02 December 2004
"Swisscom IT Services is of major strategic importance for the Swisscom Group." Addressing these words to a press conference in Zurich, Jens Alder, CEO of Swisscom Ltd and Chairman of the Board of Swisscom IT Services (SCIS) emphasised the key role played by the company. "Convergence is happening not only between the fixed network and mobile network, but also between IT and telecommunications. Thanks to our capabilities in all these fields, we are able to defend our market position. Our market successes ensure that Swisscom Group companies also benefit from market-driven IT services with a good price-performance ratio."
According to Alder, the last three years have been the most difficult period ever for IT: "Following investment in new equipment ahead of the millennium and the bursting of the Internet bubble, the sector was hit by an investment slump. A great many IT companies suffered setbacks and had to restructure. Now, lots of companies want to modernise their IT systems and are looking into the possibility of outsourcing IT to specialised companies. We aim to leverage this opportunity with the offerings of Swisscom IT Services." Over the past few months, SCIS has won a number of contracts, among others from Credit Suisse, the Swiss government, Tamedia, KPT, CSS and Ascom.
Urs Stahlberger, CEO of Swisscom IT Services (SCIS), highlighted the company's ambitions: "We aim to be the leading outsourcing partner in Switzerland - irrespective of sector. Our established business with Swisscom Group companies and banks is the springboard, providing us with the requisite dimensions and proof that we are capable of managing major outsourcing projects successfully. Gaining customer trust is a key element in the business-to-business (B2B) segment and, in particular, the outsourcing business." According to Stahlberger, SCIS is targeting companies which operate 100 to several thousand workstations. SCIS offers its outsourcing services in partnership with IT provider Hewlett-Packard (HP).
At present, SCIS generates more than 90% of its revenues through business with shareholder customers Swisscom and AGI (Banks). Says Urs Stahlberger, "Our goal is to acquire new customers and increase the share of revenue from third parties to one third." This is to be achieved through targeted growth in the IT outsourcing market. "Given ongoing pressure on prices, the IT market as a whole will experience only weak growth, roughly in line with economic growth. But we expect the outsourcing market to grow by some 8% per year."
Stahlberger cites the increasing complexity of modern IT solutions as one of the main reasons for IT outsourcing. Such solutions call for high-level specialisation, which is overtaxing more and more companies. They need to be able to focus on their core business. The cost factor is also very important. "If a company outsources its IT operations, it can often make cost savings of 20 to 35%," says Urs Stahlberger. The trend towards standard solutions is also leading to lower costs.
Many banks are currently in the process of renewing their software platforms. The IT system landscape for banks is changing accordingly. SCIS views this trend as an opportunity to acquire new customers for IT migration, operation and maintenance. Says Urs Stahlberger, "We decided on a multi-platform strategy back in 2003. We wanted to act as a neutral IT service provider for various software platforms. We have a good chance of continuing to operate IT systems for AGI banks and acquiring other banks as customers."
Swisscom IT Services (SCIS) is a leading Swiss provider of IT services with a long track record and all-round expertise as an operator and integrator of complex IT systems. By combining local sector-specific know-how and international technology trends, SCIS enhances the competitiveness of its customers. The company has years of expertise and wide-ranging competences in the telecommunications and financial services sectors. SCIS is a Swisscom subsidiary and, with some 2100 employees, is part of a successful group. 71.1% of the share capital is held by Swisscom and 28.9% by AGI Holding. In 2003 SCIS posted revenues of CHF 755 million, of which CHF 541 million was accounted for by services to the Swisscom Group, CHF 165 million by services to AGI customers, and CHF 49 million for third party customers.
Berne, 2 December, 2004