“We strongly appreciate Nortal’s contribution to the development of the Estonian IT sector and the increase in exports, as well as its ambition to become a publicly traded company,“ said Andres Viisemann, Fund Manager of LHV Pension Funds, commenting on the investment.
According to Nortal’s Managing Director, Priit Alamäe, LHV is a highly reputable investor. “The strict requirements imposed on pension funds indicate that as a company we have reached a level where we are stable and transparent enough to rise to the occasion. We are committed to giving our best in order to ensure a financially secure retirement for future pensioners.“
More than 104 000 people are currently saving in the second pillar pension scheme at LHV, which is every sixth person that has joined the funded pension system. LHV Pension Funds has invested 21% of its assets (totalling 49 million euros) in Estonia.
According to Prime Investment Baltic IT sector grew by 22% during the first half of 2012, while Nortal increased its IT services revenue growth by 75% (21.3m EUR) and the total revenue growth by 76% (21.7m EUR) compared to the first half of the financial year of 2011. Also, Nortal’s export value (12.4m EUR) grew by 121% during the first six months of 2012.
According to Priit Alamäe, Nortal CEO, Nortal experienced a significant expansion in the customer base of the company in 2011 and also in the first half of 2012. „In Estonia Nortal strengthened and continues to hold its position as the largest software development company. In Lithuania new customers from the financial and public sectors have chosen Nortal as their core supplier. Our revenue trend from the Gulf Region and Africa is positive. And roughly 50% of our revenue comes from Finland,“ said Alamäe „Despite the tough economic conditions in the region, we are working hard to maintain and grow our market share. We want to differentiate ourselves clearly as a software solutions company that delivers clear and tangible economic value to our customers both in good and bad times.“
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. Twenty one companies submitted data for the Autumn 2012 survey. 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.
Baltic ICT Market news - Autumn 2012 report: http://www.primeinvestment.lt/index.php/publikacijos/publications/546
After managing the Nortal group’s development for the past seven years, Priit Alamäe will take charge of the development and daily management of Nortal’s Estonian operations accounting for about a third of group revenue. Alamäe said his mission is to continue providing Nortal’s staff with the best working environment as well as interesting challenges and personal development opportunities in Estonia and abroad. „As a company, we have significantly grown in size and international reach in the last few years. This spring, we also adopted a new name and brand to provide an increasingly professional service to our customers in Estonia and abroad. We are the undisputed market leader in the Baltics and among the highest-rated employers and this is naturally what we intend to maintain," Nortal’s Priit Alamäe.
Speaking of Taavi Kotka’s departure, Alamäe said a good manager develops the organisation in a way he personally becomes as non-ciritical for the organization and its sustainability as possible: „Taavi is a great and experienced leader. Some time ago, we set a strategic goal of developing strong business units and mid-management – today we can say it has been a right decision and the organisation is stronger than ever. Taavi has contributed immensely to Nortal and his initiatives and creations, especially the innovative and structured development process he applied, will continue to the future.“
Taavi Kotka said his mind was at peace about turning over his responsibilities and team because the company would continue to grow in the chosen direction and under executives appreciated by employees and customers. „I have had the unique opportunity of contributing to the development and success of Nortal, which started out as a company of university students. This is invaluable experience. But success demands a 100% devotion to the business. As for me, I need to slow things down and concentrate on myself for a while,“ Kotka explained the reasons for his leaving.
Priit Alamäe is Nortal’s CEO and founder in 2000. Since 2005, Alamäe has mostly concentrated on coordinating and developing Nortal’s operations outside Estonia. Alamäe has an economics degree from Tartu University, specializing in financial management and marketing.
Taavi Kotka has managed Nortal Estonia from 2005. He has been working at Nortal for over 12 years. Kotka has also been the president of the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications for the past 3,5 years.
