cancel bookings and to replace them with new appointments
  • Order reminders for appointments 
  • Look at medical records 
  • Pay the bills 
  • Review and update personal information

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Nortal is a leader in IT export and software development in the Baltics, second largest Baltic IT services company

September 29, 2014

Nortal ranked first in Prime Investment report on Baltic ICT Market in two different categories: Top-5 software development companies and Top-5 exporting companies. Nortal also took the second place in TOP 20 Baltic IT services companies 2013 list.

According to Prime Investment and based on the survey results, during 2013 sales of Baltic IT exhibited growth of 8,6 % y-o-y. Growth of total revenues, including sale of hardware, third-party software and services, was only 5%.

Nortal CEO Priit Alamäe said that the slowdown in the overall European economy has clearly also slowed down the growth of the Baltic ICT market in recent years and that within the next 5 years a significant growth in absolute terms can only be achieved outside the Baltics. "Nortal will grow by approximately 15% in 2014, and approximately 65% of our turnover comes from outside the Baltic states. Current trends suggest that this proportion will increase in the coming years. Nortal expects the greatest growth from manufacturing, logistics, healthcare sectors and from the public sector with a geographical focus on the Baltics, the Nordic countries and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries," added Alamäe.

Baltic ICT market news is a semi-annual review of recent corporate developments in the sector of information technology, telecommunications and Internet access in the Baltic States. The report highlights important corporate and M&A events of the Baltic ICT market and provides proprietary ratings of the leading Baltic IT service companies. The ranking has been compiled since 2002.

Prime Investment is one of the leading investment banking companies in the region, focusing on M&A, buyouts, fund raising, corporate restructuring and strategic advisory.

See the Baltic ICT Market news 2014.

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Nortal Joins the Hortonworks Systems Integrator Partner Program

August 25, 2014

Nortal, one of the first large-scale IT development houses providing Big Data solutions in the Nordics, announced today that it has joined the Hortonworks® Systems Integrator Partner Program to deliver Big Data solutions powered by the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP). Hortonworks is the leading contributor to and provider of open source Apache™ Hadoop®. Nortal’s customers can now benefit from easier integration with Hadoop to enable data-driven business models.

By joining the Hortonworks Systems Integrator Partner program, Nortal will strengthen its ability to implement enterprise-level Big Data solutions including the Hortonworks Data Platform, the industry’s only 100-percent open source Hadoop distribution, explicitly architected, built and tested for enterprise-grade deployments.

Nortal has been building Big Data services and teams since 2013 with a focus on creating state-of-the-art Big Data application development services and integrating them into the existing business processes of its customers. The integration of Hadoop combined with Nortal’s expertise in software development empowers Nortal customers to uncover the value of hidden data sources, helping base their business decisions on net new data insight. 

Juha Laakkonen, Nortal Finland Managing Director believes that Big Data can offer businesses a whole new perspective as well as additional value necessary for future growth: “We are convinced that more data can lead to more accurate analysis and decision-making. By adding pattern search and data mining to Big Data, we get a set of results that allows us to understand how our customers behave when they buy something. Big Data helps us to analyze data, to find a pattern and eventually to create a more efficient business model based on the expanded information. We are proud and happy that Hortonworks has accepted Nortal for the partner program to offer data mining solutions to enterprises worldwide,” said Laakkonen.
 
According to Jari Lahdenperä, Nortal Business Development Manager, Big Data has been the IT buzz word for the last couple of years. “Data is the most under-leveraged source for existing businesses, and companies are constantly looking for ways to use data to develop data-driven business models. It is about capturing, storing, analyzing and modeling to establish predictions, recommendations and other data science outcomes. I truly believe the combination of Hortonworks’ Hadoop platform and Nortal’s expertise in software development offers a unique opportunity to our existing as well as new customers,” explained Lahdenperä. 

Hortonworks Data Platform was built by the core architects, builders and operators of Apache Hadoop and includes all of the necessary components to manage a cluster at scale and uncover business insights from existing and new big data sources. With a YARN-based architecture, HDP enables multiple workloads, applications and processing engines across single clusters with optimal efficiency. A reliable, secure and multi-use enterprise data platform, HDP is an important component of the modern data architecture, helping organizations mine, process and analyze large batches of unstructured data sets to make more informed business decisions. 

”We welcome Nortal to the Hortonworks Systems Integrator Partner Program and look forward to working with them to provide data-driven applications powered by HDP to their customers,” said John Kreisa, Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Hortonworks. “Nortal’s long-standing experience delivering high-value enterprise solutions creates a natural expansion to add Hadoop integration services as companies of all sizes are adopting Hadoop to support their Big Data projects. With Nortal we can expand our efforts to bring the power of Hadoop to the Nordics.”

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Nortal to Partner with Garage48 and ITA to Help Organise SaS48H in Oman

August 25, 2014

Garage48 joined forces with Information Technology Authority (ITA) in Sultanate of Oman Sas Programme and Nortal to organize the very first Garage48 format hacakthon Sas48H in Muscat, Oman hosted in picturesque Almouj Golf Muscat from 18-20 September. Nortal partners Garage48 with talented IT specialists and local startup enthusiasts to participate with ideas and technical know-how! 

