Doing business with Janne Halonen of Compuware NZ

The country manager of Compuware says IT organisations are getting more recognition as growth enablers, not just cost centres.

Doing business with:. Janne Halonen

Country Manager

Compuware New Zealand

Where were you educated? University of Vaasa, Finland. I also went to school in Massachusetts in the US.

Where do you live? After arriving in New Zealand, we have been lucky and found a perfect home for the family in Belmont/Lower Hutt in Wellington. On the hill top we’ve gotten our share of the southerlies...

Are you married? Kids? I have been married to my wife Kati for eight years and we have three children; daughter Henriikka 6; and boys Lauri 4 and Samuel 3.

What are your interests outside work? I’m a keen diver. Passion for cave exploration and deep wrecks have taken me to places I never even thought of. When above the surface, endurance sports are my thing. In New Zealand, trails and mountain hikes have been a great WOW for me. Not something that Finland had to offer.

What are you reading at the moment? Two books at the moment. I don’t remember the name of the book, but it discusses sharks and their different behavioural patterns. It would be good to know what to swim away from. The other is on Six Sigma based quality improvement processes and implementations.

Professionally, who do you admire most? Jorma Ollila. He took over as CEO in Nokia when the smallish Finnish company was on the verge of bankruptcy in early 1990s. Through Ollila’s leadership, Nokia divested all other businesses but telecommunications and over the years became the world leader in its field. Strategic vision combined with courage to change “what had always been” and ability to build and retain a world-class leadership team were key element in his, and Nokia’s, success.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? You will never get more than you think is possible. Our own interpretation of what is possible is the most limiting factor in our life. Adidas puts it, “Impossible is Nothing”.

A lesson you've never forgotten? At the end, the wife is always right.

How long have you been working in IT? Twelve-plus years. Prior to moving to New Zealand, I managed Compuware in the Nordic region (Finland and the Baltic countries) just shy of four years. Before Compuware, I worked for five years at IBM, managing WebSphere sales in Finland and Fujitsu Services with responsibility over mobile solutions and workforce automation business in the Nordic region. I met my wife at Fujitsu and as our roles expanded and overlapped, the company became too small for us not to be in contact daily. We decided one of us had to go.

What was your first job? At the age of 15 I worked in a pet shop after school taking care of aquariums. Enjoyed it a lot and still remember the excitement of being able to earn my own pocket money and gain some independence. I guess love for the ocean and sea life has always been with me.

What's the best thing about working with IT executives? The IT executive role has expanded radically from managing cost-efficient IT infrastructure, into understanding key business drivers and aligning IT organisations to meet business requirements. Many of the innovations and new business processes are powered by advancements in information technology. I find it fascinating to get to work with IT executives understanding both sides and driving their organisations through the change. IT organisations are also getting more of well earned recognition as key investments enabling growth and profitability, not just cost centres.

What is the worst? Hmm... many I have met here are so much fun spending time with that you forget you are working!

What is your favourite networking situation? Relaxed and casual, often related to some activities. Although I have learned to really like the Wellington coffee hopping.

What will you do when you retire?

I plan on living a life not so planned and scheduled, wherever that may be. I hope health will allow me to lead an active lifestyle after retirement as well.

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