Netcetera: On the Way to productize

Over the last 17 years IT service provider Netcetera has grown organically to 350 employees. Now the company increasingly shifts from custom software development to standardized products, with an eye for the international market. Read the article from «swiss made software – the book», which puts a spotlight on Switzerland as a location for IT development.

When asked about his sabbatical in Silicon Valley, Netcetera CEO Andrej Vckovski said it had been nice to be in a place where IT professionals are not regarded as weirdos. A slight exaggeration perhaps, but if the Swiss software scene has gained in glamour, companies like Netcetera certainly contributed.

The company was among those that helped to bring about Jazoon. The international developer conference in Zurich whose program has by now gathered some international renown. Another example is their Bay Areaesque techie culture as lived at their HQ in Zürich. Its restaurant provides space for regular debates, and employees are pooled together for working projects. Teams are put together flexibly for each project. This flexibility extends to the workspace. Employees have an annual work-hours total that can also be met from a home office or shared desks.

Portfolio expansion

Netcetera also introduced an employee share plan early on. Employees can participate directly in the company’s success. About one third of the workforce of 350 joined the plan. Yet, this broad shareholder base never prevented Netcetera from taking the right strategic decisions. For example, the company responded to the lack of qualified IT personnel as early as 2001 by establishing a branch in Skopje, Macedonia, and they set up a branch in the export market Dubai in 2006.

Over the last few years, Netcetera's offer portfolio has expanded strongly. They remain a software boutique providing customized solutions for clients like Credit Suisse, UBS, SBB and SIX Group. But their strategy of turning solutions from the service branch into easily adaptable products that can be individually marketed has gained in importance. These products include Mobile Banking, the financial consulting software Target, the regional transport data platform Wemlin or 3-D-Secure solutions to combat credit card fraud. Other examples include the government sector with ePolice, IT platform for police offices and eVisit in the health sector.

The majority of products still have their origin in the company's service business, and Netcetera keeps an eye out for elements that can be turned into new products. Netcetera then secures the necessary rights and draws up a mutually beneficial financial agreement for product development. This approach was tested, for example, with the Swiss railway corporation SBB. Netcetera is now entitled to license the rail timetable construction solution NeTS. Netcetera now has similar ambitions for its most recent product, Mobile Banking App. A product developed for the bank software manufacturer Finnova. With this solution Netcetera is Switzerland’s uncontested market leader for mobile banking solutions.

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