Elisa’s track at Junction develops creative ideas for smart, energy-saving accessibility

Elisians invite a multidisciplinary team on a learning journey to co-create forward thinking, creative ideas on how to take connectivity and networks to eco mode. Together they have designed a highly relevant and interesting challenge around the heart of Elisa’s mission: a sustainable future through digitalisation.

By Siiri Laaksonen Photos Elisa

Artem Solopov, Software Developer at Elisa, and Otso Palonen, Head of International Digital Services Development, are currently waiting impatiently for the Junction hackathon, taking place in Espoo, Finland. 

Together with their teams, Artem and Otso have designed a highly relevant and interesting challenge for the participants to get their teeth into. The goal of the Connectivity to Eco Mode track is to create and develop forward thinking, creative ideas for how to make smart energy savings in complex networks and the environmental impact of our digital lives visible and achievable to a wider audience.

According to Artem and Otso, this challenge will be enjoyable as much for data-oriented developers as for people who are generally enthusiastic and creative about the possibilities that technology offers. They are also expecting the multidisciplinary team of participants to think outside the box to generate new ideas and perspectives, which is the goal of challenges like this. People participating in Elisa’s challenge will get to work with a professional mentor.

Otso Palonen Artem Solopov Elisa
Otso Palonen and Artem Solopov.

Artem and Otso’s idea for the track: Connectivity to Eco Mode

At the heart of the Connectivity to Eco Mode track is Elisa’s mission: a sustainable future through digitalisation. The environmental impact of our digital lives remains quite abstract for many people. With the help of smart technology, we can achieve large-scale energy savings, and Artem and Otso want to offer the participants in Elisa’s track the chance to generate concrete value.

“For example, you can save energy on network elements by switching them off, for example, when the users are sleeping at night. Among other things, realising these possibilities and making them visible are at the core of our challenge”, explains Artem.

The goal of the track at Junction is to ideate how to visualise smart energy savings. This would make them easier to understand, more visible and more accessible, both to other telecoms operators and to a wider audience.

“We’ve designed our track to be as interesting to data-oriented developers as it is to anybody enthusiastic about technology and our domain. Anybody who is interested in the environmental impact of our digital lives and smart energy saving is welcome to take part. We are particularly hoping to see some creative, outside-the-box thinking”, says Otso.

“The participants in our challenge don’t need to come from within our domain. We’ve put together some interesting data for our challenge, and analysing it should provide the basis for generating ideas”, explains Artem.

“We aren’t expecting the challenge to produce a perfect solution. At Elisa, we have a lot of experts working on this problem. But we are hopeful that people with different skillsets can create some good ideas based on the data we’re providing. And if somebody is really interested in working on this problem, they can see all of the data and the full scale of the challenge if they come to work with us”, Otso says with a smile.

Constantly recurring challenges offer many opportunities to grow and develop

Artem joined Elisa in 2021 when he started as a summer worker. The training programme he took part in then was part of Automate Academy, Elisa’s own trainee programme. Artem has been a full-time Elisian since September.

“The training programme was excellent. There was a great group of trainees, and it was rewarding to study alongside them. Working at Elisa is challenging, as the challenges facing the network are pretty complex to learn. I’m still just getting started, as it takes some time”, says Artem.

“Right from the start, my team had a great deal of trust that I could work independently. I was surprised, and also happy, about this freedom, and of course, the responsibility that comes along with it. In any case, everything has been going well so far”, he says, laughing.

Otso, on the other hand, has been at Elisa for seven years, working in three different roles. He says that when he feels the need for an additional challenge, he’s been able to find a suitable role within the company to grow into.

“Many of us say the same thing: Elisa is a place where we learn all the time. Some people have been here for 20 years. When I ask how they’ve ended up here so long, they reply ‘one year at a time’. That’s the way it is when every year is different from the previous ones. There’s always a new challenge to find solutions for”, Otso explains.

“I’ve been thinking that, at some stage, I want to learn more about algorithms. We have some use case experts here who have developed algorithms for monitoring the network. It would be great to be able to learn more about the subject from them”, says Artem about the future.

The telecommunications industry is not as old-fashioned as people think

Otso and Artem both raise one myth that they would like to dispel in the minds of the audience: that the technology used in the telecoms industry is somehow outdated or old-fashioned.

“Elisa isn’t very well known yet as a software company. People are still surprised when I tell them how many people we have working on developing cloud-native software, for example. We want to raise our profile in this sector among future software professionals. Even though Elisa is a well-known brand, the fact that we built Elisa Viihde completely in-house still comes as a surprise to many people. We are always trying to improve and develop, and the shadows here are not filled with monstrous legacy software”, says Otso, destroying the common misconception. 

“The high degree of automation we have here is one of the biggest things that many people don’t yet know about. It’s been a big part of Elisa’s software work for a long time already”, says Artem.

In case you got interested in our track, please find more info here and if are a full-stacker willing to dig deeper into automation engines, this may be of your interest.