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Press release

Major Swiss Alliance in the Business-to-Business Sector

02 May 2000

Four leading Swiss companies - Swiss Mobiliar, Swisscom, UBS and Valora in conjunction with the Umbrella Organization of small and medium-sized enterprises - are launching the first comprehensive Internet portal for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). This will make it possible to concentrate and consolidate the numerous initiatives in the e-business sector in the interests of Swiss industry. The portal differs noticeably from other platforms: It serves as both the point of departure and as the hub for the daily Internet activities of the SMEs and their employees. The new SME portal will be implemented as a pilot project in the summer and go online in autumn.

Four leading Swiss companies together with the SGV (Swiss Trade Association) are launching the first comprehensive Internet portal, which is primarily tailored to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). This strong alliance uniquely brings together in-enpth know-how in areas of major importance to SMEs: Insurance matters (Swiss Mobiliar), telecommunications (Swisscom), financial services (UBS) and procurement and logistics (Valora). Other suppliers have access to this new platform, which has been conceived as a neutral provider of information, services and know-how specifically focusing on SME needs.

At the end of May 2000, the five partners in this alliance, Swiss Mobiliar, Swisscom, UBS, Valora and SGV, will set up an autonomous company headquartered in Bern, Switzerland. This company will be responsible for developing the new Internet portal (pilot phase starting July with selected SMEs) and for operating it from autumn 2000.

Fostering Internet utilisation

The SME portal will allow interested companies easy and rapid access to e-business. Today more than 70 percent of Swiss SMEs already have Internet access - although many only use the e-mail facility or have a home page.
The aim of the SME portal is to enhance the possibilities for existing Internet users substantially and to support new users. A full range of services and user-specific support will be available.

Unique service concept for SMEs

The SME portal offers considerably more than the existing Internet services (see box below): It supports the companies and their employees in handling their everyday business and shoulders some of the administrative burden. The services envisaged range from person-specific web services to virtual networks for companies (Intranet), virtual Extranet solutions and closed user groups. The latter will make it possible for business or project partners to exchange confidential information and to carry out business and project transactions.

Overview of the Service Concept

Support for SMEs and their employees through a web-based work environment.  
Lower costs:

Support for companies through virtual Intranet applications.  


Support for partnerships and co-operations through virtual Extranet applications.  
Market access:
Support for communities, such as branch-specific communities.  
Process integration:
Universal, integrated support in procurement, logistics, payment transactions. 
Berne, 10 May 2000


Swisscom AG
Media Relations
3050 Bern