The head of Nortal’s Telecom business unit Kristjan Aiaste will assume a position in Nortal’s management upon Taavi Kotka’s departure. The other members of Nortal’s management team are Jorma Kallio, Andre Krull, Hanno Hussar, Neringa Narbutiene, Juha Olavi Korhonen and Ando Noormets.
In 2011 Priit Alamäe and Taavi Kotka were awarded the title Estonian Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. Alamäe and Kotka also represented Estonia at the annual World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 competition in Monte Carlo where they competed as one of the 51 participants against the creators and owners of LinkedIn, Desigual, Benetton and Angry Birds.
Nortal is the largest software development company in the Baltic States, and one of the fastest growing software companies in the Nordic region, offering custom software solutions to clients in the Nordics, Baltics, Russia, the Gulf States, Africa, etc. Solutions implemented by Nortal are used by the most demanding clients in the fields of telecommunications, finance, industry, logistics, healthcare and public sector. Half of Nortal’s close to 700 employees work in Tallinn and Tartu offices. Over 75% of the company’s turnover comes outside of Estonia.
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European Business Awards has been issued since 2006 and it has become one of the most prestiguous acknowledgment to the outstanding companies of the European Union.
The nominees were required to be international, medium-sized or rapidly expanding small companies who had outstanding results to show for the previous few years. Their strengths could be a successful growth strategy, strict ethical standards, a major client focus or an innovative approach. The companies had to be at the forefront of the area they operated in, one step ahead of their competitors, and have a desire to stand out as one of the best companies in Europe.
In addition to Nortal, six other companies from Estonia made to the selected group of finalists: MarkIT Holding AS, Navirec Softward LLC, NOW! Innovations, Professional Wear Group, Silberauto AS and ZeroTurnaround.
Companies in the countries battling it out for the awards were issued with invitations to take part in the competition, a questionnaire to complete and a video entry to submit.
Today, on September 6th, Public voting went live: http://www.businessawardseurope.com/
Although Public voting is not part of and does not influence the judging process, it will result in one company with the most votes per country automatically being awarded National Champion status.
Simple, yet ingenious. This has been a common thread in Estonia’s development of its healthcare systems. This way of thinking has provided excellent results: the electronic prescription, launched in 2010, spread to all healthcare providers within a year and currently 90 % of all prescriptions are issued electronically. The cost of the system amounted to less than a million euros.
More than 95 % of all doctors use the electronic health records system. The records are saved in the national archives, so the same information is available to the doctor and the patient. Approximately half of the 1.37 million people living in Estonia have used the archives to check on their health records.
In Estonia, the cost of digitizing health records was rather reasonable: 10 million euros.
The number of clicks has been minimized
Estonia’s newest health record system is used at Tartu University Hospital and Finnish healthcare representatives have visited the facility to familiarize themselves with the system.
Taavi Einaste, eHealth Manager at Nortal, the company that supplied the system, reports that visitors have been satisfied with the efforts of the team that created the user interface.
The number of clicks and buttons has been minimized in the program. Doctors can bring up ten of their most frequently used functions by moving the elements around on screen. Some of the functions can only be made visible when necessary, by bringing the cursor over the relevant link word.
The hospital can create its own so-called dynamic documents, which means that work-related changes can be made without the help of the software creator. In addition, the entire program is provided over the Internet as a cloud-based service, so its maintenance is centralized and quick.
Make a decision and stick to it
Estonia’s successful e-healthcare projects are based on a robust decision making process.
When the necessary standards have been chosen, the system has stood by them. IT suppliers have not had the type of monopoly on the market that they enjoy in Finland. However, Einaste points out that compared to its Finnish counterpart, the Estonian healthcare system comprises fewer different systems.
Estonia, which became independent in 1991, has been modernizing at a quick pace. The country was among the first to adopt online banking back in 1995. 65 % of the population uses public services online, which is facilitated by the fact that mobile phones can be used for identification purposes.
