Merat Ziyarazavi

My name is Merat Ziyarazavi and I come from Iran. Four years back I have moved to Sweden to continue my education at master level. Initially I joined Borås University and got my first master degree in Informatics. Then I have got admission from Stockholm University in a Master program called Information Systems Management and last year I have graduated from that.


What was your thesis work about?
Nowadays, in IT outsourcing business, ‘Value’ has become a buzz word so that you hear it from all customers, as a requirement, and from all service providers, as a slogan to differentiate themselves. However, at least in Nordic market, there is no method or framework to qualify and quantify the so-called Value. So in order to define what constitutes Value, guarantee delivery of the defined Value, and measure the conceived Value of a service, a framework was needed. We have developed such a framework and named it as Service Value Agreement (SVA).

What did you think of your thesis work?
In nutshell, I think at that point of time and with the information that was available about the thesis topic, it was an outstanding job. It was challenging to find information to make basis of the work, from both theoretical and practical perspectives. There was no relevant literature to review. Even senior people, who were dealing with different customers and were interviewed during the assignment, did not have any clear view on what should be considered as core. In simple words, the concept could be interpreted in different ways and the main task was to pick the correct one and then utilize personal innovations.

Nevertheless, the idea of SVA, its functionality, and its components, have attracted attentions in different forums in Tieto. It was even proposed to a real customer right after completion of the work. But of course, there are always gaps for improvements, and this is exactly what we are doing in Tieto now, to make the framework more practical.

What experience did you have of your work? What did you learn from your work?
It was a new type of challenge for me. I think understanding fundamentals of Swedish culture, and getting use to Swedish way of handling situations were the most important lessons learnt for me.

Professional environment is very different in compare with university atmosphere. In Sweden, before entering to Tieto as a thesis student, I used to be in international environment in university where you cannot really get a feeling of the country and local culture. But this has been changed by meeting senior guys, instead of students, and by watching them closely in work environment.

Before I come to Sweden, I had experience of working in professional environment, but it was very different feeling. One simple example is the manager-employee relationship which is very different here in Sweden.

Did you have the help from this to prepare you for working life?
Yes absolutely. I think I was one, out of very few lucky students, who could find a job in an area very close and related to my studies. What I am doing now as a pre-sales guy, is connected to my previous investigations in thesis work. In other words, my professional life is much easier now with the knowledge and experience that I have gained as a student.

Apart from cultural adoption that I had during student time in Tieto, I understood pillars of my professional role in that period as well. One example of such knowledge is a three-day Application Service Management training that I attended in Tieto when I was student. In that training, conducted by my thesis mentor in Tieto – Torbjörn Tergesten – I have got familiar with ITIL processes and IT Service Management principles which now are core in my daily routines.

What job did you get after the thesis?
Right after thesis presentation in Tieto premises, I got the good news (my job offer) from Torbjörn. He was the messenger from Head of Application Management in Tieto, Pernilla Wikman, who also participated in the presentation session. I have got officially employed as Offering Developer in her unit after around two weeks.

I would like to acknowledge Pernilla and Torbjörn for being open-minded and for giving me the opportunity to prove myself.

Good advice to other students?
First of all, enjoy student life as much as possible!!! Meantime, three words needed to be stuck to minds: Knowledge, Passion, and Result. I believe that we will harvest our desirable Result when we set a precise target which suits us, gain its needed Knowledge, and keep up the good work with great Passion.