PwC @ Salesforce Essential Zurich | 4 July 2017

“Forge new paths and inspire clients”


On 4 July 2017, the Salesforce Essential event, which featured the keynote speech “Forge new paths and inspire clients”, took place in Zurich. It was a whole day of speeches, discussions and breakout sessions around the keynote speech, and offered interesting insights into the digital world of Salesforce. In the Samsung Hall foyer, a Salesforce partner exhibition took place alongside the event and our PwC stand invited those interested to learn more about our capabilities and discuss hot Salesforce trends. In one of the breakout sessions, we had the opportunity to present our E2E implementation approach at Bank Vontobel.

Our “How to eat the big white elephant” breakout session gave insights into our large Salesforce transformation project at Bank Vontobel. The key factor for success was defined as slicing the project – the big white elephant – into the right pieces, supported by the right approach. Oliver Ripplinger and our client Mark Berger presented the solutions provided for a complex CRM implementation within the highly regulated banking sector. To come back to the elephant, our team used a proven agile approach paired with our own framework.

The agile approach that we presented included PwC’s BXT framework, standing for Business, Experience and Technology. Within the Business dimension, the bank’s CRM future strategy is broken down into requirements. The Experience element allows us to assess requirements in terms of customers’ and employees’ expectations and to create prototypes for quick, visible results. The technological dimension covers integration into the existing ecosystem and ensures the realization of new user experiences.

If you have not had the chance to meet us at Salesforce Essentials, then please contact us directly. We would be happy to share our Salesforce insights and expertise with you personally.


Alexander Schultz-Wirth
Partner Financial Services – Business Technology

Oliver Ripplinger
Manager Digital Strategy – Business Technology

Stefan Dobritzsch
Senior Consultant Digital Strategy – Business Technology

PwC’s Retail & Consumer Roundtable – A Success

«Digitization and Transformation of the Swiss Retail Sector»

On June 30, 2017 PwC Switzerland organised the first of a planned series of Retail & Consumer Breakfast Roundtables at the “Au Premier” in Zurich main station. In his introductory remarks Dr. Andreas Plattner, Director Transactions pointed out that against the background of constant negative press headlines on the state of the Swiss retail industry one could easily despair. Yet, the current fundamental transformation of the sector – largely driven by the fast paced digitisation of the retail value chain – does create opportunities and thus, a silver lining on the horizon.

Dr. Christoph Walser, Director Retail & Consumer Consulting, elaborated on selected highlights of the 6th PwC’s Total Retail Survey, a global consumer study with more than 24’000 respondents from five continents in 29 countries. In his presentation he explained how investment in six areas can help retailers master the challenges ahead and, thus, be better prepared for the future. The central piece of good news for most participants was that stationary retail in Switzerland is not doomed to vanish. However, the future retail store will look distinctly different.

Briefly touching on the need to define an strategy for both retailers and consumer goods manufacturers – irrespective of whether or not Amazon finally enters the Swiss market – Christoph built the bridge to the second input note. Dominic Olonetzky from PwC Digital Services (PDS) explained the evolution and growth of electronic market places both globally and in Switzerland. Revealing how various merchandise categories will be affected differently by these market places Dominic stressed the importance of a clear strategic direction. Direct-to-consumer business models and in-store digitisation, moreover, offer attractive opportunities for Swiss retailers and consumer goods manufacturers alike.

During the following open discussion participants explored in-depth some aspects of the retail transformation and continued the exchange in lively one-on-ones with the presenters after the official end of the event. Judging by the encouraging turn-out rate and positive feedback received from participants the topics presented were spot on and the PwC Retail & Consumer Roundtable a success.

Save the date: the next PwC Retail & Consumer Roundtable is scheduled for November 17, 2017 from 0730-0900.

The team

Dr. Christoph Walser
Director Retail & Consumer Consulting

MIFID2: Are you ready for the new era in record-keeping?

With the MIFID2 regulatory regime beginning on 3 January 2018, EU-based financial firms will not only face a new era of heightened record-keeping involving many more records than was previously required, but also the negative effects of new oversight, monitoring, e-discovery and forensics processes for the firm’s clients and regulators. MIFID2 recordkeeping will not just be about expanded content archival – it will deal with its implementation in a way that will help firms best execute processes in a strategic and efficient manner.

