Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Study: Top 100 Finnish companies and mobile websites

Lately I’ve had many disappointments with corporate mobility especially in customer care. There had been situations when I have wished for a mobile access to some simple information, just to discover that it doesn’t exist or is not discoverable.

Because I started to feel that Finnish companies are not up to date with mobile solutions, I made a small study that reveals big companies are really missing the mobile opportunity. No mobile marketing. No mobile customer care. Just mobile silence.

I took a list of biggest (by turnover, excluding bank and insurance) 100 Finnish companies from Kauppalehti’s site. The things I wanted to verify were:
  • does company have a mobi-server (e.g
  • does company have an m-server (e.g.
  • does company have an automatic device detection (i.e. mobile users are automatically redirected to mobile site when accessing the main corporate site)?
The reason for these tests is that whenever I don’t know if a company has a mobile site, I try these two combinations ( and If those don’t match, I practice wishful thinking and try the main company site, just to see if there is some smart redirect to mobile site. After these three tries I usually will give up and understand that the company will not deliver information to mobile devices.

Test setup and results

Tests were conducted between June 19th and June 21st. Original list had 100 companies, but one of those doesn’t seem to have a website (or it is down all the time), so the results below will sum up to 99.


In this test I tried to access the company’s mobi-website (e.g. with a desktop browser. If site was found, I also tried to access it with a mobile device (Nokia N96) to verify the contents. For found mobi-domains I also verified whether those really were registered for the company.

Domain not registered


Domain not registered by company


Domain redirects to desktop website


Domain is registered by company but has no website


Mobi domain has a mobile website



From the list of top 100 Finnish companies only Elisa (operator, content not available for non-Elisa customers), Lassila-Tikanoja (password protected internal service or CMS console?), Nokia, St1 and Valio had a mobile website.


In this test I tried to access company’s website from address Because mobi-domain solution is often criticized for some extra costs for registering and administering the domain, I expected to see more mobile sites this time.

No m. service


Mobile site available at “”



Only two companies (DNA and Toyota) from 100 had mobile site available at m-address ( and Note that none of the “mobi companies” from above are in this group.

Redirect to mobile site

Because there is a possibility that company puts its mobile service to some other address and automatically redirects mobile user there, I also tested top 100 companies for automatic redirect. Test was made so that I accessed company’s main site with desktop browser and mobile browser (Nokia N96) and verified whether the content was the same or not.

No device recognition and redirect


Mobile user redirected to special page



The result was that only Hewlett-Packard has deployed mobile device detection and redirect to mobile website.

Notes about the results

The results are poor. Using this criteria only 8 companies from 99 have really thought about mobile access and the potential benefits. Of course some companies may have mobile sites at,, or something else. Those were not tested, because as a user I don’t like to guess many times just to see if there is a mobile site or not. Why not use “de facto” names or automatic redirect? Comparing “mobi” and “mobile” to “m” means 8 or 13 extra clicks with phone’s keypad when writing the website address, for example.

None of the companies was able to score more than 1 out of 3 and the list included 3 operators and 1 device manufacturer - they should know how to do the trick.

It looks that 32 companies have some plans with mobi-site, because they have registered the domain but not yet published a mobile service there. I hope they understand the possibilities and didn’t just register the domain to protect it.

Size doesn’t matter in mobility. World’s largest company Shell has a subsidiary also in Finland and they scored zero points in this test. No mobi-site, no m-site, no device detection. Ironically, Shell’s chairman of the board is Jorma Ollila, Nokia’s previous CEO and current chairman of the board.

This survey was only about the companies, not about the brands, trademarks or such. I’m aware that many corporations have mobile sites for their brands, but that was out of the scope.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Great product, but so hard to get

It's often said that Finns are good in technology but poor in marketing. Let me give you an example of that.

Nokia has long time ago created Sports Tracker, an application that will record and store your exercices. The solution is one of my favourites and I use it regularly to track where I've been when running, cycling and rollerblading. During excercises I use Polar heart-rate monitor to ensure that intensity is at optimal level and I don't start with too high speed. Sometimes I've dreamed of combining mobile phone and heart-rate monitor into one.

Good news is that Nokia and Polar have now created the solution that does exactly what I've wanted. With a special Polar heart-rate chest belt you can send the information to Sports Tracker application and later upload the training info to the website. You can see where you've been and how effective the exercise was. I have tried this combination and and it is - literally - breathtaking experience. Wow!

There's only one problem: this solution is almost impossible to buy!

First when I heard about this product, I went to Nokia flagship store to buy just the chest-belt - after all I have N96 that is same generation product than N79 that comes bundled with the chest-belt. I learned that chest-belt is not sold separately and I should buy the bundled N79 if I wanted this small piece of hardware. Didn't want to do that.

Then I went to the Polar website to see where chest-belt is available, maybe Nokia just doesn't want to sell that alone. Result was the same, belt is not available and their support forum has some angry discussion because of that.

Nokia's own customer website doesn't seem to know anything about this combination anymore, N79 product page is silent about Polar integration, Sports tracker site promotes other N-series devices and so on. From one Finnish webshop I can see that by ordering the N79 + chest-belt bundle I could get the product in one week with 45€ extra price compared to standard N79.

Nokia and Polar, can you hear me: you have created a superb product, please put power to marketing and start selling! It's not good business to play hide'n'seek with customers. To Nokia: this is something that makes digital convergence and internet services real, not just hype. To Polar: don't be afraid about cannibalizing your traditional market, this combination doesn't compete against your high-end heart-rate monitors.

Great engineering, poor marketing.