Mission: Software Assistants for Knowledge Workers
Information Factory was founded as a Spin Off of the University of St.Gallen in order to build a new generation of software assistants to optimise the information flows both on content and process level.
Our first software assistant, used for the strategic planning of a bank, was granted the "Technologiestandort Schweiz" ("Technology Location Switzerland") award. This encouraged us to continue our work.
Following customer requirements, our software assistants become web-enabled and are extended with further modules. Such as information gathering (online questionnaires), automatic data analysis and graphic representation, and new workflow modules (distribution of information, set-up of knowledge database).
We build our first software assistant at the interface to the citizens.
Being first in Switzerland, the cantonal tax declaration solution delivers the citizens of St. Gallen a software assistant which can be downloaded via the internet. The software assistant is a tax expert and supports the filling-out of the tax declaration with tax- and process knowledge. It pre-fills forms automatically and executes validity checks. Thus, it simplifies filling out the declaration while increasing the data quality, which has significant benefits for the tax authorities (due to e.g. fewer inquiries).
Today, besides the canton of St.Gallen, we count the cantons of Zug (since 2001), Schwyz (since 2002), Tessin (since 2002), Lucerne (since 2005), Basel Stadt (since 2006), Zurich (since 2012) and Appenzell Ausserrhoden (since 2017) amongst our customers in the tax realm.
As a result of new customer requirements our software assistants become multi-client capable (using roles and privileges). The architectural concept is extended to allow a hub-structure. For the first time, our solutions are being presented at the “Systems“ IT fair in Munich to a broad audience.
The hub architecture enables especially large enterprises with complex requirements to employ decentral software assistants on a unified infrastructure, as well as interconnecting them (e.g. within a knowledge database or uniform standards. The same year, our software and the “mother” of all our assistance systems is given a name: “Cont@xt”
For an insurance company, we develop a software assistant for calculating personal injury claims. By means of this solution, we change the way of how damage claims calculation is done in Switzerland. Instead of using the actuarial tables published in print, the software assistant (having integrated the expert knowledge) allows for the calculation of complex personal injury claims within a short time.
For a leading Swiss bank, we develop a software assistant to support the creation of business plans for SMEs. The assistant offers expert knowledge integrated as business rules, key data calculation and evaluations. In a step-by-step dialogue crucial data is gathered based on which a business plan is formed. The business plan assistant also performs consistency- and plausibility checks.
We develop concepts on how to use software assistants to collaborate across divisional and corporate boundaries – and especially with the client.
Due to a revision of Swiss tax law, allowing for the tax declaration to be submitted electronically, we extend our tax assistant with an eFiling module. We thus develop the first online submission solution for tax data in Switzerland. The tax declaration is transferred from the citizen to the tax office by the push of a button in a secure way without media disruption. Today, we have a 90% use rate in this canton for tax assistant solutions – and an online submissions rate of more than 50%.
For an international IT company, we develop a software assistant for the executions of certifications. In addition to the core task of "certifying", adjacent administrative processes (registration, preparation, confirmation) are supported, as well.
Our software assistants are increasingly integrated into existing infrastructures and provide the important link between different information systems or databases.
For the banking industry, we develop assistants with interfaces to the authentication and authorization systems, the CRM, task management and the core banking systems. In this way, processes / silos are digitally interconnected, thus providing access to the relevant data needed to get tasks done.
Jointly with our clients, we break the boundaries imposed by systems and organizations and develop assistants that link systems and silos. For example with an assistant for Lombard loan credit-decisions, incorporating Loan Origination, Credit Decision, Recovery, Fulfillment and Service in a continuous process. The assistant supports cooperation and information exchange, deadlines and compliance rules, escalation procedures and authorizations, monitoring and audit. It also supports a media-disruption -free process, automates the creation of contracts and the correct interfacing with adjacent systems, while ensuring the quality, consistency, completeness and traceability of the decision-relevant information.
For the collaboration within international banks, it is important to coordinate the central and local requirements in order to make the processes efficient but also effective. For Lombard loans, we develop solutions for the USA, Singapore, Hong-Kong, Australia, Spain, Italy, France, Luxembourg, Monaco and Germany.
To support a bank’s client advisors, we jointly develop web-based assistants, partially integrated with the CRM, e.g. for the preparation of client consultations or the creation of a client risk profile, as well as a consulting strategy for wealth management clients.
In help secure strategic decisions, we develop assistants for a dynamic execution of reviews including KPI measurement and identification of action points. Moreover, we develop assistants, which support permanent decentralized recording of customer fluctuation and centralized evaluation of the gathered data.
In order to shorten the processing time of credit decisions, we develop a black box that identifies and releases uncritical credit decisions based on rules and regulations. Thus, the processing time of credit decisions can be reduced from several weeks to less than one day. At the same time, the quality is improved. In addition, the highly skilled staff is used more effectively. Since the system’s introduction, the Bank's credit business has developed in an excellent manner. Income from this business today makes a substantial contribution to the Bank's overall results. The credit book has increased more than tenfold.
The same year, we build assistant systems for a large Swiss and a large German company, with which 360° feedback and employee surveys can be carried out professionally, yet autonomously without the need for consultants: Both on the Intra- or Internet, with automated reporting.
We deliver the first assistant to fill in application forms for building permits.
And an assistant supporting the sales of insurances within the context of wealth management. The workflow employed incorporated numerous compliance rules and access controls, which have to be adhered to and monitored.
For a Fintech company, we develop an assistant for the preparation of employee review meetings. It supports the assessment of employee performance and the planning of future goals. The assistant is functionally expanded in subsequent client projects during later years.
If you do something more often, it pays off at some point: For a client in wealth management we build a complex credit approval assistant from inception to go live within only 9 months. The short implementation time was a critical success factor. The system is in use all over the world and still remains the only fully integrated solution within the system landscape of this major merged-bank.
Of course, one must also tackle something new: with the FK2 technology, we invest in the future of our assistant systems used in the public administration sector. In particular, the multi-channel capabilities (new devices) and platform independency are addressed.
For our strategic business area eGovernment, we deliver a central data hub for the coordination of different submission channels with the adjacent systems in the public administration.
Our tax assistants become more user friendly and are now compatible with "new devices" such as tablets.
As in previous years, we continue to build innovative assistants for our strategic business area Finance, which improve the information-flows in banks. Such as assistant-solutions which evaluate past investments for planning new UHNW events.
In Switzerland, more than one million tax declarations have been created using our assistants - making Information Factory the market leader. We are proud of our long-lasting, trusting relations with our clients and continue to develop new multi-channel technologies.
We celebrate 20 years of Information Factory. By 20 one is in the pole position. Life is actually just starting.
We now integrate the client into the banking process and strengthen the bank's competitive position. An assistant coordinates electronic signatures decentralised. This eliminates the need for over-night processing of sending and returning documents or even a physical meeting. Loans can now be requested, decided, implemented and released within only a few minutes.
We always take the time for a personal conversation, simply tell us when and how:
Zurich office: +41 43 268 39 39
Nuremberg office: +49 911 580 588 0
Porto office: +351 221 450 560
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