Always eco-friendly and close to people
Jarkko Veijalainen and Marko Sjöman founded 3 Step IT in 1997. Their dream has grown into a strong international success. Jarkko has previously written of the attitude required for growth. Now we asked Marko to reminisce on 3 Step IT’s 15 years of history and share his experiences of building a successful growing company.
What was the fundamental service concept on which you started to build business operations?
3 Step IT, then called Computer Rental CR Oy, specialised in the funding and management of computers. We didn’t merely lease out hardware. From the very beginning, our revolutionary concept covered the replacement and resale of computers after their lease period.
As this operational model required accurate management of the device stock, we developed a separate tool, the asset register. Eco-friendliness and information security have formed 3 Step IT’s cornerstones from the very beginning.
When did you realise that you were building something big?
After our first year, we saw that our operations were financially profitable and perfect for our customers’ needs. We obtained our first customers and launched our first IT vendor and funding partnerships. We realised that this works. We worked very closely with customers and listened closely to their wishes. The current service concept has been developed on the basis of customer feedback.
For us, it was obvious from the beginning that, as soon as it was possible, we would recruit more people in sales and customer services. Our principle was to find colleagues who are smarter than us to be part of building a success story.
What have been the most memorable moments during these 15 years?
Certainly those times when something was achieved for the first time, such as signing the first major customer deals and expanding into international markets. Our first conquests were in Sweden and Estonia. We understood that it is not reasonable to become international while relying on our own limited skills only. We received leverage and positive energy from capital investors.
How has the world changed in 15 years?
We have spent a lot of time considering and following general developments in the IT industry and any changes in the use of devices. Personal computers have been declared useless many times. However, the situation has not developed towards unintelligent terminals, and the computer is still alive and kicking.
Smartphones and tablets have added an interesting extra to the device selection. As a result, the limited service life of devices is even more emphasised. Moreover, the consumerisation phenomenon has increased the importance of IT asset management.
The economic situation has fluctuated many times during these 15 years. However, we have been able to grow profitably throughout our history.
Which guideline or value has supported the operations of 3 Step IT?
From the very beginning, we have regarded our personnel as our greatest asset and competitive factor. In service operations, employees who feel well care for the happiness of their customers. We want our operations to be led well and to be transparent, both internally and to our customers.
In addition, we are united by our genuine desire to solve our customers’ problems and produce true added value through our actions. This is what is most satisfying.
What will 3 Step IT do in the future?
Partnerships have always formed a key success factor for us, and we will continue to develop them further. It is not the end in itself that we invent and do everything by ourselves. We are continuously developing our service offering so that we can add value for our customers and make their everyday lives easier.