New Organization and New Direction

And so a New Year starts to unfold – a Happy New Year to you all! The year begins with a flying start; customer deliveries resume from where we left off a couple of weeks ago, our backlog is plump and the demand horizon is promising. There are interesting new objects on our radar and a sweet wind of change is blowing gently. This kind of vibe is quite typical for us this time of the year.

We have been preparing the launch of our new organization during the course of autumn. It was communicated internally well before year-end. A working-group has been fine-tuning the practicalities and tried to ensure a smooth and frictionless transition.

Our new operating model has many changes but is by no means revolutionary. It is designed to provide a new and sustainable framework to support our strategic direction, it unearths new career paths and adapts our structures for continued growth. We aspire to continue focused growth where a long-lasting and differentiated value-based context overrides volume.

During the autumn months we extended our strategic horizon and outlined our plan with bolder strokes. We embarked on a rather substantial transformation program – proceeding with smooth strides yet in a determined momentum, listening carefully to our customers. And once again to ensure our relevancy and originality in rapidly changing home markets as well as abroad.

(Sitting, from left: Kristiina Burtsoff, Ismo Piispa, Mika Tanner. Standing, from left: Kristiina Sarén, Mikko Koljonen, Vesa Niininen, Joni Ahola, Soile Toivanen)

Our new management team will drive this transformation. Equally important is the contribution and actions of every single bilot in writing the new chapters of our success story. Bilot has always been an intimate company and we wish to retain a powerful presence also in times to come. You can get to know more about bilots on our website. Our ‘marketing-Iisakka’ Päivi interviewed our new management team which now introduces itself by answering to three questions:

1. Who am I and what do I do at Bilot?

2. What are my hobbies?

3. What is my new-year’s resolution?


1. Mika Tanner, as Bilot’s CEO you can blame me for everything, but the glory shall shine always on others. I have been at the helm now for soon three years and my responsibility is keeping the business running, ensuring the well-being of our company, securing business continuity and guaranteeing our strategic competitiveness. I am the chairman of our management team and manager for eight bilots. I have completed two university degrees (an MSc. in Forest Economics and an MBA), I have served a life-sentence at SAP and I’ve been a refugee for 15 years in the Middle-East, USA and France. I’ve known some of Bilot’s founding partners for almost 15 years.

2. My hobbies include activities which reinforce mental stability such as a variety of cultural stimuli and culinarism as well as sports which require an abundance of time and space, stretching from sea-level to higher elevation.

3. Family values, a sustainable future, doing one’s best, life-balance and seizing the moment structure my spiritual being. In 2014 I promise to try to do everything better than before – for my family, for Bilot, for the fellow bilot and for our customers I always give all I have. But I also try not to make empty promises.


1. Soile Toivanen, my responsibility is finance and administration. I’ve worked for Bilot since 2009, I came in as the 42nd bilot, first as finance manager and as of last year I have been the group CFO. At home, I have a husband, a two-year old boy and two dogs.

2. My primary hobby is running about with my dogs, scuba-diving has become a rarity the past few years. When time permits, I read and sometimes when inspiration hits me, I also write.

3. I promise to take good care of myself, my work and my family – all in balance.


1. Kristiina Burtsoff, director of human resources. I’m in charge of strategic HR such as talent and performance management, recruiting, employment affairs, managing the operative HR team and developing the HR function in general.

2. The most time consuming of my hobbies is soccer. I am the general manager of a girls’ soccer team and I also play myself, albeit less regularly, in a ladies’ soccer team. I have retired from competition level sports and nowadays I do sports just to feel good. A husband, three kids, a dog and our neighbor’s cat’s daily visit guarantee a steady level of regular domestic activity.

3. I promise this year (as always) to eat less candy and more vegetables. In addition, I will try to exercise all through the dark and cold winter, which has often proven to be hard to do.


1. Kristiina Sarén, a mother of three from Espoo. My academic background is in economics (MSc. in Economics and an MBA). I have been at Bilot now for 18 months, I am Director of Sales and Marketing.

2. I exercise whenever I have the whim, lately it has been partner dancing. Relaxing includes reading detective novels and currently I passionately knit woollen socks. I also just recently started piano lessons.

3. I promise to exercise more regularly and to keep a healthy work-life balance.


1. Ismo Piispa, at Bilot since 2009. In the management team I am responsible for the Microsoft ecosystem i.e. Line-of-Business Productivity and Collaboration. I am also MD for Bilot’s daughter company Bilot Concept Oy. And I am Bilot’s CIO.

2. In addition to spending time with my family, my colleagues and neighbors, most of my remaining time is spent boating, at boat exhibitions, at our summer cabin, playing golf, at the gym and enjoying culinary experiences. Aging has also permitted me to accept my orientation towards pop-culture such as movies, gigs, console games etc. at the expense of high-culture; musicals being the exception.

3. In 2014 I promise my son to be ”father-of-the-year” and to my wife I promise to be ”a perfectible individual”. I also promise to deliver upon earlier new years’ resolutions and finally, I promise that career-wise this year will be my all-time-best .


1. Vesa Niininen, at Bilot since 2007. My family comprises my wife, an eight and five year old son and a nine year old west highland terrier. I am an engineer in industrial management and I’ve worked with SAP solutions since 1999 in a variety of occupations. As of 2014, I am responsible of the Competitive Advantage and Performance Solutions Line-of-Business. In brief, this business area provides solutions for sales and e-Services, sales management solutions, integration and usability solutions to support business processes for all end-user devices, architecture and integration consulting as well as service management solutions for SAP environments. I am also Key Account Manager for a handful of clients.

2. I play soccer a couple of times a week, I coach two minor-league teams and I passionately support Aston Villa and the Finnish national soccer team. I also possess a gym membership card, which I hardly find the time to swipe. On top of sports, I also read quite a bit and the past couple of years I have been busy with our house-building project which is finally about to transition to its maintenance phase.

3. I promise to take better care of myself and I aspire to be a better father, a better husband and a better friend.


1. I am Mikko Koljonen. My domestic set-up is my wife and two kids, seven and five-year-olds. I have an MSc. in Econmics. I’ve worked for Bilot since 2008 during which I’ve held a variety of responsibilities. In our new organization, I am in charge of the Operations and Business Enablement unit and I am also Managing Director for Bilot International Oy. I have the privilege of working with a top-notch team to drive our international organization and on the group-level we run life-cycle services, project deliveries, quality- and process development, partnerships, product and service development and also the Bilot brand and image program. Prior to Bilot, I worked roughly a decade in central-Europe (Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels) in the Business-IT function, primarily in forest industry companies.

2. Most of my free-time is spent with my family. My hobbies include walking, golf, squash, skiing, swimming, reading, languages, travelling, architecture and culinary arts.

3. I promise to be actively present in everything I do and also that I increase the number of books read and that I play more golf.

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Mika Tanner

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