According to Peeter Smitt, Nortal Managing Director in GCC and Head of International Unit Nortal is a proud parent of several spin-offs that have developed and offer innovative solutions worldwide. "And that is why Nortal wants to take part in making the first Sas48H a success in Oman. The format of Garage48 has well-proved itself by bringing together people with new ideas and the technical know-how to make these ideas a reality. The timeframe pushes the teams to really consider business development and its pain points right from the beginning. Events like Sas48H will not only promote entrepreneurship in the society, it will truly encourage people to become entrepreneurs. Estonia with its inspiring experience of Garage48 and the highest number of startups per head in Europe is a living proof of that," said Smitt.  

The Information Technology Authority’s (ITA) Sas Programme for Entrepreneurship promotes startups innovative ideas and solutions in information and communication technology (ICT) field through the first of its kind in Oman - Sas48H contest. Sas48H event is a weekend event held for 48 hours and focuses on the development of new web services and mobile services. The event targets programmers and mobile app developers, web developers, designers, visionary entrepreneurs/project managers, and marketers.

Registration is open, come & join us!


Follow information:
Garage48 FB & e.oman FB
Instagram: eoman_ita
@eOman_ITA
#SaS48H



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Financial Results of 2013

July 02, 2014

Nortal EBITDA grew to EUR 947 thousand in 2013 compared to minus 3.7 million euros in 2012, while consolidated revenue decreased to EUR 36.6 million (EUR 41,8 million in 2012).

In 2013, Nortal business in Finland, Oman and Lithuania was profitable. Although Nortal Estonian business performance was still slightly negative in 2013, the restructuring process that begun in 2012, is showing positive results and the last quarter of 2013 was clearly profitable with a continuous positive trend. Part of the negative results can also be attributed to Nortal business in Russia, but the first half of 2014 has led to an increase in turnover across the company, and Nortal is profitable. 

Nortal will focus increasingly on raising competence in following business areas: telecommunications, e-government, e-health and industry, logistics & energy. The end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 witnessed many landmark agreements for the company - Nortal signed three major contracts in Oman worth a total of approximately EUR 20 million, also the Finnish Tax Administration contract with a total value of EUR 226 million and a number of contracts in Lithuanian health sector, including the Lithuanian central health information system. In Finland the industry, energy and logistics areas are showing strong improvement and growth. In Estonia Nortal has won major contracts in the field of e–government and has started first significant projects in manufacturing automation and optimisation.  

Nortal is a valued employer across its markets, and in recognition to this for the third time in its history Nortal was awarded the title of most family- and employee friendly company in Estonia (Nortal shared first place with Ericsson). 

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Nortal Launches its Tech Blog

June 02, 2014

Nortal technicians have been creating software at Nortal for a long time. Having gained a unique set of experiences from numerous projects in multiple geographical locations, it is time to share it with others. Nortal launched its Tech Blog for developers, QA or for any other role involved in IT and software.
 
Priit Liivak, Head of Engineering at Nortal said the content would be kept as technical as possible. “Expect to see code snippets, stack traces, graphs and all other nitty-gritty details that matter. We will keep technical aspect in mind for every post being published in the blog. We also hope to learn as well - with the help of the readers’ feedback we can validate ideas and acquire new ones,” explained Liivak. 
 
For further information see: blog.nortal.com

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Visit Nortal stand at the Nightless Night OuluHealth Ecosystem meeting on June 11th 2014

May 27, 2014

You're welcome to visit Nortal stand at the Nightless Night OuluHealth Ecosystem Meeting on June 11th in Oulu.


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We are excited to share our experiences from the eHealth sector and X-Road (Estonian ‘’Palveluväylä’’) with you.


The Nightless Night OuluHealth summit will provide the opportunity to discuss connected health issues with members of ecosystems from several countries, represented through the networks of the Future Health program of Finland and European Connected Health Alliance.

Professionals from health, information and communications technology, medical technology, bioscience and pharmacy are brought together to share ideas, build networks and discuss research and development possibilities.


More info: http://oulu.com/en/nightless-night/ and http://www.nortal.com/what-we-do/industries/healthcare

 

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Nortal is once again the most employee- and family friendly company in Estonia. Along with Ericsson Eesti AS

May 22, 2014

On May 22nd, Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs, Bonnier Group business newspaper Äripäev and family magazine Pere & Kodu announced Estonian companies that are the most employee and family friendly (this year for the 14th time already). Nortal AS and Ericsson Eesti AS shared 1-2 place and were therefore announced the most employee- and family friendly companies in Estonia in 2014. Nortal has previously been awarded the same title twice – in 2008 and 2010.​

Nortal HR manager Jüri Saarma​ said that this title is most of all a recognition to all Nortal employees. "Only us and we ourselves can influence the type of company Nortal is today, tomorrow and the day after. We influence Nortal with our daily work, state of mind, thoughts and ideas and by giving feedback," said Saarma.

Nortal CEO Priit Alamäe​ also believes that the company's internal vibe and mindset is by 95% shaped by its employees. "This is a recognition especially to all of our good people who come to work every morning with a positive energy level and who brighten up their colleagues' days as well. The job of a manager is to listen to the people and to provide them with the best opportunities to succeed," added Alamäe. ​​

Background

The companies were evaluated both by the CEO and/or the HR manager and the employees of the company. The TOP of the employee- and family friendly companies was determined by adding up the scores of employee-friendliness and family-friendliness. The end result took into account the two sub-indicators: the family-friendliness and work environment as well as employee development opportunities or employee-friendliness.

In the rankings the CEO's or HR Manager's estimations were of 40% importance and the employees' estimations of 60% importance. ​​

40 companies participated in the contest. Participation was voluntary.

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