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Swisscom: From Telco to Business Platform with APIs

Apr 13, 2016

Swisscom can safely claim as customers nearly all of the 8.1 million people living in the country, according to the telecom service company's head of product management Frank Fitzlaff. 

But the top provider of mobile, fixed-line, and internet access networks in Switzerland is looking to provide a variety of services well-beyond the telephony market, and is employing APIs to do so, he added. For example, APIs have enabled the company to operate a variety of core banking infrastructure applications (Swisscom offers a white label mobile payment app, digital identification and sign-on capabilities, and more).

Where this “is becoming interesting,” Fitzlaff said, is the push to combine financial services capabilities with more traditional telco services, such as locational services, to create whole new experiences for customers.

Innovations like these—powered by APIs—have helped Swisscom transform itself into a platform and expand its revenue streams beyond voice and messaging. 

Having traveled so far on Swisscom’s digital journey, Fitzlaff has good advice for other companies starting out with APIs.

“Be ready for suprises, be flexible,” he said. “Just get stuff done. Don’t talk too much; don’t plan too much. If it doesn’t work, then change.”

Swisscom chose Apigee as its API management platform provider because of its leadership position in the market, Fitzlaff said, but he was pleasantly surprised by the amount of best practices and industry insight we provided as well.

“One of the great deliverables of Apigee is getting the industry together—not just pushing their technology,” Fitzlaff said. “They are much more of a companion."

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