The task faced by management teams to ensure their firms are compliant with MIFID2 record-keeping may be daunting given the complexities of the directive and its regulations. We feel this task is best completed by way of an overall approach to record-keeping operations, culminating in the decision to create a firm-level “programme” that is designed to handle all the new requirements posed by MIFID2 – as opposed to ad-hoc, tactically focused processes, which ensure minimal compliance with great risk and little preparation for the processes of oversight, monitoring, e-discovery and forensics. With a strategic programme, firms will have the means to ensure record-keeping compliance and be prepared to effectively deal with the negative effects of MIFID2.

Ultimately, a robust and strategic recordkeeping programme should encompass a process of integrating content archiving into the management of line-of-business applications from the very first day of MIFID2. This process should put operational archiving best practices into place to ensure that records are archived in such a way that their state and inventory are always known – thus making oversight, searching and retrieval easier in the future.

Read the whole article

Contacts PwC:

Guenther Dobrauz
Partner|Leader PwC Legal Services Switzerland
Tel. +41 58 792 1497

Michael Taschner
Senior Manager|Legal FS Regulatory and Compliance Service
Tel. +41 58 792 1087

Philipp Rosenauer
Manager|Legal FS Regulatory and Compliance Services
Tel. +41 58 792 1856

Orkan Sahin
Senior |Legal FS Regulatory and Compliance Services
Tel. +41 58 792 1994

Contacts KSF Technologies:

Michael Imfeld
Managing Partner, Business Development

Allen Frasier
Director of Compliance

Successful robotics initiatives need the backing of agile staff who are open to change

In the past, managing change has all too often been equated with (belated) project communications and training. More recently, however, experts have concurred that digital transformation, and ultimately its success, hinges on both the organisation and the people involved. Despite this, robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives in particular still tend to focus very much on the technology, paying little heed to how the organisation is going to keep pace. But if you want to harness the full potential of transformation in terms of saving costs and upgrading the work your people do, you have to make changes affecting your business model, organisation, culture and individual people early on.

Efforts to automate always involve far more than simply streamlining processes, boosting efficiency and lowering costs. They’re also bound up with new business models and modern organisational forms – and people who find themselves confronted with fundamental changes. You have to pay special attention to the new roles people will play, the skills they’ll need to do so, and how they’re going to deal with the new technical applications that have been introduced. Other things that change include, notably, the interfaces between people and machines (which go beyond mere repetitive tasks), the way the interaction between people and machines is orchestrated, and the value-adding interfaces between people. This is also confirmed in the recent 20th Annual Global CEO Survey conducted by PwC, in which 52% of CEOs polled said they are currently looking into the benefits of human/machine interaction and the impact of artificial intelligence on future skills and competences.

These findings suggest that front-to-end automation shapes an organisation in ways that go far beyond the kind of changes we’ve seen in the past, and compel decision makers to take a comprehensive view of this type of transformation.

  1. Interfaces: It’s not just the interfaces between employees and technology (software) that change in the wake of automated processes, but those between employees and customers as well. The goal has to be for both the customer and the employee (the internal customer) to perceive human/machine interaction as something that adds value and eliminates tasks that cost time and nerves.
  2. Roles: Once the process of value generation has been completely automated, the role of humans changes fundamentally, with new tasks created and old ones eliminated or taken care of by machines. With the focus shifting to new types of customer interaction, the employees involved need new skills and areas of responsibility. It’s one thing to be relieved of certain repetitive monotonous tasks, but they also need to be able to take on new work involving a level of skill, and often also a control function, for which they don’t necessarily have the digital agility, skills and competences.
  3. Orchestration: An organisation that automates its value creation needs to skilfully orchestrate the new or redesigned interaction between people and machines and employees and (internal) customers. These touchpoints are key to the sustained success of any automation solution. In particular, when tasks are passed on – for example from an avatar to a human colleague – this has to happen smoothly so that the customer perceives the whole thing as a satisfying interplay rather than receiving the impression that they’re getting second-class service.
  4. Networks: Automation often has to be tackled on a cross-divisional basis, requiring networking skills from everyone involved. Particularly challenging is the fact that networks are increasingly merging together, meaning that sooner or later there will have to be changes in hierarchies and structures as well.

