Innovation stories

Successes and failures

Whether it’s epic fails, happy failures, no-need fails or failures by following management: where innovation is concerned, success and failure go hand in hand.

Success

Success stories in the field of innovation usually don’t happen overnight, nor do they always go as planned either. As such, in this context, “success” is all about how you define it (for the record, innovation, in a business context, is defined as follows: “The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay”.) Can you say you’ve been successful once your business idea has been brought to market, or can you only talk of success when you’ve accomplished your business plan? What is certain is that innovation successes should contribute towards increasing customer benefit, meeting the customer’s needs and so to resolving current or future problems. This, in turn, safeguards the future of our company, and paves the way for future income. We have decided to include innovation success stories from all sorts of different backgrounds, and which are at different stages. We then plan on updating and redefining these on a regular basis. From PostFinance’s point of view, the focus is of course on horizon 3 of the innovation projects here. 

The following innovation projects have successfully completed the innovation process in the PFLab.

Ormera

First comes the employee idea, then open innovation with other corporates (Energie Wasser Bern, ABB), culminating in a viable business model on the energy market as a company builder. Linking new legal frameworks in the Energy Act to solutions provided by technologies, such as IoT and blockchain technology. Ormera is currently in the accelerator phase.

Tilbago 2.0

“Smart online payment collection solution (robo payment collection)”
From the needs of the debt collection market and new legal possibilities to an independent start-up with an automated, state-of-the-art debt collection platform. Winner of an award for the most exemplary partnership between a lab (corporate) and a start-up (2019).

Blockchain infrastructure

Development of a joint blockchain infrastructure and a range of products and services from Swiss Post and Swisscom. There are established cases running on this infrastructure, but it is also available for proof of concept. 

PostFinance car insurance

A “yellow” motor vehicle insurance product was developed in collaboration with the start-up TONI Digital Insurance Solutions AG.

TWINT

The original start-up set up by PostFinance is today the best-known cashless payment system for smartphones in Switzerland.

Valuu

All sorts of ideas for the real estate sector (Proptech) were tested during the innovation process before the mortgage brokering platform Valuu came into being. This platform helps people find the best financing solution for their home, regardless of time or place, and compares mortgages from various different reputable providers.

PFLab

Even PFLab itself is an innovation story in its own right. Initially set up to help launch business ideas within PostFinance itself, PFLab today represents a philosophy, a structure, a culture, a team, a process and open innovation in general within PostFinance that sets out to identify future issues, to make them tangible and to tackle them head-on.

Failures

When it comes to innovation, we tend to hear more about the failures. Yet failures are not negative side effects that must be avoided at all costs. Failing shouldn’t be about failing for the sake of it, but learning from the process. The lessons we learn can then prompt us to make changes or to stop doing things entirely, but in a short space of time and with limited resources. Regular, rapid learning provides the basis for successful innovation in future. To make sure we are continuously reminded of the lessons learnt from innovation projects that did not see the light of day, PFLab published a book containing every business idea that ended up being shelved during the innovation process over the last few years. This means other companies can also benefit from this knowledge and be encouraged to contact us with new ideas.

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