According to Einaste, Estonia considers information security to be a priority, but the legislation has been shaped to support the provision of practical electronic services.
Nortal, a Finnish-Estonian company, is also looking to gain a larger foothold in the field of healthcare projects in Finland. The company is considering participating in the competitive bidding process for a large-scale patient system, which will be organized by HUS in the coming autumn.
Although legislation in Finland is different, the basic structure of the system used in Tartu could be brought into use right away. Einaste estimates that the company will have won over its first large Finnish clients with 1–2 years.
TALLINN, 8. June, BNS (Baltic News Service)
Last week, Finnish medical lab quality assessment provider Labquality launched an information system developed by Nortal, the Estonian-based software developer formerly known as Webmedia.
Taavi Einaste, the head of Nortal’s eHealth business unit, told BNS on Friday that the system is a self-service application enabling Labquality’s customers to exchange information previously submitted on paper.
”We have been developing hospital systems and diagnostics systems in Estonia,” Einaste said. According to Einaste, Labquality’s new information system is based on products developed in Estonia, but has been redeveloped to match the company’s needs.
„Labquality is not a hospital or laboratory but a provider of independent quality assessment services to labs,“ he explained. For example, the comparison of blood test results from client laboratories with the company’s own results requires information exchange with other laboratories. „To date, most of this information exchange has been paper-based. We took it online and labs are now able to communicate with Labquality through a self-service desk.“
The customer chose Nortal because of its experience in the development of both medical information systems and self-service environments, Einaste noted.
„A follow-up project has been agreed, it’s in the pipeline,“ Einaste said. „Our cooperation will continue for at least three or four years.
But both have mentioned a prospect of 10–15 years and all has been good so far.“ Webmedia and Labquality signed their first contract in March 2011.
According to Einaste, Nortal’s e-health systems have attracted attention among other potential Finnish customers and „interesting contacts“ have also been made in Latvia and Lithuania. „Oman could also be on this list. We have a strong presence there,“ said Einaste.
„Nothing has been signed yet, but in Finland, we mostly have interest in the hospital system developed for Tartu University Clinics,“ Einaste noted. „It’s a new-generation online hospital information system which we have presented to several visitors from Finland. Changing a hospital’s information system would require three to five years, so this is a slow process,“ Einaste said.
„We have also been talking in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Malta,“ Einaste said in comment of Nortal’s other prospective markets for health infosystems.
Nortal is the new name of Webmedia Group, including Finnish-based CCC Corporation which joined a year ago.
Labquality, founded in 1971, provides services to 1500 laboratories in Finland and 2500 in other Nordic countries, Romania, Poland and Portugal. It is owned by Finnish municipalities’ hospital districts, the Association of Finnish Local Municipalities and a number of unions of Finnish medical workers’ and organisations.
According to Jonna Pelanti, Head of ICT and Production at Labquality, LabScala is modern and easy-to-use application to serve Labquality's external quality assessment clients. "LabScala, developed by Nortal, supports the laboratory's process of handling and reporting results. It offers a new kind of experience to our users," explained Pelanti.
Webmedia Group and CCC Corporation shall introduce a new name and logo on May 25, 2012 as the next logical step in the merger process. The main purpose of the rebranding is to support their operations as a one company.
As of today, all subsidiary companies of AS Webmedia Group in Estonia, Lithuania, Serbia, Romania and Oman, and CCC Corporation in Finland, shall use a common identity – Nortal. Nortal combines Nordic business culture and professionalism, international experience and expert knowledge of local markets. The name “Nortal“ incorporates two main ingredients of the company – Nordic values and Talented professionals.
According to Priit Alamäe, CEO of Nortal, the new brand identity is a logical, necessary and long-awaited step in the continuing development of the company. “During the past few years our company has undergone dramatic growth and expanded its operations internationally – we now operate in fifteen countries and employ over 650 experienced specialists. From today onwards, we can further increase our efficiency and productivity under the new name and visual identity,“ said Alamäe.
