“We are always challenging and
pushing one another forward”
– Damian Schärli, CEO of jls
We are proud to partner with jls, a full-service digital agency and one of the leading agencies in Switzerland. Renowned for their expertise in conceiving, developing, and operating the digital ecosystem for the customer journey, jls has established itself as an industry leader. They collaborate with popular brands like Denner, Migros, Swisscom, and UBS. Founded in 2001, with over 100 employees and three offices, jls continues to excel in the industry.
What is at the heart of jls’s mission?
Across all departments, we share a common goal: to connect brands with people. It’s what drives us at jls. Our portfolio covers a wide spectrum of digitalisation, empowering brands to connect with their customers. As a customer journey ecosystem provider, we create various touchpoints for customers to interact with the brand.
The partnership with Dise goes way back. How far?
The collaboration started 20 years ago, long before my time. Over the years, there have been some corporate mergers, but thanks to good relationships, the partnership has always lasted.
What has made the partnership last for so many years?
Personal relationships and know-how from both parties form the foundation of our partnership. It has been crucial for us that our partner invests time in our business to understand how we work with our customers. At its core, our collaboration aims to enhance our customers’ capabilities.
To be honest, technology is just a tool; what really matters is how it is used to create outstanding customer experiences and ensure their long-term viability. jls’ expertise in user-centred design and the fact that we always put our customer in the focus, whilst Dise brings technical expertise to the table, is a successful combination. We are always challenging and pushing one another forward.
Can you share any success stories from the partnership?
Externally, we won a major deal with the retail chain Volg this year, showcasing the excellent synergy of our partnership. Dise demonstrated the platform’s functionality and capabilities, and as a full-service provider, jls highlighted the digital customer journey. In 2022, we implemented a System on Chip (SoC) solution for the new Swisscom Shop concept. Each customer zone integrates digital touchpoints, with more than 20 in each store, enhancing inspiration, service efficiency, and customized product presentations. We take pride in the system’s excellent performance, featuring over 3,000 touchpoints.
Internally, we have achieved three significant milestones:
- As every customer has unique needs, there is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution. We have a shared understanding of effectively setting up systems for new clients so that we can minimise adjustments over several years and ensure the sustainability of our work.
- The integration of companies in Dise’s merger history requires dealing with different IXM platforms. Thanks to the Partner Success Team at Dise we are currently in the process of successfully updating to the latest version.
- Opening the platform’s ecosystem has enabled us to develop templates and introduce new experiences with our own development team.
Loeb, a historic department store since 1881, modernized its Bern and Biel locations with a significant investment in digital communication.
What is important for your customers right now?
The need for having different providers for example digital signage, websites, mobile apps, and e-commerce has changed. We see a great interest among store owners in creating an ecosystem built around an ecosystem instead of island solutions. By developing this ecosystem, store managers can ensure seamless communication and interaction between various software applications and hardware components, leading to a more integrated and interconnected in-store experience.
How does the Dise platform align with your overall platform strategy?
The platform serves as an enabler for experience solutions, which is why we are always pushing the boundaries of what the platform can achieve. Crucial for us are the key elements of ‘core digital signage functionalities’ and ‘seamless integration between software and hardware’.
- Customization Complexity: One of the ongoing challenges has been the diverse needs of our customers. As each customer is unique, it is often a complex task to create solutions that align perfectly with their specific requirements. This challenge has taught us the importance of flexibility and adaptability, pushing us to design systems that minimize the need for constant adjustments, ensuring the long-term sustainability of our work.
- Plug-and-play System: Starting with the platform, it must be secure, reliable, scalable, and highly configurable. Development needs to be fast and tailored to our customers’ needs. In a customer journey ecosystem, the platform must be easy to extend, using various APIs and third-party sources. The system also needs to be ‘plug-and-play’, ensuring effortless setup and operation.
- Aligning software with hardware: The second part of our strategy focuses on aligning software with hardware. Our platform provider must possess a deep understanding of how the software integrates with the hardware. In Switzerland, where sending people to customers is expensive, the platform system and hardware must be remotely managed to the greatest extent possible. Having the hardware closely connected to the software is an advantage for us in the future.
What trends do you see coming?
Obviously, AI will challenge providers like us to rethink how we adapt. For instance, how can we leverage AI to optimise content playlists? AI can help us optimise playouts based on various factors and reduce the efforts of certain scheduling mechanisms. Moreover, combined with information about audience behaviour we can use this technology to further optimise the playout logic.
What will be necessary to excel as a customer journey ecosystem provider?
Speed! For the next couple of years speed is one of the key factors. We need to move fast. What is coming next? How can we enable it in the platform and in our services as an agency? The roadmap must be moving forward in the direction of future possibilities. Additionally, our solutions will become more complex to adapt to these changes.
jls won several awards at Best of Swiss Apps 2023