Evolution required

The majority of Swiss companies embarking on automation projects still aren’t very advanced in terms of digital organisation. Most, for example, will pick individual processes that are suitable for automation and start out by testing prototypes, even though the underlying technology for purely repetitive processes has long since reached maturity. In the process they usually neglect the enterprise-wide impact on staff and customers and their potential for helping optimise value creation, and partnerships are generally relegated to Plan B.

An RPA business case will often claim staff savings of more than 50%, but rarely will it talk about the organisational and employee-related consequences if this potential is actually to be realised.

An interesting discussion then is whether it’s easier for the organisation to follow suit if you start with processes that were originally outsourced to low-wage countries. But even if you take this view there’s no way around the necessity of defining new roles and on this basis working out what skills and competences the remaining staff will have to bring or acquire.

Look beyond silos at the whole picture

As we’ve already discussed, companies undertaking automation have to flesh out the new forms of collaboration between people, and between people and machines. But they also have to define how sharing, collaboration and the generation of new business ideas and products across departmental boundaries – in fact across entire fields of business and hierarchical levels – are to take place.

For example it’s not sufficient to try to onboard customers by simply giving them an intuitive app for data capture. You have to assess the entire process front to back and automate every step that offers the customer an unparalleled experience, boosts efficiency and effectiveness, and eliminates unnecessary costs. This means taking whole steps in the process and redesigning, simplifying or replacing them, or creating new ones. This will fundamentally change the work packages involved.

It follows that the company will have to adapt its entire workflows and organisational structures in line with the automated structures, right down to the design of functions, roles, competences and working models.

Hello bot, goodbye Joe?

Things get really interesting when artificial intelligence is involved. At this point it’s not just about executing rule-based processes more efficiently and precisely; it’s about intelligent interaction with customers, whether they’re internal or external. The result is a wide range of different dialogue and advice services. Lively interaction between humans and artificial intelligence, for example in the form of avatars, ensures that the customer is always dealing with the counterpart best able to solve their problem.

Of course the spheres of application are endless. Recently a bank announced that an avatar with an episodic memory originally used in the back office is now also to be used for direct consultations with clients. Naturally avatars of this sort can also be used in less complex situations, for example when it comes to helping people find information more easily or fill out forms correctly. In other words, why not start out by trying things with a simple issue and then move on to more complex cases?

The voice from offstage

Employees involved in an RPA or AI project, who in most cases will be affected, ask questions. “Why does our company need this when things are working better than ever?” “Should I be going along with this?” “What’s it all good for?” “Where will it all end?” “What does this mean for me personally?” “What will my job be like in the future?” “Will they even need me?” Companies have to have clear answers to these questions. Management has to explain clearly and confidently the company’s vision, strategy and business model so that people can understand and grasp the efforts to automate and what they mean in concrete terms for the organisation and each individual person. Only if management demonstrably provides a clear road map of a shared journey into the digital future, allows the organisation to accommodate the changes, and gives staff the chance to change track, will automation efforts bear the desired fruit.

In a nutshell

Digitisation, RPA and IA projects free up vast financial and human resources. Companies have to make sure they not only address transformations of this sort at the technical level, but assess the organisational and human consequences and redesign accordingly. They can stand out by making sure their automation efforts revolve around the anticipated (internal and external) customer experiences, give social skills and networking high priority, and introduce intelligent machines as ‘equal’ colleagues. Last but not least, it’s important to ensure staff have support and guidance when it comes to relinquishing administrative work in favour of tasks that, thanks to their skill and judgement, they can perform better than machines.


Dr. Milena Danielsen
Director Advisory
Tel. +41 58 792 4447

Juliane Welz
Assistant Manager
Tel. +41 58 792 1913

Reimagining the electric utility: Operational excellence in a digital world

More than 60 senior executives and experts from 16 different countries and four continents gathered in May 2017 in Rome, Italy for PwC’s roundtable on delivering operational excellence in a digital world.