In Alamäe’s opinion the new identity allows the company’s clients and employees to fully exploit all the advantages of an international enterprise. “Before taking this crucial step, we thoroughly analysed the possibility of adopting either of the strong and well-known brands, but concluded that neither of them fully supports our international development plans. The new common identity truly reflects our core selves both on a local and international level. And the name “Nortal“ as well as the logo, which is inspired by the northern lights, carries our Nordic origin and underlying values, and communicates the fact that our success is based on our people and professional talent,“ added Alamäe.
Nortal is the largest software development company in the Baltic States, and one of the fastest growing software companies in the Nordic region, offering custom software solutions to clients in the Nordics, Baltics, Russia, the Gulf States, Africa, etc. Solutions implemented by Nortal are used by the most demanding clients in the fields of telecommunications, finance, industry, logistics, healthcare and public sector.
Priit Alamäe further explained that adopting a new brand identity can never be a goal in itself. “Our clients expect us to provide increasingly professional support to their businesses on an international level, and we are working hard to surprise them positively. We are now playing in the big league. This is something we could only dream of, when we established the company back in 2000,“ added Alamäe.
According to Postimees specialized online publication Tarbija 24, an annual survey to identify the most attractive employers among Estonian employees was ran by a recruitment service CV Keskus. The main described arguments to attract employees were credibility and personal development possibilities.
The employees participating in the survey mentioned credibility as the first and most essential argument when choosing an employer. People looking for a new job prefer companies with a reputation of steady employment and a small risk of displacement or company liquidation. Personal development possibilities were mentioned as the second most important factor and a pleasant staff as third.
1. Eesti Energia AS
3. Swedbank AS
4. Elion Ettevõtted AS
5. Tallink Groupp AS
6. EMT AS
7. Webmedia Group
8. Playtech Estonia OÜ
9. SEB Pank AS
10. LHV Pank AS
Laura Tammeorg, Marketing Manager of CV Keskus told Tarbija 24 that people consider the stability of the employer, personal development opportunities and operating freedom the most important factors when choosing an employer. Companies offering the above mentioned opportunities to their employees can pay higher salaries because their labour productivity and work efficiency is higher.
3864 people across Estonia participated in the survey. 70% of the participants were currently employed, 12% undergraduate students and 18% unemployed. 67,2% of the participants had higher education or had obtained a profession at a vocational education institution, 27,1% had secondary education. 1136 different companies were mentioned.
The financial year ending 31 December brought record growth for Webmedia Group, fuelled by successful expansion on the Finnish market and significant organic growth from existing business segments.
Group consolidated revenue grew more than twice to EUR 33.9 million and consolidated EBITDA grew by 75% to EUR 4.1 million. The total combined revenue for the group exceeded EUR 42 million.
“Despite the general difficult economic situation in Europe, Webmedia Group had a great year. We managed to organically grow our existing business by a third and we can already consider the merger with CCC Corporation a success,” says Priit Alamäe, Founder and CEO of Webmedia Group.
Significant expansion was seen in the customer base of the company in 2011. In Estonia Webmedia Group has strengthened its position as the largest development company. In Lithuania new customers from the financial and public sectors have chosen Webmedia as a core supplier. The first major projects have been started in Russia in the financial services sector and in Oman in the public sector. The first implementation of the Webmedia Public Finance Management Suite in Africa is under way.
Priit Alamäe adds, “The continued trust of our customers is the greatest compliment to us and our people. We see that our expanded customer offering will help us grow in the coming years as well, and will continue to strive to be a preferred employer on all our markets“.
Founded in 2000, Webmedia Group is a leading international software solutions delivery company with customers in over 15 countries. Webmedia solutions are used by the most demanding customers in telecom, finance, industry, materials management, logistics, healthcare and public sectors. The company employs over 650 specialists, including permanent subcontractors.