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KONE as a tech company: More than the elevator company you think you know

- a deep dive with KONE's Technology and Innovation Unit's Johannes Rastas (SVP of Services and Solutions)

In August 2020, Johannes Rastas joined KONE as SVP of Services and Solutions, heading our digital services development. His unit is the digital and software arm of KONE, driving new value creation and aiming to transform the industry. The team consists of digital product leaders, visionary creative talent, full stack cloud developers, hardware engineers, data scientists, and everything in between across China, India, US, and Finland.

In part 1, we got to know Johannes a bit more, what motivates him and why he sees KONE’s digital transformation story as a meaningful journey for tech professionals to create an impact with software and digital services.

In part 2, Johannes talks about KONE as a tech and innovation company, the diversity of skills and perspectives required to get there, what kind of opportunities there are for software and digital professionals in KONE’s digital services and solutions teams, and why to join our flow.

KONE as an innovation leader

KONE wants to be THE innovation leader in the industry. For that to happen, people need to see the digital services we are developing and offering. This requires excellent collaboration between our hardware and software engineering teams.

KONE has two research and development teams under the KONE Technology & Innovation unit (KTI). Working in tight collaboration, they each have a distinct focus: One focuses more on hardware engineering, and the other acts as the digital services and software arm of KONE.

The culture of KONE Technology & Innovation

KONE came out with their new values of care, customer, collaboration and courage in October 2020, and their culture builds on them. We asked Johannes about what had surprised him most about KONE’s culture since he joined us last fall:

“Our people, their attitude and passion, as well as the embedded Nordic values. The culture here is very warm and caring. And for me, a positive thing is the mentality of openness and straightforwardness. We have open discussions and we don’t hesitate to talk about the good AND the bad stuff. We don’t sugar coat – we solve problems together.”

“This is a traditional company in a slow-moving industry. Certain things take a while to get done. Partially that is business as usual, regardless of the industry. But also within this industry, and with this scale, things tend to have moved rather slowly.”

“I love this quote by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2018 at the World Economic Forum: ‘The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.’ That is my mentality also.”

“At KONE, if we want to remain ahead of the game in terms of technology and innovation, and provide our customers experiences fit for their needs, we need to get faster. And this is exactly what we are doing while growing our scale and delivering products and product innovations.”

Diversity of people and skills as an important factor for success

KONE works in a male dominated industry, but we’re an equal opportunity employer and are focused on creating a more inclusive environment for our diverse global teams now and in the future.

“Our Technology and Innovation employees work in global teams on complex problems. The diversity of teams in designing and concepting our products and digital services is extremely important to bring in different perspectives, take into account different cultures, and customer needs. We are not focused solely on equalling gender balance, but also take into account age, cultural diversity, and different levels of seniority.”

KONE’s software services and solutions offer multiple opportunities for software and digital professionals

Johannes shared in his earlier blog why moving over a billion people every day motivates tech professionals. Put simply, you have a chance to impact humankind in a positive way when you get to create innovative tech solutions used by over a billion people every day, which connect to over 1.4 million units globally.

“KONE is more than the elevator company you think you know. It goes much further than that. For technology talent, this is an opportunity to see a lot of different types of complex problems and solve them.”

We asked Johannes to give us an overview of the opportunities KONE offers for software and digital professionals.

Our digital services teams range from:

  • KONE 24/7 Connected Services solution teams working on an intelligent predictive maintenance system using the latest cloud technologies
  • Software and hardware teams behind the KONE Office Flow solution, including access management, contactless movement, and mobile elements
  • Elevator add-on solutions (for KONE DX Class elevators), which redefine the elevator experience with built-in connectivity for improved people flow
  • APIs enabling our customers and partners to integrate 3rd party solutions to augment KONE solutions and experiences.

What are Johannes’s key messages to future KONE tech colleagues?

The what?“Our digital services and solutions ensure a smooth people flow, improve safety, and deliver next generation end user experiences in the office, residential, and other key segments.”

The impact?“At KONE, we move more than 1 billion people every day. Thus, the potential impact is huge.”

How?“Our IoT platform will connect 550,000 customers with 1.4 million units of equipment. Connecting the equipment with our intelligent platform will enable our services and solutions to learn and adapt to our customers’ and end users’ daily needs and behaviors, make their life easier, and help them to save time for precious moments and more important things.”

Why?“To improve the flow of urban life and help make cities better and more sustainable places to live.”

How to achieve it all?”We’re looking to bring in the best tech talent to help us in our transformation journey, and to redefine the flow of people and materials in urban environments.”

Join our flow and Johannes’s team of diverse digital product leaders, visionary creative talent, full stack cloud developers, hardware engineers, data scientists, and everything in between across China, India, US, and Finland! Read more about our software and digital roles here.