High-tech development in Tampere during the pandemic

Roidu Touchless Feedback machine

The customer experience measuring business was hit hard by corona. Not only do people not really go anywhere, they don’t really want to touch anything. Although regular feedback devices can be protected with antibacterial film but obviously a better solution is a feedback device you don’t need to touch at all. We had a solution ready for this, our Touchless Feedback device that has been in use at Helsinki airport since 2017. However, those devices have been especially designed and tailored for Finavia. So it was back to the drawing board.

Partnering with local expertise

We found a local partner for the development work, UnSeen Technologies, a master of agile product development based in Tampere. The people at UnSeen have a background working for Nokia, so they utilize their experience and competence by offering lean product development that particularly aims at combining profitable business with excellent usability.

We got to the actual development work only after summer holidays in August and already in the beginning of October the first new TF prototypes were ready. So the product development has been amazingly agile. Roidu’s CEO Juha Autio has been really surprised how quickly things have proceeded: “Both me and Esa (UnSeen’s CEO) have both worked at Nokia and remember well how long product development projects could take and how much money was spent. The project has proceeded very professionally and they have answered our challenges extremely quickly.

On his part, UnSeen’s CEO Esa Alanen thanks Roidu especially for the rapid decision making and explains that it has enabled the prompt development. “It’s absolutely great that the decision making at Roidu has been so quick and straight-forward. Typically the product development team does a lot of work but it needs to be supported with effective executive decision making.” In this state of the world the development process is in a true hurry: Touchless Feedback device already has a lot of demand all around the world.

Business Finland’s funding enabled the speed

However agile the development or straight-forward the decision making, Juha brings us back to reality, money: “This speed was only made possible by Business Finland‘s funding.”

The talks with UnSeen had been started well before corona hit at full force, but we couldn’t have proceeded at all without Business Finland’s “corona funding“. BF’s development funding is particularly meant “to improve their potential for success during and after the disruption caused by the coronavirus”. It’s solely intended to create “new product-related solutions”, and that’s exactly what we’ve done at Roidu. The funding hasn’t been used to cover internal costs, instead it’s been used in its entirety to buy local expertise. Touchless Feedback device is the reason that Roidu’s vision for future is as bright regardless of corona’s second wave. Because customer experience measuring is still needed and more so than ever.

Corona only highlights the significance of customer experience

In business during and after corona, the significance of customer experience is only highlighted. It’s been known that its significance isn’t a passing trend anyway, but according to experts, for example research and advisory firm Gartnercorona highlights customer-centricity even more. The ability to react quickly to the changing customer needs and wishes is an essential competitive advantage in the global market. Feedback devices are the smartest and most cost-efficient way to collect customer feedback but hygiene is still going to be emphasised for a long time. This is reflected in the demand for our new product.

The patented Touchless Feedback device has been in a high demand since late spring in every continent. The development work has been rushed and the first new series devices are already in use outside of Europe as part of a POC delivery. We’ve done a lot of work especially in the development and sales teams so that the new feedback device will correspond to customer needs and finds its place in the market. The considerable international interest is an indicator that it’s accomplished just that.