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Formpipe Software AB
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Sundsvall Municipality

With digitalization in its DNA, Sundsvall Municipality is constantly working to develop welfare for the benefit of employees, society, and residents. An important part of this work is Formpipe's product, the electronic archive, Long-Term Archive, where they are now working towards a platform-independent API.


Sundsvall municipality

Sweden's digitalization municipality Sundsvall

Sundsvall municipality has long been paving the way for digitalization in the public sector in Sweden. This has recently been confirmed and recognized at the Quality Fair in Gothenburg through the award as Sweden's Digitalization Municipality 2021.

- We are naturally super proud and honored by the award, which is the result of a determined teamwork with a clear goal in sight - we are going to save welfare. We strongly believe that equitable (digital) welfare requires access to data through open APIs. We see the award as a megaphone for that message and as an enabler to influence what we call the system flaw in the municipal sector, says Marcus Matteby, CIO/CTO at Sundsvall municipality.

It was also during the fair that Mauritz Wahlqvist, Sales Director at Formpipe, contacted representatives from Sundsvall municipality. Their system for electronic archiving is Formpipe's product, Long-Term Archive.

- As a supplier, we are proud to assist a forward-thinking municipality like Sundsvall in managing their digital heritage and making it accessible to both employees and citizens, says Mauritz Wahlqvist, Sales Director at Formpipe.

Towards a more sustainable Sundsvall and country

All information about the digitalization work carried out by Sundsvall municipality can be found on their website: https://utveckling.sundsvall.se/
It is also clear from there what the goal of the extensive digitalization work is - a more sustainable Sundsvall. 

To achieve this, they emphasize the importance of increasing the adaptability to develop digital maturity, that is, our digital capability and digital heritage. It involves understanding the possibilities of the digital world and the technical prerequisites that exist, as well as how it affects our development.

It's about heart and mind

Central to the development are the approaches listed that highlight and confirm that despite everything, digitalization ultimately involves people, trust, behavior, and relationships. It is a work that requires teamwork and collaboration between different parties.

- Much of it is about heart and mind. The mind in terms of the structural prerequisites, where we have collaborated extensively with the University of Gothenburg and the Swedish Center for Digital Innovation (SCDI), a research group focusing on digitalization and digital innovation in both the business sector and the public sector. This is combined with good governance, where Marcus Mattebo (CIO/CTO) is responsible for IT and digitalization, ensuring agreement on master systems, solutions, and standards. The heart, of course, represents that everything we do is to facilitate the lives of citizens, streamline workflows to reduce waiting times, simply put ourselves in their shoes, says Emelie Holmlund, Development Manager at Sundsvall municipality.

System failures in the municipal sector.

Challenges with the digital heritage

There is a lot of work required to digitize, automate, and optimize processes where Sundsvall and other municipalities struggle with digital heritage. The reason is that there are few suppliers when it comes to IT systems for the public sector, which limits competition. This, in turn, means that progress in many areas is slow or, in some cases, even at a standstill because it is simply not prioritized in the same way.

- The digital heritage involves system lock-ins where data cannot be accessed. What we need is a long-term and sustainable solution that can be integrated with other systems and is more modular, says Niklas Edén, Specialist in e-archives and information management at Sundsvall municipality.

So when Sundsvall Municipality addresses the problems related to system errors in the municipal sector, many suppliers back off and defend themselves. At Formpipe, however, we see an opportunity and challenge to work forward and together with digital development. We often talk about developing the digital society together, something that Sundsvall Municipality proves and that we want to highlight, celebrate, but above all, participate in.

Emelie Holmlund

Increase the pace e-archives

Sundsvall Municipality has divided its digitalization work into five focus areas: Efficient Municipality, Tomorrow's Learning, Tomorrow's Welfare, Smart Sundsvall, and the base platform that constitutes the digital infrastructure. 

Emelie Holmlund is the development leader for the Efficient Municipality area, a role that entails strategic and tactical responsibility for the prioritized initiatives within the area. One of these initiatives is to accelerate e-archives.

- Digital infrastructure is what we invest in the most, where e-archives are a solution that all operations have a great need for. All systems need to e-archive at some point, explains Emelie.

The goal of the initiative is to easily connect the archive to more platforms through a platform-independent API, making archived information accessible based on personal and correct authorization. At the same time, the development team in Sundsvall has the right conditions that align with the rest of the system development and programming languages.

Niklas Edén

A collaboration since 2017

The journey towards an e-archive started back in 2008 but it wasn't until 2017 that Formpipe won a procurement for an e-archive with the product Long-Term Archive, which was then implemented in 2018. 

To continue the development in the advancement of digitalization, monthly meetings are held today with a clear agenda, where the consultant for Long-Term Archive from Formpipe, Elias Caselunghe, acts as the convener. During the meeting, the status of operations and support is discussed, the systems that Sundsvall wants to archive, ongoing projects, and also a review of the management plan.

