HSL takes customer communications to new level

HSL has received a communication solution that allows it to communicate in various channels with a single tool. Implementations of similar large-scale communication solutions in Finland are few and far between. “The quality of customer communications has already improved noticeably and the overall development continues. We wanted a centralised communication solution that would also meet our future needs. As the world evolves and our needs grow, the tool can develop with them – smart watches or even talking refrigerators can one day be included as additional channels in the menu,” says Anne Koski, HSL’s Marketing Specialist.


  • A centralised multi-channel communication solution that meets future needs
  • Higher quality, multi-channel and consumer-oriented communication for customers
  • New level of understanding of the importance and utilisation of customer data at HSL
  • Clear reduction in the amount of manual work and fewer errors
  • Technical ability to collect and utilise user data

HSL wanted a multi-channel communication solution that would allow it to handle all its communications to customers in one place. Email communications, mobile application notifications, push messages, and targeted digital services and paid advertising were all wanted in the solution.

“Our goal is to reach customers in multiple channels, and we wanted a centralised tool for our digital communications – we did not want to work in separated silos. We want to reach our customers through a number of digital channels and use the channels that best suit each customer,” says HSL’s Anne Koski.

The solution needed to dynamically create target groups based on both online and offline data, as well as to automatically manage messages across channel boundaries in a chained and scheduled manner. The user interface also needed to enable the creation of content centrally in different channels.

“In addition to all of this, we wanted the system to retrieve content and data from other systems. It was important for HSL that it would be possible to utilise and communicate the information from different sources in real time and centrally,” says Hannele Kiivuori, Scrum Master and Project Manager at Solita.

“The quality of customer communications has already improved noticeably."

Anne Koski, Marketing Specialist, HSL

More than just a technical roll-out

The project rolled out the Optimizely Campaign and Optimizely Data Platform SaaS services, which were integrated into HSL’s data source systems.

“Using tags and data analysis, we can combine customer data and online user data into one profile,” says Kiivuori.

HSL wanted a partner that would be responsible for the implementation of the project entity and the architecture.

“Before the project started, we assumed that we could simply configure an existing product to meet HSL’s needs. As we began to define our needs more precisely, we quickly realised that this would be a more challenging and complex project than we had initially imagined. Solita has been a very flexible partner and has understood our needs. Their approach has been very solution-oriented and the cooperation has been good,” says HSL’s Project Manager Ville Säynätjoki.

Solita served as interpreter between the customer’s needs and Optimizely’s technology in this roll-out.

“In the end, the collaboration was much larger than we had imagined at the beginning of the project. We established an architecture group to deal with various technical solutions across team boundaries. We wanted to build a functional architecture and a vision of what it should be like, so that the different systems can communicate in accordance with our vision,” says Solita’s Software Architect Juho Rutila.

"Solita has been a very flexible partner and has understood our needs."

Ville Säynätjoki, Project Manager, HSL

Relevant, high-quality and targeted communication

With the new solution, HSL can provide customer communications at a higher quality than before, as it will be possible to link to different channels in the future with a single tool. The new multi-channel communication solution has also significantly increased HSL’s understanding of customer data and related systems as a whole. It is technically possible to collect and use user data, and related tests are already underway.

“The capabilities of the Campaign API can now be utilised to provide fully automated traffic bulletins. Later, it will also be possible to effectively personalise the content on hsl.fi and newsletters. Traffic and incident bulletins, for example, are automatically generated by the system,” says Solita’s Hannele Kiivuori.

End customers will see this change as better targeted and engaging communications. In the future, HSL will also be able to provide the information in a channel chosen by the customer. A new email delivery system has been introduced and, for example, the HSL app’s notification capabilities are already advanced.

The changes aim to ensure that HSL has access to up-to-date data, and that manual updates will no longer be necessary. The development work is ongoing.

“We aim to provide as relevant communications as possible. By adding channels in the future, we will improve our customer reach. We have already seen a significant decrease in the amount of daily manual work, and the new tools will help with targeting our millions of customers in the future,” says HSL’s Anne Koski.

"As the world evolves and our needs grow, the tool can develop with them."

Anne Koski, Marketing Specialist, HSL

Growing customer understanding

Solita has also supported HSL in the development of their customer understanding and experience.

“Together with different businesses, we have identified topics for which we want to collect user data. We will continue to work and use this information to improve the customer experience, such as by personalising the content on hsl.fi,” says Solita’s Kiivuori.

Solita people receive praise from the customer for their cooperation.

“Flexibility and understanding the customer is the key. It’s nice to cooperate in such a good atmosphere.”