The Digital Neighborhood launches AI branch and appoints Aki Antman as head of AI and Copilot innovation group

23/11/2023
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The Digital Neighborhood, a growing group of 13 independent technology companies specialising in Microsoft Cloud and AI services, is introducing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) branch. At the head of this initiative is Aki Antman, founder and CEO of Sulava, a Finnish technology company that is part of The Digital Neighborhood and known for expertise in AI, Microsoft 365 Copilot and Microsoft Cloud solutions. Sulava has been named Microsoft's Partner of the Year for Modern Work in Finland for the past four years.

With this, The Digital Neighborhood is taking an important step to help its 2,400 customers explore the new opportunities offered by AI and make it part of their business operations. The company is committed to innovation and has a strategic partnership with Microsoft, cementing its position as the market leader in Northern European implementations of Microsoft 365 Copilot.

Jean-Yves Charlier, CEO of The Digital Neighborhood: "Our move into AI shows that at The Digital Neigborhood, we are always looking at cutting-edge technologies and solutions that can help our customers. Central to this is our partnership with Microsoft. After all, as pioneers in Microsoft Cloud and AI technologies, we want to redefine the way people work. We are proud to partner with Microsoft to deliver AI technology and services that transform the business landscape."

Aki Antman, now at the helm of The Digital Neighborhood's AI arm, brings a wealth of experience and vision to this role. He says: "Our journey into AI is based on innovation and we focus on leveraging the capabilities of Microsoft Cloud and AI. We have already helped more than 40 of our customers improve their productivity, efficiency and innovation with Copilot solutions. Many of them even before their market launch on 1 November this year. We look forward to now deploying these benefits to all our business customers in The Digital Neighborhood."

Aki emphasises the role of training and adoption of new ways of working in the AI era: "As a global Microsoft Training Partner, we know that both our own employees and all our customers need to be trained in new ways of working. Indeed, we are making a fundamental shift from information work to thinking work, thanks to generative AI and Copilots that improve productivity by double digits."

The city of Helsinki is one of Sulava's most progressive AI customers. Commenting on the implementation of AI with Sulava and The Digital Neighborhood, a spokesperson informed, "We are in an AI learning journey, identifying best application opportunities, learning about IT management using Copilot, and planning our next steps for change. We are focusing on improving the user experience across our organisation so that everyone knows how AI can be used effectively in their work. In administration, efficient information discovery and integration are key benefits of AI. Collaborating with Sulava in our AI journey was super."

As Aki assumes his new role as head of AI for The Digital Neighborhood, alongside his current position as CEO of Sulava, he will hand over Sulava's day-to-day operations to industry veteran Mika Sarhimaa. Mika joins Sulava as CCO and brings extensive experience in Microsoft technologies and customer engagement in business. Mika has held several senior leadership roles at Microsoft and HP.

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