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Validating partner quality for global people flow solutions provider KONE

Global people flow solutions provider KONE is accelerating its pace of innovation by onboarding new technology partners. The company asked Qentinel to develop a quality assurance service to validate the caliber and reliability of its partner candidates and their solutions.

The world is witnessing an unparalleled convergence of the megatrends of digitalization and urbanization. Finland-headquartered KONE, provides elevators, escalators and people flow solutions to help people navigate the world’s ever-expanding urban landscapes.

Around one billion people use KONE solutions every day, and the company is constantly working to develop and deploy new solutions to improve the flow of people for the benefit of customers and end users.

As cities expand and become smarter and the need for newer, more technologically-advanced solutions grows, KONE is expanding its network of technology partners to identify new solutions more quickly and cost-effectively.

“KONE has a good track record in innovation, but IoT [the Internet of Things] and digitalization has changed the landscape a great deal,” said Jukka Salmikuukka, KONE’s Head of Ecosystem Business in the company’s New Services and Solutions unit.

Building innovation capability with partnerships

Salmikuukka pointed out that whereas in the past building systems were siloed and lifts were isolated, digitalization and IoT have created connected systems, creating new opportunities to introduce novel solutions. For KONE, working with a network of technology partners has been the key to speedily develop new technologies to exploit such opportunities.

“We needed more innovation capability. We want to partner with different companies — from startups to established firms and global giants a wider selection of innovations to market and add user value,” Salmikuukka noted.

KONE wanted to ensure that the agility, speed and inventiveness that came from working with new technology partners would not compromise its reputation providing for high-quality, safe and dependable solutions.

“We don’t want solutions that could fail in terms of safety and reliability,” Salmikuukka stressed.

KONE needed a scalable and coherent process for validating the quality and dependability of its partners and their solutions. The company has long partnered with quality assurance leader Qentinel for R&D as well as testing and quality assurance. The company asked Qentinel to create an agreed procedure for verifying and certifying its partners’ solutions.

“It was also transparent and fair to have an external third party responsible for quality verification,” the ecosystems chief explained.

Qentinel scales and productizes partner validation

Qentinel used its extensive test automation expertise in large complex systems to develop a partner ecosystem certification service that would help KONE confidently onboard new partner technologies in its ecosystem. The approach involved a detailed examination of partners’ processes and methods, documentation audit, testing of critical systems, validation and certification.

According to Salmikuukka, Qentinel was able to scale and productize the approach, which is now being piloted with partners and partner candidates, with a view to using it to expand the partner ecosystem in the future. For KONE, such validation is crucial to ensuring the growth of a lively and productive partner network.

“KONE needs wider in-house testing capabilities, so Qentinel’s assistance was essential. We also wanted to do this with a reliable partner whom we could count on. Qentinel is such a partner.”

“The service allows us to minimize risk and to get a better understanding of the quality of our partner candidates,” Salmikuukka noted.

“This also adds value for our partners, as it provides a solid, professional analysis of their technology and processes. And it helps them to find out on which areas they should focus their internal development actions,” he concluded.

Read more: KONE introduces new digital platform and renews its products and services portfolio to better meet the opportunities of a connected world.


KONE is a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, who provides elevators, escalators and automatic building doors, as well as solutions for maintenance and modernization, which add value to the life cycle of any building. Their mission is to improve the flow of urban life.