Staff interview with Ilkka Olli, Elinar’s System Team Leader

A long, athletic man arrives for an interview. Ilkka Olli (M.Sc.) leads the system team of Elinar, a software company in Pori, for the third year. He takes care not only for his own but also of his workmates’ condition. But let’s tell you a little later how he’s succeeded here.

Olli has worked at Elinar around for 12 years. He arrived at the house for the first time as a trainee while studying information technology at the Pori campus of the Tampere University of Technology. Through part-time work and diploma work, the road led to a permanent employment relationship. Starting as a software developer and system designer, Olli began to lead the system team from the beginning of 2017 when the company restructured.

The right place to work

Working as a superior has felt the right place for Olli. He is still in close contact with customers through various projects, but he also supports and coordinates the work of his team. It has obviously brought some variability and new challenges. “My working day consists of promoting customer projects, reacting to different situations and maintenance tasks, product development and internal development projects… So, there are no two identical days – as cliché as it sounds,” Olli laughs.

The job’s versatility motivates Olli to work. The varying days fit his character because he wants to develop and learn new things also in his private life. “It feels great to get solved some challenging problem situation.” Employees are quite free to influence their own work, which is also one of the motivators of the work. “Working at Elinar is inspiring, as we are at the forefront of developing new solutions and innovations for our customers,” Olli describes.

Strong confidence in the future

The team leader looks forward to seeing the future development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what Elinar’s role will be in it. “This topic is rising. Of course, I hope our own artificial intelligence product Elinar.AI will gain popularity, but it is difficult to predict trends,” Olli says. However, the man has strong confidence that AI will increase its role in the future and its use will become a new norm in business. When asked about the future of the company, he sees Elinar as a stable player. And, of course, it can be expected as the company is 25 years old.

Better welfare through sport

But now it’s time to go back to that sportiness. “Static work in front of the computer requires a lot of exercises to counterbalance,” Olli explains. “It’s a very important part of overall well-being at work.” There is a regular schedule for playing badminton at the Pori Tennis Hall, and Olli coordinates its use. Badminton was chosen because of the ease of the sport. And there are also the low start-up threshold to get involved as many people as possible. In the field, Elinar’s employees play and chat on their free time once a week over team boundaries.

For five years, Elinar’s team has also participated in the “Karhuviesti”, and Olli has been one of a few runners from Rauma to Pori. Last year, employees wondered about how more and more of the company’s 30 employees would be involved in the actual exercise. (Instead of being just part of the support group.) “Then we found the Summer Night March (Kesäyön Marssi in Finnish), organized by the National Defense Training Association. We went to test the event with Mikko Hörkkö, CEO of Elinar,” says Olli. The relaxation and versatility of the event really convinced he. So this spring there will be a large group of Elinarians marching in Yyteri’s summer night. Olli plans to march 25 kilometers off the seaside landscape of Pori.