The goal of our «Live Cases» is to apply learned knowledge to a complex, real-life challenge. During a semester, our students work in teams on problems we develop together with our partners. The proposed solutions are presented by the teams in a final presentation to our practice partners.
Current Live Cases
Bebop Robotics AG - Service robots in the restaurant industry
As the first «Robotic Resource Management Agency», the Bern-based start-up Bebop Robotics AG supports companies in selecting, training and developing the robot best suited to their needs as a new team member. This includes consulting, sales and logistics, commissioning, training, maintenance and, if necessary, integration into existing systems.
How are robots accepted as «service staff» in the restaurant industry? In the Entrepreneurial Marketing module, five student teams investigated how guests, owners and service staff of restaurants react when their food is served by a robot from the start-up Bebop Robotics.
The results of the group work show a mixed picture: restaurant owners recognise the potential value of such robots against the background of the shortage of skilled workers, but the young technology limits the possible applications. Many customers react with curiosity, even if the use of robots noticeably changes the atmosphere in a restaurant. However, as is usual for radical innovations, there are also considerable barriers to acceptance, especially on the part of the service staff. In order to optimally relieve the staff, the robot must be integrated into the team and the processes adapted to the new team member.
Philippe Hegi, Founder and Board of Directors, Bebop Robotics AG
«These have been very exciting and instructive months for us. Thanks to BFH Business School, Bebop Robotics AG has taken another good step forward.»
Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) - Concept for a digital platform
The mission of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) is to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources including soil, water, air, quietness and forests. It is responsible for the protection against natural hazards, safeguarding the environment and human health against excessive impacts, and conserving biodiversity and landscape quality. It is also responsible for international environmental policy.
A digital platform is to be created to facilitate the work and tasks of the FOEN through the interplay of sustainability and digitalisation. Seven teams of students from the Master's programme in Digital Business Administration created a concept for this. They were closely supervised by the live case partners and lecturers. The concepts had to be strategically and cul
In the presentations, the developed concepts were presented and the MVP was demonstrated. This provided the live case partner with important information on what the final digital platform could look like.
Markus Böhm, Research Associate FOEN:
«The BFH students identified with the challenge from the environmental sector and delivered a lot of ideas during the presentations, which will help us at the FOEN. I would like to express my sincere thanks for the pleasant collaboration and the valuable inputs!»
Alumni BFH - Alumni in the digital age
Alumni in the digital age! Together with Alumni BFH, four teams of the MSc Digital Business Administration developed a concept that should correspond to the digital age. The aim was to cover strategic, cultural and technical aspects and to show the Alumni BFH umbrella organisation the next steps and possibilities.
Among other things, the teams presented a possible transformation roadmap and a proof-of-concept of their technical solution for the alumni concept in the digital age. The introduction of an app was also discussed.
National Cyber Security Centre - Platform for cyber risks
About the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is the Confederation's competence centre for cybersecurity and thus the first contact point for businesses, public administrations, educational institutions and the general public for cyberissues. It is responsible for the coordinated implementation of the 2018–2022 national strategy for the protection of Switzerland against cyber-risks (NCS).
Three teams of MSc Digital Business Administration students worked with the NCSC to develop a business model centred on the provision of a cyber security platform. The teams faced strategic, cultural and technical issues to master the case.
The final presentations were able to provide the NCSC with important advice and recommendations for operating a cyber risk platform.
Daniel Seiler, IT Project Manager Cyber Security
«The teams came up with creative solutions to the underlying challenge. In the presentations, possible concepts of the desired platform were presented and the envisioned functionalities were described. The live case showed us exciting hints and new perspectives and is therefore highly recommended. We thank the students and the BFH Business School for the pleasant cooperation!»
ProofX/Inacata - ESG compliance across the supply chain
ProofX is a start-up / venture of the Inacta Group. ProofX aims to offer a digital product passport, i.e. an end-to-end, seamless product- and customer-specific emissions recording along the supply chain. ProofX aims to enable all parties involved to make more qualified decisions based on transparent, comparable data.
A team of students from the MSc Digital Business Administration worked together with ProofX to develop a standard for measuring emissions and a platform that makes this possible. To accomplish the challenge, the team had to address strategic, cultural and technical issues.
