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Nokia is a global technology company offering a comprehensive portfolio of network equipment, software, services, and licensing opportunities. The company was founded in 1865 and is headquartered in Espoo, Finland. It employs approximately 85,000 people across over 100 countries and does business in more than 130 countries. It provides technology that helps the world act together and is committed to innovation and technology leadership across mobile, fixed and cloud networks.
IREP’s relationship with Nokia has proven to be strong and beneficial for both parties over the years, one that has helped us establish ourselves as a global facility management services provider and become a trusted partner on Nokia’s journey to optimising their buildings and driving sustainability. The combination of two technology and innovation driven organisations has been a key contributor to the success of our partnership. We spoke to Michael Dzenis and Simon Walter who explain more about the Nokia-IREP relationship and share their feedback on our facility management services.
Michael Dzenis is the Global Workplace Services Manager at Nokia, looking after the delivery models that come from IREP, and he has worked in Facilities Management (FM) for most of his career. He was part of Cushman & Wakefield before joining Nokia 11 years ago.
Simon Walter is the Head of the People & Places Market for Asia Pacific Japan & India Middle East Africa. He is responsible for facilities management, people management, transactions, etc. He has been at the company for 12 years, and previously he worked at Siemens in a similar role, being responsible for the facilities management of the organisation.
Can you explain a bit about the relationship between IREP and Nokia, please?
(Simon) – IREP initially started working with Nokia in the Middle East and Africa to provide facility management services, and over the years the collaboration has expanded to Middle East, Africa, India, Asia Pacific, Japan, parts of Europe, North and Latin America. The relationship has evolved from IREP solely offering facility management services to Nokia to expanding the portfolio of services offered now including transportation, catering services/canteen management, and security services.
(Michael) – One of the key aspects of the partnership between IREP working with Nokia is the ability to provide facility management services in some of the most remote countries in Africa and the Middle East. Not many FM companies can provide the services to the standard levels that we required. We struggled to find a company that could fill the gap required at the time. IREP’s flexibility and willingness to work with us in those countries really brought them into being a key supplier for building and facility management services at that time.
Why did you choose IREP and why is IREP important to Nokia?
(Michael) – The initial choice was because IREP filled a niche that we required. IREP grew in stature within Nokia in their ability to provide the facility management services that we requested. They then drove greater efficiencies in some of those countries. We transferred that to other opportunities that came up and invited them to join tenders, and their presence therefore grew in the markets.
(Simon) – IREP is an excellent facility management services provider in markets that are typically hard to manage and hard to cater to. But at the same time, Nokia is just as important to IREP because we were the first account IREP formed out of that need, and we have grown together. I think we operate truly in the spirit of a partnership, not in terms of a supplier-client relationship; there is always open, honest communication. The partnership is something that’s really important and that we cherish and we also nurture.
The IREP Nokia partnership is something that’s really important and that we cherish and we also nurture.
What have been the biggest challenges for Nokia recently?
(Simon) – The pandemic has been a global challenge, of course. Most of the workforce was required to work from home, but the essential workers were required to keep things operational – the Nokia factory in India has been running throughout the pandemic at full capacity. IREP has been part of that and has been playing a critical role.
There are also other times where the team has really risen to the occasion. The most recent one was the earthquake in Japan where there was a huge power outage across Tokyo and the teams had to go in. We needed to restore power back to the operations and the teams worked hard to do that. So stellar performance during the pandemic and during the times of crisis. Over the course of the last two years all of us at Nokia as well as IREP have had performances and results we can all be very proud of.
(Michael) – It’s been a one team approach that we take jointly with IREP, and they’ve been very supportive. In parts of the world where IREP operates for us, disasters can occur, whether they’re weather or infrastructure related, and you can always count on IREP to step up and support us in those times of crisis.
Can you share what you are currently working on?
(Simon) – Today we find ourselves at a turning point in how people work. So balancing work from home, work from the office, our future workplace strategies, managing the understanding of employee behaviour is something that Nokia is currently working on. We are transforming the way we see the future and working towards ESG and reducing our environmental impact. This is obviously where IREP provides the expertise and the manpower that will influence the strategy. So, I think at the minute the most interesting project that we’re working on is the future.
(Michael) – We do look to our partners like IREP to bring to the table their experience with their other clients, and what they see in the marketplace. So, for me that’s a key role of IREP going forward, particularly with the transformation of the office environment.
Is there anything additional you would like to add?
(Simon) – I want to use this opportunity to thank everybody on the IREP team for their work, support, and services that they have provided to Nokia over the years and continue to do so. We greatly appreciate the quality of work that is delivered to us, the care and concern of the people. Congratulations to the company. We appreciate the service and look forward to a prosperous and mutually beneficial future going forward.
Flexibility, reliability, and adaptability – starting from basic facility management services, the Nokia-IREP relationship has continually expanded and adapted to cover new requirements and service areas in line with Nokia’s growing needs and requirements. Our boutique, personalised, and global facility management services model has allowed us to deliver unrivalled services to Nokia despite the location or the socio-economic and weather challenges that the worlds has faced.