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Domenic Schüpbach, Lean Manager, Bern

“I strive for perfection.”

"Kaizen" is Japanese. It means a striving for continuous improvement. My job is to instil this mindset at Swisscom. I do Kaizen with my band Yokko as well. Every song starts out as a prototype. We try them out at concerts. And work on improving them, time and again. Last autumn Yokko went to Japan. It was the first time we performed outside Europe. It’s unbelievable where the music takes me. I’m proud of it, but you have to keep your feet on the ground. I can’t live from music. And it’s not my main priority. An important counterpoint for my music is working at Swisscom, where I can and intend to make a lot of changes.

  

David Rossé, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Bern

"I want a world without barriers"

I am responsible for accessibility at Swisscom. I aim to make the digital world accessible to everyone with sensory impairments. This isn’t the case everywhere – and that also applies to Swisscom. I want to change that. It wasn’t easy in the beginning to find support for this issue. I had to explain what the problems were to a lot of colleagues. Accessibility is one of many requirements faced by product developers. So they have to set priorities. I take a pragmatic view though - even small improvements are already a great help to those affected. And that's what we do. Take Swisscom TV for instance. Positive feedback from people who have been affected encourages me and my colleagues. We need this energy, because there is still a lot to be done.

Michael Meister, Marketing Specialist, Bern

"At home, I'd be lost without chatbots."

The Japanese love robots. They think of them as human - and not simply a programmed device. I find chatbots fascinating. I am currently developing one at Swisscom for Skype for Business: I find it really exciting to be creating a type of cognitive being. At home, I'd be lost without chatbots - especially when communicating with my Japanese wife Kie and her family. We use Line messaging - the Asian WhatsApp - to translate English and Japanese for us in real time. I met my wife one and a half years ago during my language placement over there. Afterwards, we Facetimed one another every day, she in Fukuoka, me in Matzendorf; sometimes even sending each other to sleep. In Summer, Kie moved over here to live with me. We are finally together.

Penny Schiffer, Head of StartUp Initiatives, Zurich

“Patronise start-ups? It’s an absolute no-no.”

I’d never have discovered some start-ups without my network. I attend start-up conferences regularly and act as juror for competitions or use Twitter, where I now have 8000 followers. Just scouting for cool, tech-savvy hipsters and geeks doesn’t work. You need a talent for working out which start-ups and technologies might be an interesting business proposition for Swisscom. Take the following example: we were only able to implement our popular call filter for the fixed network thanks to a start-up from French-speaking Switzerland that took the blacklist and technology to the next level. Can Swisscom afford to take a patronising tone with start-ups? Absolutely not. Being on an equal footing is a must. It’s the only way to go to market as partners.

  

Philippe Douglas, Service Desk Quality Manager, Lausanne

"I began my career in the world of professional football."

I completed my compulsory school education up to high school before turning to the world of professional sport (football) when I was about 18. In 1989 I was alongside Stéphane Chapuisat on the pitch at Basel when Switzerland drew with Belgium 2:2. I completed my IT training in several IT colleges and institutions alongside my sport activities. My present job is Quality Manager (equivalent to a supervisor) at Swisscom. I’ve been in the IT sector for 15 years and I’ve always worked in Support. Thanks to my sport background, I’m well-equipped to deal with stress and communicate with people. Being productive and doing jobs according to my principles is what motivates me. Every new day brings its share of work, satisfaction and challenges.

Estelle Pugin, Sales Consultant Shop, Lausanne

“Everything happened so fast. Luckily, it turned out well.”

I work in the Métropole 2000 Shop in Lausanne. When I finished school I did a Federal Certificate of Aptitude (CFC) in logistics. Then I trained with SwissLife Select as a financial advisor. I realised that contact with customers was important to me, so that’s why I’m now working with Swisscom as a Sales & Consultant. Apart from the usual services, our job sometimes calls for us to be ready for anything. Last August when the shop was closing a customer had two cardiac arrests. I instinctively hurried to lie the customer flat and reanimate her with the help of the Securitas colleague as we waited for the ambulance. Everything happened very quickly, but eventually we got good news of the customer.

Tulu Budesa, HR Marketing Manager, Bern

"I've always been a people person"

My roots are in Iran. But at heart I'm a Bern "meitschi" [girl]. My desire to bring different cultures together goes back to when I was a little girl, when I kept at it until my peers accepted me as one of them. I've been putting myself in other people's shoes all my life. I do the same in my job at Swisscom: I put myself in the place of IT data scientists and software developers - and then I ask myself, how can Swisscom make itself attractive to them as an employer? We need the right people in the right place to work with new technologies and agile work methods like holocracy. I recruit people that have an affinity for the Swisscom spirit, because that's our common bond. Know-how changes, people don't.

  

Sascha Gysel, Head of e-foresight Digital Banking Think Tank, Zurich

"No two days are the same"

I founded my first start-up in the online sector during my IT apprenticeship – and the second a couple of years later in Peking. What fascinates me about entrepreneurship? Never being certain about anything and constant change. Life couldn’t have been more eventful than in China, where no two days were the same. You had to be flexible and always willing to take on new ideas. Today I head a kind of start-up within Swisscom called e-foresight. We support banks with their digital transformation as an independent think tank. New technologies like artificial intelligence, new business models and changed customer behaviour have a major impact on the entire financial industry. Supporting clients with their transformation means that we have to keep on developing our think tank and learn new things. And that’s exactly why I love my job.

Dominic Corti, Senior Escalation Manager, Bern

"I always keep a cool head."

When my phone rings, so do the alarm bells. As an escalation manager I’m the first person people call when things go very wrong. These are faults that are reported in 20 minutes. Does that stress me out? Not any more. I have to keep a cool head in emergencies. Transparency is very important for customers. They want to know what progress we have made and what we’ve found out. Explained in simple, factual terms. I always divide major faults into different phases and prioritise short, medium and long-term activities. In doing so, I keep various options open. I never put all my eggs in one basket. Being methodical works in my private life as well. I’m getting married this year. That’s a major personal project, but you don’t need a troubleshooter for it!

Lukas Hohl, ICT architect, Zurich

"I look out for the little things."

I have to set the right priorities. That’s the most important part of my job. As a Swisscom TV product owner I’m the point of contact for customers, managers, developers and partners. Their requirements usually exceed the resources and budget at my disposal. So the moment of truth strikes: what do we tackle first? What has to wait? My decisions impact directly on the customer experience of more than one million TV users. I aim to offer customers the best experience. That sometimes keeps me awake at night. I pay attention to the details and the minor discrepancies when I take decisions, because they often make the difference. Luckily, over time you tend to develop a gut feeling.

  

Arijana Walcott, Business Development Manager, Palo Alto Outpost

"Clash of cultures at close quarters"

I seek out trends for Swisscom in Silicon Valley. I connect people with people, topics, resources. Sometime I have to mediate when cultures clash: such as between my Swisscom colleagues who like to put a technology through its paces first and the wild Californian start-ups who make off-the-cuff decisions. I’m very impatient myself – which is probably why I fit in so well, because everyone is like that here. Obviously, I miss my family and friends in Switzerland. My three-year-old son skypes with my Mum every day: they read books or play at make-believe. Next year though, my outpost days will be over and we’ll be returning to Switzerland. With a smile and a tear.