Strict data protection requirements and the ability to work anywhere. These are among the reasons why St. Gallen-based finance company Trewitax decided to outsource all its IT to Swisscom and the cloud. But this is just the beginning.
Hermann Rothauer, Trewitax AG
It’s a cool, slightly overcast early spring morning. Hermann Rothauer is sitting with a customer in his office, with his laptop in front of him. Next to it on the desk are a couple of folders, along with some other accounting documents. Rothauer, a finance and accountancy expert, grabs one of the folders, takes a sheet of paper from it and compares the figures with the numbers on the screen. So far, the audit has not revealed any discrepancies in the company accounts. Rothauer is happy. Later that day, he will sign to confirm that the accounts are accurate.
Flexible thanks to the cloud
Rothauer has also found it easy to access customer data in the cloud this morning. Last year, he outsourced all the IT of Trewitax, the company he helped to found in St. Gallen, to the cloud. The company’s name, Trewitax, reflects the three specialist areas of its 30 or so employees, who are spread across three Swiss locations: trust services, auditing and tax consultancy. The Trewitax group also includes three subsidiaries in neighbouring countries.
“When we moved over to the cloud, we took an important step towards digitising our work,” recalls Hermann Rothauer, “and laid the foundation for further changes.” Rothauer uses the cloud on customer visits: “I can access all the data I need, such as process models and analysis tools,” says the auditing expert. “Such flexibility was an important reason why we chose this solution.” It means Rothauer can work wherever is most convenient: at the customer’s premises, in the office in St. Gallen, or even at home. His company’s IT services need to be “flexible, simple and secure.”
IT outsourced, data protection guaranteed
Rothauer doesn’t need to worry about the company’s IT operations, which he has completely outsourced. Along with IT service provider Inconet Technology, Trewitax chose Swisscom’s Smart ICT solution, whereby Swisscom looks after all the company’s IT and communication infrastructure: from servers in the cloud to telephone equipment and even the laptop that Rothauer is now using for the customer audit.
One particular challenge that moving to the cloud created was data protection. Financial service providers have to follow strict legal guidelines when it comes to customer data. Data protection law, for example, requires data to be stored in Switzerland and kept away from foreign networks. This was, of course, a factor behind the company’s choice of outsourcing provider, explains Rothauer: “We work in a sensitive field, with highly confidential customer data. That is partly why we chose Swisscom. We rely on Swisscom’s own network and data centres in Switzerland.” Customer data in the cloud is accessed via the Swisscom network rather than the Internet, which means that all sensitive information is stored and processed only in Switzerland.
More time to advise customers thanks to digitisation
Meanwhile, the sky has cleared and the sun is warming things up nicely. Unusually, Hermann Rothauer is not in front of a screen, but going over the final details of the audit with his customer. A lot of the auditing process is still carried out by hand, so Rothauer is planning to digitise more of the work involved: “We are currently evaluating a piece of software that can help us with the auditing process.”
The accounting expert wants to increase the use of IT for routine tasks. “It would free up more time to give our customers tailor-made advice,” explains Rothauer.
When Rothauer leaves his customer’s headquarters, it is so warm that he doesn’t need his coat. He hangs it over his arm and makes his way home, where he will finish his day’s work.
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