Bern -- While digital services are becoming increasingly intuitive and user-friendly, the same cannot be said of TV box installation, Internet or WLAN setup, or mobile phone configuration. Since 2016, anyone struggling with such challenges has been able to access help from Mila and its Mila Friends or Mila Professionals. This crowdsourced assistance service is provided by technically savvy individuals (Mila Friends) and local SMEs (Mila Professionals). With the backing of a group of international investors, Mila's CEO, Chris Viatte, now plans to roll out the successful Swiss model beyond Switzerland.
Swisscom's subsidiary Mila has been providing technical support to end users since 2016. The marketplace allows Amateurs and Pros to assist Swisscom customers and customers of other business partners, such as Interdiscount, Lumimart, Otto.de, Amazon.de, Brack or Bosch, with on-demand technical support. The majority of the 200,000 plus support assignments carried out to date have been in Switzerland, France, Germany and the UK.
Mila Friends and Professionals significantly reduced Swisscom's workload during the challenging phase of migrating residential customers to All-IP products and achieved high customer satisfaction. With the successful completion of the All-IP migration and the easier setup of Swisscom products, the volume of Swisscom jobs has now decreased considerably. As a result, Mila is now turning its attention to growing its business with new partners in Switzerland and abroad. In order to fully exploit these opportunities for international growth, the CEO of Mila, Chris Viatte, backed by an international group of investors, is acquiring 100% of Mila's shares from Swisscom.
This is a significant step for Mila CEO Chris Viatte: "Our experience gathered on the Swiss market and our collaboration with a market leader like Swisscom could be leverage to open new frontiers. When we originally started out, we only provided support for Swisscom. Since then, we have acquired an additional 30 customers around Europe. However, we see collaboration with international device manufacturers as the area with the most potential for growth. The backing of a professional group of investors, led by Alpana Ventures (https://alpana-ventures.ch/) from Switzerland, as well as Oriza Ventures (https://www.orizaventures.com/) and Plug and Play Ventures (https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/ventures/) from the Silicon Valley, will also undoubtedly support Mila's ambitions.".
Alexander Fries, Partner at Alpana Ventures comments: "In today's world, where each household, small retailer, hotels and restaurants have multiple Screens, POS systems, computers, IoT sensors and more, having an on-demand last mile technical support service like MILA offers, is critical to business development and customer satisfaction. The successful partnership between Mila and Swisscom will nonetheless continue, and Mila Friends and Professionals will handle installation work for Swisscom's residential customers in the future. "This is a proven model which significantly reduced our workload. Now is the right time for Mila to take its next big steps beyond Switzerland," says Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler, Chief Digital Officer at Swisscom and current Chairman of the Mila Board of Directors.
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