“With Starmind we’ve made knowledge accessible to everybody. With a truly open-book culture we can explore new, more innovative ways of working, improve the employee experience, and make the business
Known as one of the country’s most innovative and sustainable companies, Swisscom is the leading provider of communication, IT, and entertainment services in Switzerland.
With almost 20,000 employees, it’s one of the largest employers in the country, and has an ambition to create a collaborative, modern culture for everyone that works there; a culture that makes it easy for people to access the tacit knowledge they need to work more efficiently.
In 2014, Swisscom kick-started a ‘Work Smart’ initiative with these aims in mind. The goal was to use state-of-the-art technology to break down internal silos, provide fast access to strategic knowledge, and help new employees get up to speed with the products, services, and internal systems they needed to understand for their day-to-day work.
“Starmind has provided an excellent opportunity for us to foster
For years, Swisscom has been implementing technology to help fulfill its vision of an open-book culture, but it was missing a vital piece of the puzzle – something to unite its technology investments with the people that would use them.
As part of a solution, Swisscom created a company-wide tacit knowledge platform powered by Starmind, known internally as ‘Ask the Brain’.
The Starmind solution currently provides in the last years over 38,000 unique answers since 2013 for Swisscom employees – on anything from new products and deals to internal processes and IT support. It also constantly works to capture new information and contextualize data. And if there isn’t an answer to a question readily available, it is directed to the expert most capable of providing one.
Starmind integrations with SharePoint, bots, and employee communications apps ensure this information can be shared freely and easily across the organization. And each employee also gets a customized news feed, providing the latest intelligence about the products, services, deals, and developments most relevant to their role.
The Starmind solution has played a big part in helping Swisscom adapt to a new way of working during COVID-19. Knowing that important up-to-date information is available to employees at any time, decreasing the steps it takes to access it, and encouraging people to work together at a time when they are kept apart has had a huge impact on organizational efficiency at a difficult time.
Today, every Swisscom employee has access to Starmind, and most have used it – for a variety of purposes. Since its launch, the solution has seen over 5 million question views and almost 40,000 answers, resulting in more than CHF 3 million per year saved through improved productivity measured in 2019.
The knowledge base has proven particularly useful for new employees. New joiners are given instant access to all the information they need when starting a role, as well as a step-by-step guide to getting their work computer up and running. This saves the IT department valuable time that can be spent on more urgent issues, and also gives employees the opportunity to manage their own learning and onboarding – bringing them up to speed more quickly.
This isn’t the only way Swisscom’s IT department has benefited. The company also used Starmind to streamline its migration to Office 365 in 2019, forgoing standard support channels for a Teams channel with Starmind integration. The result was that no significant IT support tickets were raised during the hot phase of the migration – a remarkable accomplishment in a company so large.
The sharing of product information has also benefited from the introduction of Starmind; something that’s crucial in a large company offering so many different services. During the recent product launch for inOne, Swisscom uploaded all its internal FAQs to the knowledge base. This allowed employees to familiarize themselves with the details of the all-in-one bundle, without having to rely on the assistance of their colleagues or sift through PDFs. The result was a much smoother and more efficient launch and, importantly, a direct feedback channel to the product managers and owners, who were able to see how staff used their FAQs, and where they needed to improve in the future.
Swisscom’s success with Starmind has led it to make plans for the solution over the next five years. Going forward, it intends to map knowledge and know-how across the entire organization, helping employees and departments to harness existing skills and develop new capabilities in an efficient and data-driven manner.