"Not everything is as simple as the HomepageTool from Swisscom Fixnet AG !"
This advertising slogan, heard in numerous radio commercials in Switzerland, pokes fun at complicated assembly instructions like hooking up your DVD player or VCR to your TV. The largest Swiss Internet service provider (ISP), Swisscom Fixnet AG, is using the HomepageTool software as a means to draw new customers to its hosting products and increase its sales. The power behind the HomepageTool is the CM4all WebsiteCreator produced by the Cologne firm CM-AG.
Swisscom Fixnet AG: Switzerland's number one Internet provider
The Swiss company Swisscom Fixnet AG is a fully-owned subsidiary of Swisscom AG with its headquarters in Zurich. For more than 6 years, Swisscom Fixnet AG has been providing comprehensive Internet services for private and small/home office customers (SOHO) as well as for small and medium-sized businesses.
These services include standard solutions such as hosting (HostCenter) as well as overall solutions that incorporate consulting, access, e-Commerce solutions, Web design, banner advertising and support.
Finding the right match to meet market needs
Swisscom Fixnet AG first became aware of the Cologne firm Content Management AG (CM-AG) in February 2001, during the Internet Expo in Zurich. At that time, Swisscom Fixnet AG was searching for a software solution that could be bundled with the company‘s hosting products and increase their turnover as well as expand their product base.
Jürgen Ziehfreund, Head of Application Services and HostCenter at Swisscom Fixnet AG tells us why he chose to bundle the CM4all Websitecreator with his hosting products:
„We evaluated various solutions throughout the international market - including professional content management systems - that we hoped would allow our clients to create and manage their own homepages in our HostCenter. We decided in favour of CM4all WebsiteCreator, since this system generates professional and high-quality results with a high degree of user-friendliness. Especially for those PC users with absolutely no programming skills. The upgrading options make the system scalable for our customers, as the application can grow along with the business.”
The intention was to create an individual solution for the Swiss market based on the CM4all WebsiteCreator. The new Swisscom Fixnet AG HomepageTool includes both a Web module component and a customer center to assist users in the independent administration and management of their CM4all services.
Professional project management
In April 2002, CM-AG began implementing this concept. First, a new user interface needed to be defined for the software.
In a strong cooperative effort between the Swisscom Fixnet AG project team and the screen designers from CM-AG, a CI-conformant layout was developed that was closely related to the color palette and design of the Swisscom Fixnet AG homepage.
In addition, a template database was developed and configured to contain the appropriate design recommendations for various industries represented among the future users of the HomepageTool. The open design of the system‘s interfaces proved to be ideal here.
„In this way, we were able to tailor our system exactly to our partners‘ technical infrastructure - and not the other way around,” explains Cornel Schnietz, CTO of CM-AG The CM4all server software was installed into Swisscom Fixnet AG´s data center and is serviced by CM-AG via remote access.
A customer center with a link to SAP
Once the German version of the HomepageTool was installed, the next step was the implementation of the specified customer center.
This center administers client and project data and allows customers to view and manage their data independently. Every Swisscom Fixnet AG HostCenter client receives access to the HomepageTool along with his or her hosting package and can then decide whether to use the basic configuration (included in the hosting fee) or to modify the system to suit his or her needs through upgrades at extra charge.
For the automatic generation of invoices, CM-AG has linked the customer center to Swisscom Fixnet AG´s SAP billing system, allowing for the exchange of applicable customer data. The customer center not only allows the client to view his or her order information at any time, but also to update or change it.
„In this way, Swisscom Fixnet AG also reduces administrative costs,” explains Isabella Kosch, Product Group Manager for ASP-Products at Swisscom Fixnet AG, enthusiastically.
As a further component of the CM4all customer center, an administration system was also installed for internal Swisscom Fixnet AG usage for the management of customer accounts.
Launch of CM4all software boosted through elaborate advertising activities!
The German-language version of the solution was presented for the first time at the Orbit/Comdex in Basle in September 2002.
For this occasion, Swisscom Fixnet AG came up with a special attraction for its exhibition stand: Five times each day, a well-known radio and television host created a professional homepage for one of the visitors present, live on the air, in a matter of minutes. The lucky winners will be able to operate these homepages free of charge for one year - including the necessary Web space - and maintain and edit them further by using the HomepageTool.
The introduction of the Swisscom Fixnet AG HomepageTool in Switzerland was accompanied by extensive advertising activities. In addition to several radio ads, detailed brochures and flyers were produced, and large-scale advertisements were placed in the most important print media. The campaign was also supported by extensive online marketing. Among those responsible for the very humorous and appealing campaign was the highly regarded agency Jung von Matt.
Swisscom Fixnet AG Area Manager Ziehfreund had this to say about the campaign: „We managed not only to present our technical products in an appealing way, but at the same time to make them understandable and usable for everyone. The customer feedback we have received up to now has been very positive.”
The French-language version of the Swisscom Fixnet AG HomepageTool was launched in December 2002.
Success thanks to HomepageTool with optional extras
Since its initial launch, the range of functions offered by the Swisscom Fixnet AG homepage tool has been enhanced several times.
In addition to new design templates, extra features such as the forum, route planner and online voting have been integrated. Swisscom Fixnet AG also offers e-commerce functionalities for websites.
In order to integrate these helpful features into their websites, Swisscom Fixnet AG customers can order an enhancement of their HomepageTool at extra charge.
Swisscom Fixnet AG offers four different HomepageTool extra packages that are especially interesting for business customers. Depending on the desired number of pages and required range of services, the customer is free to decide which extra package he or she can order in addition to the regular hosting package and the basic HomepageTool configuration (creation and maintenance of 8 web pages maximum). Thanks to the advanced CM4all technology, Swisscom Fixnet AG is continuously adding new users to its customer base while making the hosting division more profitable.
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