We had an inspirational morning at the SWISS POST headquarters, learning about innovation at SWISS POST, their Espace Lab, and Internet of Things. In the afternoon, our gold partner Zenith Technologies introduced us to their business and demonstrated their interest in us, soon to be graduates. 

Company visit at SWISS POST
We were honoured to visit the SWISS POST office in Bern Wankdorf, learning about how the SWISS POST innovates. Denise Mäder, former Focus India Project Manager introduced us to the SWISS POST. She explained the different business units and how digitalisation has impacted the SWISS POST. Similarly to other companies, it is also demanding for the SWISS POST to adapt business processes, client services, and products to digitalisation. Nonetheless, SWISS POST is well on track keeping up with the fast pace of technological development. Did you know that SWISS POST is the biggest employer of IT jobs in Switzerland?

Innovation at SWISS POST
Followed by Denise Mäder’s introduction, Khalil Bawar, Project Manager of the department Development and Innovation, introduced us to the department’s mandate. You may have heard that the SWISS POST is testing drones to transport blood from the lab to the hospital to fastly serve patients in emergency situations. The innovation department focuses on transforming the corporate culture to continuous learning and to digitally adapt business processes. While such projects can be entertaining to work on, at the end of the day it’s all being profitable.

SWISS POST applies a problem-solving approach for innovation projects. They identify similar customer needs and target solutions to those. In fact, the idea creation and prototype step take about 80% of the time, while the deployment of the technology is only 20%. Compared to Accenture’s innovation approach, SWISS POST does it similarly. Yet SWISS POST also strengthened on the importance of communication and change management to transform most effectively and reach wide acceptance. Khalil Bawar showed us the state-of-the-art Espace Lab, an idea creation space and collaboration zone to work on new business ideas in a highly inspirational environment.

Internet of Things (IoT) Workshop at SWISS POST
IoT has the potential to improve many of SWISS POST’s processes, services and products. Dominik Bögli, IoT Project Manager introduced us to some projects. One was “service on demand” within office areas that have smart buttons to inform the right facility management team of needed support. A delegation of the SWISS POST recently visited India to learn about IoT. They had interesting interactions with startups and the Indian Post office to discuss challenges and opportunities in the industry. The delegation drew the conclusion that Indians adapt flexibly to challenges, yet digital transformation is also a challenges for them. At last, it was our chance to get creative. We were given the task to improve current business services to “smarter solutions”. It was highly interesting and a hands-on experience for us. Some of the ideas that we came up with were a simplified registered letter handling system, a free parking spot app and a drone delivery service for gifts.

Zenith Technologies introduced by Simon Sauter and Bernadette Coleman
Simon Sauter and Bernadette Coleman honoured us with their presence, introducing us to Zenith Technologies, Focus India’s first-time gold partner. Zenith Technologies sets its expertise in the life science industry in biotechnology, pharmaceutical diagnostics and much more. They differentiate from other players in the smart way the delivery project. They call it virtual engineering pool, where engineers in different locations work simultaneously on the same database as in Cork, Ireland and in Pune, India. Thanks to this approach, it enables them to deliver results in a shorter time compared other players in the industry. Zenith Technologies is working with 9 out of the top 10 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies globally. Bernadette Coleman told us more about what it is like to work there. The company won the “Great place to work” award in 2018. Zenith Technologies is praised by many employees for their collaborative, informal and open-mind work culture. There’s an international graduates programme that especially life science graduates are encouraged to look at.

We enjoyed the highly collaborative and interesting visit at the SWISS POST office in Bern Wankdorf. A special thank you for the great organisation of Denise Mäder and her colleagues that made the sessions truly inspiring and engaging!