Smartvatten's Neuro division has gained a team member with Ville Ylänne. The new Head of Sales is looking forward to help optimize the sales process utilizing his extensive experience and expertise in sales and the utilities sector. "It's our job to get to the root of the problems water utilities are facing, so Smartvatten Neuro can come up with solutions and ease their workload."
Ylänne has an extensive background in sales: 15 years of various positions across the technology sector, and in water since 2018. Working with water utilities is something he particularly enjoys. "The sales cycles are longer, so you really have to do your homework," Ylänne says. "You need to know exactly when to talk to them when they have time, because when the repair season starts, they really need to be in the field." It means having bigger and longer conversations, where knowing the subject matter is essential.
Relationship building is another key factor to success, Ylänne believes. Water utilities are a tight-knit community: there aren't that many in each country, and they talk to each other frequently. "They share their know-how and experience with different solutions," he says. "If you're good and deliver value, the word will spread. And utilities are very loyal customers." He also sees that the sector is changing. Slowly but surely, water utilities are modernizing and looking for ways to become as efficient as possible. And that's what Smartvatten does best.
In previous positions, Ylänne has coached and built sales teams from scratch, managed partners, and created partnership programs. He's also a teacher, working at his former university teaching remote sales management. "What the team can expect from me is that I'll be the helping hand," he says. "My main goal is to make sure they have everything they need in order to succeed."
From Solving Problems to Preventing Them
The Neuro division specializes in helping water utilities optimize their water efficiency and workflow. With aging water networks, limited resources for maintenance and renovations, and a changing climate, these organizations face a lot of challenges. Smartvatten's software makes it easier and less time-consuming to find leaks, blockages, and other issues in the network. That way, response times are quicker, and utilities have more time to work on effectively managing their networks and spend their precious resources where it matters most – shifting the focus from solving problems to preventing them.
After focusing on the wastewater network first, Neuro has taken the next step to include freshwater distribution. The real-time water distribution analytics service helps reduce water loss and leaks in the network and compares distribution, consumption, and wastewater flows. "We now cover the entire cycle," Ylänne says. "We're here to help utilities go through all the data they get from a myriad of sources and make sense of it. And once they start using our software, we don't just up and leave – we stick around to help and advise for years to come."
Ylänne is excited about his new position. "I really enjoy making an impact on the environment by conserving water. And at Smartvatten, I also get a chance to help build something new: a new type of solutions, combining data from real estate and water utilities to find optimal ways to analyze the way networks operate and can save water."
A few quick questions to Ville Ylänne
Favorite food – I'm a true sucker for Tex-Mex. Not the kind you find in grocery stores, but the authentic spicy stuff. Maybe not always the healthiest choice, but it's my guilty pleasure.
How to recharge – I love to spend time outside with my daughter, or at our summer house. During the winter months, I like to play strategic computer games and read a lot of fiction.
Best thing in life – I would say family and food!
Secret talent – After a trip to Ireland ten years ago with my brother, I learned to play the Irish flute. We missed a bus one day and wandered into a shop where they sold them – I've practiced ever since.
What you didn't know about Ville – I have quite the collection of hats! Almost 20, including anything from bowler hats to flat caps.