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Open innovation: a success factor

Swisscom recognises the importance of dialogue with customers, employees, suppliers and other partners, as it enables a continuous, open process of innovation with the focus on customers and their needs. When developing new products and services, Swisscom consistently adopts human-centred design methods, i.e. the user-oriented design of simple, inspiring experiences that help customers find their way in the networked world.

Within the company, Swisscom practices and promotes decentralised product development. As a result, new ideas are generated throughout the company. Various events and platforms provide employees with the opportunity to exchange innovative ideas and familiarise themselves with best practice examples. One example of this is the Innovation Week held twice a year, during which teams of employees from different divisions implement a new idea that addresses a specific customer need, is of business relevance and has potential on the market.

Outside the company, Swisscom promotes innovation throughout the industry. In particular, Swisscom is committed to supporting young companies that offer progressive new solutions in the fields of IT, communications and entertainment. Swisscom participates in start-ups as a project partner and investor and supports them by providing tailored products and services. Since 2013, Swisscom has held the StartUp Challenge competition, where winners are sent on a one-week mentoring programme in Silicon Valley.

See www.swisscom.ch/​innovation

Innovation platforms

Swisscom plays an active role in shaping Switzerland’s future. Its commitment to fostering an innovative and competitive Switzerland is reflected in the backing it gives to a whole variety of projects. Swisscom supports Switzerland’s role as a research centre in the form of investments and partnerships with universities and institutions. For example, it funds the chair of Professor Adrian Perrig, head of the network security group at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, thereby making an important contribution to information security in Switzerland. As a partner of Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Swisscom enables research work to be performed in the areas of human activity and the smart home (“intelligent living”). The partnership involves the provision of financial support for selected projects, the establishment of the “Digital Lab”, a competence centre for digitisation at the EPFL Innovation Park, and various other activities on the campus such as events dealing with digitisation. Swisscom is also a partner of the Swiss Innovation Park and is closely involved in guiding this long-term project as a member of the Board of Trustees. Through its participation in the regional innovAARE Park, Swisscom is supporting research in the field of energy. Finally, Swisscom is a founding member of the Digital Zurich 2025 initiative, which aims to make the greater Zurich area into a hub for start-ups.