M-Files Securely Automates the Creation and Management of Finnfund's Project Documents


  • Users find the right information instantly, regardless of where it's located
  • Automated workflows save knowledge workers' time
  • Document templates speed up project processing

Use Case

Asset Information Management
Client Information Management
Content Collaboration
Quality Management


Investment and Financial Services



Company Introduction

Finnfund is a Finnish development finance and impact investment firm. The company builds a more sustainable future by investing in companies in developing countries that are helping to solve global development challenges.

Finnfund finances projects that are economically viable, operate responsibly, and offer a measurable development impact.

The company focuses specifically on renewable and low-emission energy production, agriculture and forestry, finance, digital solutions, and infrastructure with most investments focusing on Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Funding ranges from €1 million to €25 million. In 2022, the company launched 28 new projects for a total of €246 million.

Key Challenges Before M-Files

For years, Finnfund used network repositories to store files. The company stored more than 200,000 documents on network disks. The sheer number of files made it difficult to manage the system with numerous duplicates and chaotic folder structures. As Finnfund's investment portfolio grew, so did the number of files, and the investments have long life cycles.

"Eventually, it became difficult to find the files you needed on the repository as the number of files grew," Finnfund's Chief Technology Officer Vesa Jordan said.

Disk folder structures created problems with how files were used. File names and metadata on the directory's structure created long file names, often hidden deep within the system.

"Eventually, the files in the subfolder of the subfolder could no longer be opened because the system kept saying that the filename was too long," Vesa said.

Time for a Change

Mounting difficulties for file searches on bloated network disks meant employees wasted time searching through clunky file structures. Files could be moved unnoticed from one folder to another and couldn't be found later, resulting in increases in IT department calls. Finnfund needed a solution that could cope with the growing volume of data.

When Vesa arrived as a newcomer in 2016, he remembered his previous experiences with M-Files. Vesa knew that Finnfund's challenges with file storage could be solved with M-Files.

At the beginning of 2018, M-Files was introduced for Finnfund's customer documents.

Shot of two people sitting in office lobby. Business partners working together in modern office looking at mobile phone.

The M-Files Solution

Vital Customer Documents Stored Safely in M-Files

Finnfund decided to make M-Files the home for all new client documents, creating a single document repository for new project-related documents. As there was no further need to use the old files stored in the old system, no migration was needed.

"If you want to look for old documents, you can go to the web drive—but all new files are stored in M-Files," Finnfund's System Developer Suvi Lähdevuori said.

In addition to client documents for investment projects, Finnfund soon decided to use M-Files as a repository for administrative files.

"We realized we also have administrative documents that needed an electronic archive in accordance with legal obligations," Suvi said.

So, a separate document repository for administrative documents, such as accounting records and service contracts, was created in M-Files.

Microsoft Dynamics Connection Makes Work Easier

Complementing Microsoft's suite of tools, Finnfund's M-Files environment was seamlessly integrated with their Microsoft Dynamics platform. This integration allows for the effortless transfer of Dynamics project and customer data, including project names and funding decisions, which are automatically synced and transformed with crucial metadata to M-Files.

M-Files also integrates with Finnfund's other Microsoft repositories, such as Microsoft OneDrive and Microsoft SharePoint for enhanced file sharing and editing, as well as for other Microsoft 365 products, such as Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Teams. That means emails can be saved directly to M-Files via Outlook and important information can't be lost in an employee's inbox.

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"We have a few super users who have internalized the benefits of M-Files particularly well. They are enthusiastic about using M-Files and have taken the initiative to suggest improvements, such as new tags that make it easier to find documents."

Suvi Lähdevuori, System Developer, Finnfund

Workflows Automate Document Processing

M-Files provides end-to-end document management and workflow automation across the entire lifecycle of all Finnfund project documents. When Finnfund launches a project, all contracts and documents are processed via M-Files with the help of automated workflows and document templates.

Automated workflows are especially useful for payment processing. "M-Files has a payment approval cycle that pushes the necessary documents from one person to the next. This way, the document gets all necessary approvals and is automatically saved," Suvi said.

Using M-Files automated workflows, Finnfund can initiate approvals for all needed decisionmakers on any given document, saving time by automatically requesting approvals.

The Results


"M-Files has a payment approval cycle that pushes the necessary documents from one person to the next. This way, the document gets all necessary approvals and is automatically saved."

Suvi Lähdevuori, System Developer, Finnfund

Saying Goodbye to Information Chaos

M-Files helped eliminate information chaos for Finnfund, transforming the way employees store, process, and manage documents. Users can manage enterprise information and related processes within a single system. Search and views help find and organize information in ways most natural for each user—a game-changing benefit for smoothly onboarding new employees.

Since many users wanted to preserve the familiar interface of a traditional folder structure, Finnfund introduced virtual folders, helping employees gradually adapt to a new way of searching for, and storing files. Ease of use and fast file retrieval are a joy for employees, but also for the IT department.

"The quality of the data has improved because the data is preserved," Vesa said.

Suvi and Vesa can also name their favorite features of M-Files. Suvi praises the feature-based search. Vesa, on the other hand, appreciates the ease of use of the contract register - you can quickly find your saved contracts when you need them.

Robust Information Security

M-Files has also improved Finnfund's document security protocols. To comply with regulations, Finnfund must perform background checks on clients and retain copies of their passports as part of the KYC (Know Your Customer) process. However, only certain workers are authorized to access the private data. "M-Files automatically grants Finnfund workers access to documents based on defined security rules, ensuring that all information is kept confidential and secure. Finnfund never has to worry about sensitive information being stored in the wrong folder. Finnfund has to check the background of customers, but the information has to be limited to the people who need it.

Once users have access to files, they can easily view them on all their devices.

"If necessary, the employee can also access the documents on their mobile phone," Suvi said.

Why M-Files?

M-Files is the leading platform for knowledge work automation. With the M-Files platform, knowledge workers can find information faster, work smarter, and achieve more. M-Files features an innovative metadata-driven architecture, embedded workflow engine, and advanced artificial intelligence. This enables customers to eliminate information chaos, improve process efficiency, and automate security and compliance.