The team was able to provide the live case partner with important inputs and ideas. In addition, a prototype of the platform was already presented, which showed how the emissions recording could look.
System Engineering Corti - Bean sorting machine
The company System Engineering Corti supports and realises digital projects. In collaboration with Taylor Engineering, the company has developed a prototype for a bean sorting machine. The machine is equipped with a vision system that uses an AI-supported algorithm to detect and sort the finest differences between a good and a bad bean. With an additional training algorithm, it is also possible to recognise other objects.
Five MSc Digital Business Administration students analysed the Swiss market to find a niche for the bean machine. Among other things, interviews were conducted with Swiss vegetable farmers.
In addition to a successful market analysis, a solution was developed which allows customers to load the sorting programmes directly onto the machine online. A considerable added value was created by the possibility of training specific bean varieties oneself and making the resulting programme available online.
Steve Corti, Owner
«The collaboration with the students of the BFH was very exciting and professional. Thank you to the students and the Bern University of Applied Sciences for the good cooperation..»
Valiant - Instant Payment
From August 2024, the largest Swiss banks must be able to process instant payments. Valiant aims to provide its customers with a good and simple solution. Students of the Master Digital Business Administration were given the challenge to develop certain application areas of instant payments.
The six teams presented various use cases in which instant payment may be used in the future. These included the use of instant payment in connection with insurance solutions or to promote trust on second-hand platforms. The results showed how diverse the use of instant payment can be.
Saskia Touw, Product management specialist at Valiant
«Valiant is very satisfied with the students’ results. The live case offered Valiant external perspectives and assessments. The students considered various possible use cases and came up with interesting ideas that will allow Valiant to improve its strategic positioning»
W. Schneider + Co. AG - The right light at the right time
Three student teams of the Master Digital Business Administration explored the future housing model in the digital age trying to identify potential niches for W. Schneider + Co. AG.
In the final presentations, the teams presented different scenarios of living in the digital age and gave detailed recommendations on focus areas for the company.
Martin Holenweg, CEO, W. Schneider + Co. AG
«We were very pleased with the cooperation with the students and it fully met our expectations. The three teams have developed detailed solution proposals that fit our business model. We would like to thank them very much for the opportunity of this live case.»
Past Live Cases
asa, Abraxas und Astra - «Swiss Digital Driving License»
The current method of obtaining a Swiss driving licence is paper-intensive, drawn out and invariably requires physical presence. The Association of Road Traffic Licensing Departments (asa), Abraxas and the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) are therefore interested in digitalising and thereby simplifying all of the steps involved in the «life cycle» of a driving licence.
MSc Digital Business Administration students developed a range of different approaches aimed at achieving the vision of a «Swiss Digital Driving Licence». They developed data management concepts, potential processes for future use and initial prototype platforms. They also reflected on the consequences of far-reaching digitalisation for current employees and their job profiles. In January 2021, the students outlined their findings in virtual final presentations.
Andreas Vetsch, Chairman asa
«Along with our partners at Abraxas and FEDRO, we all think that the students were extremely good at identifying the different challenges and developed some interesting proposals. We are very happy with the results. They offer us a broad set of ideas and I am sure that we will end up pursuing some of them. It will be interesting to see which of the student concepts comes closest to the version that is ultimately implemented.»
Cheeky Campers - A second chance for old vans
Old vans deserve a second chance! This is what the founders of CheekyCampers thought. Students of the Master Digital Business Administration developed concepts to advance the idea of a digital platform for rental cars.
In the final presentations, the teams showed which solutions are suitable for the chosen path of a digital and sustainable car rental company. For example, it was shown how the rental of a camper van can be handled 100% digitally and how increased attention can be drawn to the sustainable offer. In addition, a long-term strategic roadmap for the start-up was presented.
Till Schaltegger, Co-Founder
«I can say I’m very pleased by the work the students have done. They helped us a lot to bring CheekyCampers to the next level and shape its future development. Especially when looking two steps ahead!»
Cognizant – Training place of the future
Cognizant helps companies modernize technology, reimagine processes and transform experiences so they stay ahead in a fast-changing world. At its Swiss locations, the company employs an average of 22 apprentices in the fields of application development (Informatiker*in EFZ) and CX/UX (Mediamatiker*in EFZ).
