Swissdec history or “From the cradle to the grave, nothing but forms, forms!”

Digitisation in the exchange of information in the public authority environment should above all save time and money. But it is not just about converting paper forms into PDFs. Process integration without media discontinuity is crucial. Already at the beginning of the noughties, the first discussions were held on the problems in the exchange of information between Swiss companies and insurers & authorities (V&B). Essentially, costs and time were to be saved in “official traffic”. During this time, the World Wide Web really took off and everyone also saw enormous potential here for modernising official traffic. Two approaches were often discussed in these digitisation concepts. Many saw simple “web pages, web forms with data upload” as the best way. The following problems often arise in the process:

  • Media discontinuity, i.e. the almost identical data must be entered manually for each V&B.
  • Data upload should solve this problem. However, this upload is very limited, i.e. it can only be used unidirectionally (Up) and is only useful for large amounts of data.
  • The companies must construct individual accesses, possibly role concepts, data and processes for each V&B (self-administration).

The initiators of Swissdec did not want to digitise a “carriage design” (Konrad Lorenz) or only the “pulp” (paper to pdf). They already saw another way at that time. Only a comprehensive digitisation of the entire process between the company and V&B would bring long-term benefits. This approach gave rise to the first requirements and solutions for Swissdec:

  • Most companies already manage their data in digital form. ERP systems (Enterprise Resource Planning) are used for this purpose, which support all business processes running in a company.
  • In Switzerland, this ERP market is made up of more than 100 manufacturers. These ERP systems provide the source for the processes and their data. At the same time, they are also the “multiplier” for changes in Swiss companies.
  • The process with its many data and complex procedures must be improved. Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication enables all participants to optimise their own private processes.
  • This M2M communication is standardised together, thereby reducing the complexity for implementation.
  • A distributor mediates between the company and V&B. For reasons of data protection and costs, no company or personal data may be stored on the distributor!
  • The technical interfaces required for this should use public and proven standards as far as possible (e.g. W3C ).

Example: Performance Standard-CH (KLE): from performance claim to performance delivery

A description of the future Swissdec enterprise authentication will follow in another article.

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AUTHOR: Anton Boehm

Anton Böhm is the owner of itServe AG and heads Swissdec's technology department.

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