Sonera and Nextime to launch electronic and mobile notebook service to enhance communication between home and school - u

Press Release 14, October 2004

Sonera and Nextime to launch electronic and mobile notebook service to enhance communication between home and school - user experiences from comprehensive schools and upper secondary schools in over 20 municipalities

TeliaSonera Finland Oyj and Oulu-based Nextime Solutions Oy launch the Sonera Reissuvihko service to facilitate communication between home and school as well as intra-school communication. Reissuvihko is an electronic and mobile notebook service package based on the Helmi service application which was developed by Sonera's cooperation partner Nextime Solutions Oy of Oulu. The service is currently in use in more than 20 municipalities. The users are teachers, students and their parents as well as other interest groups of the schools.

Thanks to the Sonera Reissuvihko service, schools can offer teachers, students and their parents a two-way communication environment that utilizes the possibilities of the Internet and mobile communications. With Sonera Reissuvihko, teachers and other school representatives can send information to parents individually or as group messages. The messages are sent to the mobile phone and/or to student-specific folders on the Internet. Parents can communicate with school over the web or by mobile phone, and receive information about for instance learning results, changes in the timetable or absences without delay.
The service is fully Internet-based, so it does not require the installation of any particular software. It can be connected to the most common student management systems and basic student information can be imported directly from them to Reissuvihko.
The Sonera Reissuvihko service consists of an integrated web and SMS service and information security. The service offers versatile user interfaces for teachers, students and parents. The service user can choose a Reissuvihko user interface in either Finnish, Swedish or English. The service contains information about homework, student absences, grades and topics of tests etc. as well as a facility for writing messages for both the communication between home and school and for intra-school communication.

The Reissuvihko service operates in Sonera's service environment. The use of the Reissuvihko service is Internet and mobile operator independent. To supplement the basic solution, the school can select additional modules: an info TV module, teachers' appointment calendars, room and resource reservations as well as a substitute teacher register. The costs to the school consist of the connection charge for the service, monthly charges and SMS charges.

High level of information security

In the Reissuvihko service, the school's master user, teachers and the parents all have their own views. The school manages its service environment over the Internet. Sonera is responsible to the school for the operation and information security of the service. The school's information and communications are protected from external connections. Personal information is only available to those concerned: student information is only shown to the student in question and his parents and teachers. The school is responsible for the information security of its equipment. Sonera's technical customer service provides support in technical matters relating to the Reissuvihko service 24 hours a day, all year round.

The initial idea for Sonera Reissuvihko was born in 2000 when two maths teachers of the Pöllönkankaan koulu comprehensive school in Oulu got the idea for a communication tool for schools and other educational institutions. As the service developed and the number of users increased, Oulu-based Nextime joined in and took charge of both the development work and sales. The service now launched is the development project's third phase in which Sonera participates as telecommunications expert and commercial partner. The service is already in use at lower and upper stage comprehensive schools and upper secondary schools in more than 20 municipalities.

"Our experiences of this service at Pöllönkankaan koulu have been very good. Communication between the homes and school has improved significantly, and so has intra-school communication. This communication notebook service has lowered the threshold for contacting teachers both among students and their parents. Today, I frequently receive messages directly from students, which previously was quite rare. The shared environment promotes the sense of community. The electronic and mobile communication notebook is the best tool to enhance openness and, that way, to promote the democratization of the operational culture of the school," says Harri Tuulos, Headmaster, Pöllönkankaan koulu comprehensive school.

"With the cooperation agreement that now has been signed, our application receives national visibility alongside our well-known cooperation partner. Since TeliaSonera takes care of the operation, information security and sale of the service, we can now concentrate on the implementation of new service features for Reissuvihko as well as on the further development in conjunction with the customers," says Teemu Kettunen, Development Manager, Nextime Solutions Oy.

"Schools and other educational institutions play a central role as builders of the Finnish information society. We at Sonera want to develop services that facilitate citizens' everyday life - in this case, interaction between home and school. Our cooperation with Nextime Solutions Oy and the customers has generated a new, advanced service for the school world," says Ilkka Haataja, Director, TeliaSonera Finland.

"The core application of the Sonera Reissuvihko service is the most advanced product in its field which supplements our present service offering very well. Reissuvihko is a socially significant product. For many children and parents Reissuvihko is the first contact with Internet-based utility applications. Utility services such as this one enhance the IT skills of young people in Finland and accustom our young students to the electronic communication culture, which will further strengthen the position of Finnish schools in the international forefront," adds Ilkka Haataja.

For further information, journalist can contact:

TeliaSonera Finland Oyj; development Manager Osmo Ruuska;
mobile phone: +358 (0)40 302 2254

Nextime Solutions Oy

Nextime Solutions Oy is a software house based in Oulu in Finland. The company's offering consists of products and systems relating to resource management. The product offering includes shift planning tools, golf course reservation systems and other reservation systems, resource exchange systems as well as the Helmi system developed for the cooperation between school and home. Nextime's products are Internet-based enabling 24/7 availability as well as added-value-generating mobile functions. Nextime Solutions Oy has operations


TeliaSonera Finland Oyj, the Finnish profit centre of TeliaSonera, offers products and services under the Sonera brand.

TeliaSonera is the leading telecommunications company in the Nordic and Baltic regions. At the end of December 2003 TeliaSonera had 11,957,000 mobile customers (37,610,000 incl associated companies) and 8,061,000 fixed customers (9,160,000 incl associated companies) and 1,631,000 internet customers (1,691,000 incl associated companies). Outside the home markets TeliaSonera has extensive interests in the growth markets in Russia, Turkey and Eurasia. TeliaSonera is listed on the Stockholm Exchange and the Helsinki Exchanges. Pro forma net sales January-December 2003 amounted to SEK 81.7 billion (EUR 9.01 billion). The number of employees was 26,694.

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