“The utility sector is at a historic inflection point in its technological evolution”, observed Norbert Schwieters, PwC’s Global Power & Utilities Leader. Introducing the roundtable event, he pointed out: “The range of business models is expanding with corresponding implications for business alignment, core capabilities and profitability. This new business environment means operational excellence is more important than ever. It must serve a new set of business demands and provide a new set of business capabilities.”

Key messages of the discussion paper

    • Digital business strategy and delivery: The digital promise for utility companies is immense. As David Etheridge, Global Power & Utilities Advisory Leader, PwC US, explained: “It’s a world where companies can say ‘I know what I need to do and I know it real-time’. They’re able to reach out with 360 degree vision and make the best choices available without the impediment of estimation risk, prediction risk and without the impediment of ‘less than the best’ information.” But getting to that point is difficult: “If you get it wrong, you can be disappointed by the results. Do it right and you get to realise the potential of technologies such as machine learning, robotics, drones, additives and blockchain.”
    • Moving to a new level: digital platforms and blockchain:  Developments such as digital platforms and blockchain are becoming very real for many power utility companies. The power of platform communities and marketplaces has been evident for some time in the consumer internet. For industrial companies and sectors such as power utilities the potential is perhaps even greater with the opportunity that arises to create digital networks capable of transforming both operational efficiencies and market possibilities.
    • Addressing operational challenges: A range of major issues affects the daily life of utilities – from workforce demographics, commodities prices and infrastructure integrity to tariff reviews, grid modernisation and new types of competition. Regulation plays a huge role and the way companies work is strongly influenced by both their regulatory and historical contexts. This is the reality against which technological and digital transformation is being played out.


Download full discussion paper



Marc Schmidli
Advisory Partner
Tel. +41 58 792 1564

Jens Bartenschlager
Advisory Director
Tel. +41 58 792 1693

“2016 Chief Digital Officer” study – digital responsibility is growing

In its latest “2016 Chief Digital Officer” study, Strategy& investigates who is responsible for overseeing digitization within companies. The findings show that a third of Swiss management bodies delegate this task to a Chief Digital Officer (CDO), particularly in the financial industry. The profiles of CDOs vary – but not their role.

The aim of the “2016 Chief Digital Officer” study conducted by Strategy& is to establish who is in charge of the digital transformation in the 2,500 largest listed companies in the world (including 49 in Switzerland). The term CDO refers to senior executives entrusted with the digitization strategy of their company. The evaluation clearly shows that: The Chief Digital Officer is taking the C-suite by storm. Whereas in 2015, 6% of study participants employed a CDO; in 2016 the number had already risen to 19%. 60% of the CDOs questioned were appointed between 2015 and 2016. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) have the highest CDO density in the world, and the strongest growth (+30%) in the role. Switzerland is ranked fifth in Europe with 33%.

The Swiss financial services industry has clearly recognized the signs of the times, and is deploying the relevant management skills to ensure the consistent implementation of a digital strategy. The financial sector has the highest proportion of CDOs in Switzerland: insurance companies lead the way with 67%, followed by banks with 50%. They are digitizing not only their customer activities, but also their internal processes.

There is no typical CDO. Half of Swiss CDOs are members of the Board of Directors, 38% have individual titles such as “Head of Digital”, 6% hold the position of Vice President, and 6% are Directors. Almost two thirds were recruited from within the company. Only 13% of CDOs are currently female. 38% of CDOs held a previous function in marketing, sales or customer service. A third come with technical baggage, while a quarter have a background in consulting, strategy or business development. The importance of technical experience has increased. In 2016, 32% of CDOs originated from the technical sector. This represents more than twice as many as the previous year.

Find out more


Dr. Daniel Diemers
Partner Financial Services, Strategy&, Schweiz
+41 58 792 3190

PwC’s CIO Roundtable 2017 – Master Data and other challenges

Thursday, 22.06.2017
18:00 – 19:00 hours
PwC Zurich
Birchstrasse 160, 8050 Zurich

About the event

Effective master data management is a key factor to success. Most companies are going through substantial transformation projects – either to become more effective or to open new business fields. What do have all these transformation projects in common? The difficulty of handling master data effectively and efficiently – knowing that master data is representing one of the basic pillars in companies’ information landscape. The way you build the governance, processes, tools and skills around this data is crucial and can speed up your transformation projects, or kill them instantly.

