ADSOTECH was founded in 1985 by Christer and his wife Kirsti. Both had been working since 1977 in software sales, starting in a Finnish branch of the Swedish company, DataAnalys AB. Later, when the Finnish company was acquired by an American business, MSP Manager Software Products, Christer was nominated CEO of MSP Scandinavia Oy.
In 1977, the tools available for selling software were simply the telephone, copier, typewriter, telex and “snail mail”. Moreover, products were installed from tape reels and the delivery of products could take up to two weeks. On top of this, the need to physically deliver the software meant maintenance work often required an additional two to three weeks. Nonetheless, despite the primitive methods, business was good since companies eagerly wanted to enhance and automate their working processes.
“Before starting to sell software I was working as a programmer in the paper and pulp industry as a systems designer and development manager for a big bank in Helsinki. In 1969, I started in IT and have seen tremendous advances within the industry. As the development manager, my job was to improve our then primitive working processes – this development revolved around the use of software tools. It did not take long to realize the impact that good development tools have on productivity improvement, quality and work satisfaction. In 1977, when DataAnalys was looking for a person to manage the operations in Finland, I decided to cross over from the buying side to the selling side of the software industry. My new role was to help Finnish organizations improve their productivity by providing software tools in the marketplace. That’s how I became software salesman,” Christer explains.
The Finnish company within DataAnalys that Christer managed became responsible for selling software tools to other Nordic countries, having great success along the way. In 1983, the business was acquired by MSP. Two years later, embracing the entrepreneurial mindset, Christer and his wife started ADSOTECH.
“Between 1977 and 1985 I gained a lot of experience and knowledge about the Nordic market, giving us the upper hand regarding sales in the region. Being bilingual in Swedish and Finnish, I found communication with Scandinavian customers to be fairly easy. Initially, our company sold products for IBM mainframe users, but, in 2000, we began to selling tools for SAP users. As of now, most of our revenue comes from this space. Today, we have many of the same customers we had in the 80’s and 90’s. The difference is that now they use SAP ERP as opposed to using their own ERP systems that they developed,” Christer adds.
In addition to his interest in his professional life, Christer is passionate about his life outside of the office with his family and daily hobbies.
“I have three adult children and seven grandchildren, ranging from the age of eight to fifteen. Each of my kids works in the ICT industry, or at least where ICT plays an important role. Regarding my hobbies and use of free time, my favorite activities are all seasonal. For example, when the weather is appropriate, I play golf with my wife, friends, children and 5 of the grandchildren. My HCP is 18 which makes stableford point calculation easy. Nowadays, it is getting more difficult to beat my older grandkids. However, the important thing is that I am able to have fun with my grandchildren, despite the age difference of over fifty years.
“Also, music has always been my passion. As a teenager, I played electric base in a rock band during the late 60’s. We performed almost every week in big parties that were arranged in high schools. Later, between 1986 and 1993, I played again with some old friends, covering bands like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Eagles, Cliff Richard, Shadows, Eric Clapton and some other blues artists. These days I am more of a spectator, listening to music and occasionally going to concerts. My favorites are still The Eagles and Eric Clapton as well as Chris de Burgh, Chris Rea and even the Swedish Bo Kaspers.”
“On top of sports and music, I am fond of contemporary art. At the ADSOTECH office you can see my small scale collection that I have gathered over the years. Also, my mother is a talented painter and I have inherited some of her skill – every now and then I get inspired to produce oil paintings.
“When I am not golfing, admiring art or playing music, I am attempting to take care of my garden. Oh, and last but not least, I love downhill skiing. In the winter, I try to make a trip to Austria or some other nearby country for a week of skiing. Despite my many free time activities, I am most devoted to my job at ADSOTECH. Every day, I enjoy taking on the many challenges that come with my position at the company. Thanks to modern technology, I do not need to spend much time travelling around the Nordic countries. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, over half of my working time was spent abroad, away from my family. Today, I can meet several customers and partners in one day via web meetings. “Overall, I am really pleased with the current team of 14 IT–professionals working in ADSOTECH. What makes me happy is seeing the team working together to satisfy the needs of our customers and in return the customers giving us feedback about all the benefits they get from using our products, sometimes counted in several hundred man days. It is the same feeling as playing a good rock and roll tune: everyone in the band staying in the same rhythm and the audience giving the applause at the end,” Christer concludes.
ADSOTECH Company Profile Video
Founder and CEO of ADSOTECH, Christer Mäkelä gives an inside look at ADSOTECH’s history, team and reliable products and services.