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Press release - the Swiss e-business portal for SMEs

28 June 2000 AG provides the first integrated business-to-business portal for small and medium-sized enterprises and is aiming to be the clear market leader for far-reaching e-business solutions in the SME segment. With capital investment of approximately 50 million Swiss francs and the expertise of the five founder companies namely, Schweizerischer Gewerbeverband (Swiss Trade Association), Mobiliar, Swisscom, UBS and Valora, a unique service portfolio has emerged. The portal is principally designed as an open platform. It allows access to third parties to present their services or to establish web communities. AG, which was founded at the end of May, with headquarters in Bern, has set itself the goal of assisting Swiss SMEs in gaining a foothold to e-business by providing comprehensive and integrated solutions which will be available from October 2000 onwards. AG is an autonomous and independent Swiss enterprise located in Bern and already has a payroll of more than 40 staff members. Four of the founding partners namely Mobiliar, Swisscom, UBS and Valora together hold 99 percent of the five million francs share capital in equal proportion. The Schweizerische Gewerbeverband, as an important strategic partner, also holds a financial interest. Together, these five leading Swiss enterprises and institutions form a strong and creditable company with capital investment of roughly 50 million Swiss francs.

The "plenaxx" brand is a short reference term for full entry and access (plein accès, accesso pieno, plenary access). This serves to emphasise that clients, wherever they may be, are able to access their data, services and functions, processes and tools, plus current information, expertise, competences and partnerships at any time of the day or night.

undefined has been designed on the basis of a multi-channel concept for cross-sector applications. Multi-channel not only signifies that in addition to the specific e-channels offered by the founding companies, other third party providers and competitors launch their products and services on this new platform, it also means that Internet technologies are merged and specifically enhanced with additional distribution and communication resources such as e-mail, fax, voice and WAP.

The products and services together with the clear structure enable SMEs to easily gain access to e-business. undefined aims at positioning itself as the central hub for providers and buyers in the SME segment. plenaxx simplifies access to specialised and sector-specific expertise, whereby sector solutions and sector portals should be integrated as far as possible. The range of products and services provided by plenaxx embraces a variety of business areas and services which can be integrated individually as well as en bloc by the SME or its employees.

The sound sponsorship of the Gewerbeverband plus the commitment of the four founding companies are the guarantee for sector-compatible solutions which are designed to fully satisfy the requirements of an SME´s value-added chain. The express aim of AG is to create a unique and prosperous service platform for the Swiss SMEs e-business requirements.

In a few weeks time, plenaxx will be launching pilot operations in the Zurich, Basel and Bern areas involving 200 SMEs. On 29th September 2000, plenaxx will be making its debut at the Orbit Comdex Europe 2000 in Basel and will be commencing operations in October 2000.

For further information, please contact: Infoline 0800 88 99 00

Berne, 28 June 2000


Swisscom AG
Media Relations
3050 Bern