It all started with a service marketplace and Swisscom. The pilot project called “Swisscom Friends” gained success so quickly that the concept of “on demand technical support from the neighbourhood” was implemented in 2016 as relaunch of the Mila platform. The former marketplace for services and its main investor Swisscom could build up a network of 8.000 technically-skilled persons since then. Users of Mila easily find support to solve their IT problems – without long wait and on demand within the next hour.
The model has been well received by enthusiastic customers. This can be seen in the positive customer reviews: a cumulative score of 4.7 out of 5! With the on-demand model, Mila and Swisscom are on the cutting edge of technology. In a rigid service market, this is nothing less than the beginning of a revolution.
From Marketplace to Realtime Service
The Mila Story began in 2013 with a simple question: What if there was a single marketplace where users could book a wide variety of local services? Manuel Grenacher, an enthusiastic entrepreneur from Switzerland, was sick of running around from place to place looking for people to help him put together furniture or install a printer.
He had already successfully started the software field service company Coresystems. With Coresystems solutions, large service companies can reliably and easily coordinate their offerings with the consumers. As a spinoff of Coresystems, the new Mila market was designed to help private individuals with various tasks – locally, quickly, and easily.
The same year 2013, Christian Viatte – by that time head of service and experience department at the Swiss telecommunications company Swisscom – was looking for a way to offer its customers service on-demand and learned about Mila’s tech expertise. A little while later, the Swisscom Friends were born: simple service requests like router or TV installation are distributed to local tech experts. The first Friend who accepts the order gets the job.
A New Start: Joint Venture with Swisscom
2015 was a decisive year for Mila. In the middle of the year in December that year, Christian Viatte und Manuel Grenacher agitated to win Swisscom as main investor for Mila, to form a new joint venture. In December, Mila proudly announced that Swisscom had taken a majority stake of the platform. With this joint venture, the business model has shifted to a B2B cooperation with telecom operators as well as retail and energy companies, where clients can book via Mila’s service offerings through a cloud of Friends and professional service providers. Mila 2.0 was born! Cofounder Christian Viatte came on board as the new Mila CEO, to play out the expansion plans und built a professional and strong company. Manuel Grenacher went into the Board of Directors and became president for a year. In 2017, Coresystem decides to sell its shares of Mila to Swisscom to be able to focus on new projects in Field Service Management. The Board of Directors has been taken over by Marc Werner, COO Swisscom AG.
In addition to the company’s success, Mila won various industry prizes. After becoming second in the 2015 Eco-Internet Awards, Mila got the 2015 Prix Idée d’Or, the 2015 Crowd Collaboration Award and the 2016 KVD Service Management Prize.
In Germany, Vodafone Friends as first spinoff convinced from the start. Other partners were following in no time: Conrad also relies on Mila, as well as utility giant innogy (previously known as RWE). The crowd in the entire DACH market and France currently counts more than 8,000 tech enthusiasts.