Mobile enablement of one of Finland’s largest payment platform providers

Finland-based CPU is not for everyone – and that’s precisely what has made them the market leader in the country today.

Its highly specialized payment platforms are built for large public sector organisations. The dynamic, customer-centric team focuses on providing the best user experience supported by good technology, and this is what keeps the 35-year company ahead of the competition.

CPU CTO Tarmo Suominen is an integral member of this journey, who has grown with the company. “I’ve been working at CPU for 23 years, half of my life! I started as a developer at CPU. Back then, CPU was a company with less than 10 employees. I’ve been the head of product development since 2008 and am now CTO since January 2021.”

Commencing with a traditional POS for customer service, supported by a Windows client server-based software, the product has now expanded into payment platforms covering web and mobile for over 200 customers mainly in the public sector. The product caters to cities, municipalities, universities, vocational institutes and more.

“I can say that most of our customers are big and complex, we don’t provide our systems to smaller companies. The basic idea of the product is to automate whatever possible and reduce manual work. Once we register a sale through POS, web shop or mobile application, it all goes automatically to the backend and to the financial administration via integrations, to bookkeeping, invoicing etc.,” explained Tarmo.

Their success in Finland caught the attention of Confirma Software, a Nordic group with 10 operating companies in Scandinavian countries, and CPU has been a part of the Confirma Group since May 2019.

While the CPU team has managed all development themselves so far, its mobile application required some external support. “When we joined Confirma, the development was more or less frozen as we were not that happy with the local partners, and we had no internal experience to get it done. 99x was introduced to us as a common outsourcing partner to all the companies within Confirma to increase capacity and flexibility,” explained Tarmo.

“We grabbed this opportunity and started to introduce our needs to Suren at 99x. We had certain requirements for new functionalities, and we also knew that the current product implementation was not as good as it could be, although we didn’t say that then! Soon after that, you guys noticed that the application should be redone using new technologies, better structure and so on. That’s something we agreed on and the biggest thing you have done is reimplementing our mobile application client from scratch and that’s the main part of the mobile team project.”

Tarmo had no previous experience with offshore partners, and he had his doubts at first, especially given the fact that CPU’s systems were all in Finnish. However, his doubts were soon set aside and the good experience with the mobile app development led to another team being formed to build a POS system for browser, to expand CPU’s webshop platform capabilities.

“For me, it has been a pleasant experience. There haven’t been problems in communication, the language and time difference are not issues and I think communicating with teams via audio and video, now that we are in the middle of a pandemic, it’s the new standard anyway,” Tarmo observed.

“I owe a big thanks to Suren for managing the team so well in Sri Lanka. To me, it seems everything has been working quite well. All the developers have been friendly and easy to work with, and skilled and flexible – we use Teams calls and shared Slack channels to communicate and at whatever time I write something to Slack, there is always someone to answer me even when I don’t require an immediate answer. I’ve been happy with your teams and the whole working culture, skills, commitment, flexibility and so on. So far, you have been the best outsourcing partner for us and you have shown great skill in familiarizing yourself with new technologies and software, and shared some best practices and information with us and so on – so I’m happy!”