Do you want to find out more about challenges, issues and best practices ideas? Come and join us when we dive into the most relevant implications of master data management.

Registration Link

Contact Us

Alexej Freund
Senior Manager – Advisory Consulting
PwC Switzerland
Tel. +41 58 792 2754

Rejhan Fazlic
Manager – CIO Advisory
PwC Switzerland
Tel. +41 58 792 1148

The Future of Wealth Management

PwC’s 4th FS-Talk

Wealth managers are challenged by shifting client segments and disruptive technologies PwC experts discuss the key success factors for wealth managers today. Private client re-segmentation makes value-added services more important. Demands on relationship managers are increasing. Operations are under pressure to deliver higher efficiency. Listen in for pointers of where the challenges are and which technologies provide opportunities to gain a competitive edge.

Watch the latest video of our FS-Talk:

Get in contact with the speakers:

Dieter Wirth
Partner / Financial Service Leader
+41 58 792 4488

Marcel Tschanz
Partner Advisory
+41 58 792 2087

Marcel Widrig
Partner / Private Wealth Leader
+41 58 792 4450

Are public projects doomed to failure from the start? – Transformation Assurance

Public projects have a bad reputation. Is it deserved, or more a matter of expectations and the way success and failure are defined? In this critical review we take a close look at what makes public-sector IT and transformation projects different from those in other areas, the specific challenges they face, and tried-and-tested approaches to making them a success. Read more…


Marc Lahmann
Director and Leader Transformation Assurance
+41 58 792 27 99

Digital IQ: focus on the human experience and technology integration

This is the tenth year running we’ve conducted PwC’s Global Digital IQ® Survey. The findings are sobering: enterprises all over the world are struggling to unlock the desired value. In most cases they’re overlooking fundamental integration of technology with the human experience of customers and employees. Compared with previous years there has been a decline in corporate digital IQ.

For the last ten years we and our colleagues at PwC all over the world have been polling the digital intelligence quotient of enterprises. For the 2017 edition, from September to November 2016 we asked more than 2,200 executives in 53 countries about digitisation trends and their impact on their organisation. In Switzerland 53 people took part, most of them chief information officers (CIOs) or heads of IT.

What makes a champion?

The so-called top performers, in other words organisations with sales and margin growth of more than 5%, consider the definition of ‘digital’ to be broader. They’re engaged in far-sighted, customer-oriented technology activities that go beyond mere digital technology to take in other aspects of business. When these companies run digital projects they involve cross-disciplinary teams with representatives from various fields of expertise and technology to revolutionize the human experience (employee & customer experience). They also use agile methods for the majority of projects, even those not involving software development.

Where do Swiss companies stand out?

Executives at Swiss companies rate the digital IQ of their CIO by international standards higher than their counterparts abroad (89% in Switzerland versus 83% worldwide). But the figure for CEOs is lower than the global average (54% versus 62%).

When it comes to innovativeness, Swiss companies do less well by international standards, with only 54% systematically venturing to take on new technologies (versus 76% in other countries). Swiss organisations take a different approach to exploring new technologies than their counterparts abroad, and are more likely to join forces with other industry leaders or technology vendors.

What determines digital success?

Digital initiatives are successful when aligned with a digital strategy that’s clear and understandable for all the stakeholders involved and that brings about changes in corporate culture. Transformation always has to take account of the perspectives of employees and partners such as suppliers and customers.

Digitally ambitious enterprises are able to draw together different aspects to enable harmonious, value-adding transformation. By integrating the business, the customer and employee experience, and the relevant technologies, they’re able to achieve lasting competitive advantage.

Want to know more about our study? You’ll find a summary of the Swiss findings here. You can also download the international edition of the Global Digital IQ® Survey:

Global Digital IQ Survey


Christoph Müller
Senior Manager, CIO Advisory
+41 58 792 27 86

Axel Timm
Partner, Business Technology
+41 58 792 27 22

Holger Greif
Partner, Advisory
+41 58 792 13 86