- It's me, a colleague, Elias, and three department heads who participate in the meeting. Having regular checkpoints facilitates the further development of our e-archive. Additionally, we have now hired a coordinator, Carl, who can assist with preparations and project management, something that has been missing, explains Niklas Edén at Sundsvall Municipality.

In addition to monthly meetings, a closer collaboration with Sundsvall has been initiated with meetings to assess the progress of the work. This is a task that is high on the agenda for Kristofer Carlsson, the product manager for Formpipe's Long-Term Archive.

- It's incredibly exciting to see the commitment, passion, and future plans that Sundsvall municipality demonstrates. Not least, it's great to have discussions about technology and further develop a product that is close to my heart, says Kristofer.

Increased value for citizens

The action plan for digitalization has been a crucial factor in Sundsvall municipality's major investment in digitalization, with resources including eight development teams.

They openly and honestly share their knowledge and solutions on their website. For private companies, this would often entail significant risks considering the competition in the market, which differs from the public sector.

- We find it very difficult to see any major risks in sharing our knowledge. We believe in public funding, public code, and solutions. However, we welcome feedback if there are any issues because, after all, we are building open solutions. The faster we fail, the quicker we can adapt, learn, and evolve, explains Emelie Holmlund.

The action plan for digitalization is a political initiative that involves allocated resources over a five-year period. The aim is to help Sundsvall municipality create an increased value for its residents, promote democracy, and free up resources so that the hand and heart are present where needed, with technology seen as an important enabler of this.

The dream vision

Just do it

To succeed in the digitalization work, a good collaboration with suppliers is required. This is something that Sundsvall is transparent about in their communication and highlights the current issues.

The dream vision would be for suppliers to adopt the same mindset as the development for the residents of Sundsvall, to do what is best for Sundsvall municipality without them having to ask for it.

- The idea is that we should not have to be experts in the supplier's field and keep track of, for example, the latest standards. It would be fantastic if our suppliers buy into our vision of open source code where the data is owned by us. An outside-in perspective where we do not work with locked systems but instead have open data and APIs that can be integrated and communicated with, explains Emelie Holmlund, Development and Improvement Leader at Sundsvall municipality.

Formpipe is one of the suppliers to Sundsvall municipality and has initiated a collaboration to contribute to the dream vision where Long-Term Archive plays a crucial role.

- For us, the archive is incredibly important as it contributes to a better future for the residents of Sundsvall. It involves their cases and building permit documents, an important gateway into every citizen's past and future together with the municipality, adds Emelie Holmlund.

The Future

From static knight armor to dynamic Spider-Man costume

Over 90% of Swedes have a positive view of digital public services according to the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKR). Sundsvall is working to bridge the gap when it comes to service delivery.

- We don't just want to meet, we want to exceed the expectations of the residents of Sundsvall. But it's difficult; right now, we have a heavy knight armor that hinders us. The goal is a smooth and fast Spider-Man costume. We need to have a high adaptability to meet existing needs while also being able to adapt to new ones. Better systems that allow open data and accessibility," concludes Emelie Holmlund, Development and Improvement Leader at Sundsvall municipality.

When it comes to the e-archive, Niklas Edén hopes that it will be based on standards and long-term formats, maintaining a consistent approach from start to finish. The information stored in the e-archive should be easily accessible to the public, enabling them to find accurate and requested information.

- It is important that the tools provided by our suppliers contribute to secure preservation in the best possible way. The e-archive is and will always be an incredibly important part," concludes Niklas Edén, a specialist in e-archive and information management at Sundsvall municipality.

About Sundsvall

Sundsvall – The city that surprises

Sundsvall Municipality ranks 20th among the most populous municipalities in Sweden, with a population approaching 100,000. The central city is Sundsvall. It's hard to imagine that the city center was once in flames, but like the phoenix, Sundsvall rose from the ashes and in six years managed to rebuild what is now called the stone city.

The magnificent architecture that meets the Gulf of Bothnia in the east is unparalleled. The designation of Sundsvall as Sweden's most beautiful city in 2017 is confirmed by the long cobblestone streets, where one's eyes are immediately drawn to the award-winning cultural magazine building and, in the midst of it all, the large square with the statue of Gustav II Adolf.


Area: 4,445 km²

Population: 99,341

Number of employees in the municipality: approximately 8,000

Chairperson of the Municipal Council: Arianne Sundman (S)

Number of members in the Municipal Council: 81

Vision: Together, we unleash the creative power and build a sustainable Sundsvall that accommodates everyone.

Om Long-Term Archive

Past and Present with Long-Term Archive

Long-Term Archive is our product for electronic archiving, developed in collaboration with the National Archives of Sweden (Riksarkivet). It is a solution that simplifies the archiving process and preserves information in a secure and efficient manner. Long-Term Archive complies with the laws and requirements within the field of e-archiving.

The system ensures that you can easily manage metadata and documents in various formats, search for and provide information in different formats, regardless of the business system. Welcome to the future of e-archiving!

Read more about Long-Term Archive here>>>