A place of innovation and development: In the future, the apprentices should run their own company within Cognizant. Our students of the Master Digital Business Administration had the task to develop a launchable model for this company together with the apprentices - taking into account strategic, organisational, cultural and technological aspects.
Three teams presented business plans and USP's for this innovative form of enterprise. They proposed to involve business coaches as support for the apprentices to give them experience in running a business. Based on comparable models, the students showed obstacles, financial expenses and profitability. Working with the apprentices was a unique and educational experience.
Robert Bonomo, Head of Sales DACH / Member of the Swiss Management Board
«The teams proposed useful concepts of a start-up led by apprentices. Their approach to solve the project task was wellstructed and helped us to have a better sight of the possible solutions for such a start-up. We enjoyed the cooperation with the student and the BFH. Many thanks for the great results.»
EasyGov - Chatbot for digital government processes
Students from the Bachelor's degree programmes in Business Administration and Business Information Technology worked together in 12 teams on questions posed by the partner EasyGov. Using agile project methodology, problem ideas on user experience, activation of authorities as well as development potentials and identification of possible new processes to be integrated were outlined. An «unconference» was then held to identify a central idea for each team.
Using the slogan «EasyGov goes easy!», the winning team outlined comprehensive support for the login and company formation process through a chatbot, pop-up help texts and explanatory videos. The other teams also presented innovative solutions to optimise the usability of the platform as well as the processes. They documented their problems, methods and proposed solutions in the digital showroom.
Ecolab – Augmented Reality
Ecolab wants to expand its service process. The process is to be standardised and supplemented with augmented reality (AR) so that remote support of customers is possible. In addition, our MSc Digital Business Administration students dealt with the strategic, organisational and cultural challenges of this process adaptation.
The student teams presented roadmaps, product portfolios and possible remote solutions to improve Ecolab's services. The teams saw the potential of AR especially in customer training, service delivery and travel savings. The teams also presented their thoughts on new roles for employees.
Tillmann Kleine, Commercial Digital Solutions Industrial Europe
«The results shown by the teams were exceptional. We enjoyed reading the detailed reports and listening to the presentations, both gave us a boost and new ideas towards the directions we would like to develop and enhance our services. We are happy about the participation in this Live Case. Many thanks to the students and the BFH!»
Ecolab – Digitalisation does not stop with an app
Digitalisation does not stop with an app! The core task was to develop a concept that shows the use of further digital possibilities in the retail industry and also questions the current status quo.
A customer visit at the beginning of the semester helped to deepen and experience the activities of the food & retail division at first hand. Six teams of students from the Master's programme in Digital Business Administration developed various concepts to answer the questions. Coaching sessions with the live case partners and the lecturers helped the teams with their solution approaches and integrated them appropriately into the module groups of the degree programme.
In the final presentations, the teams presented the developed concepts and analysis of the status quo. The proposals included a roadmap for implementation, cultural and organisational aspects as well as an MVP (minimum viable product). The students also presented the financial feasibility of their approaches and thus pointed out the viability. Predominantly, gamification was identified by the students as a possible concept to drive digital expansion in the services of the food & retail division.
Erich Keller AG - New product line during a global pandemic
During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic Erich Keller AG developed air purification devices based on UV-C for the indoor office use (the «STERI-Line»). By recirculating and sterilising air operation these STERI-Line products can make the indoor space (e.g. offices) virus-free. Students of our master’s programme Digital Business Administration elaborated innovative solutions on how to achieve the digital expansion of Erich Keller AG and the promotion of the STERI-Line products.
In their final presentations at the end of the semester, the student teams presented their innovative ideas, such as a STERI-Line landing page, a virtual product configurator and data-based personalized webpages. They also proposed a digital transformation path for the whole organization so that the new digital business and compensation models can ideally be supported.
Pascal Thür, Head of Climate Systems at Erich Keller AG
«We enjoyed working on the live case project with the students. Being part of this live case with the BFH School gave us the chance to regularly exchange views on our current tasks. Furthermore, the students presented very interesting ideas and every group provided an innovative element in their respective marketing strategies.»
Expo Media - Sustainable business model in a digital context
Students of our master’s program Digital Business Administration worked on developing strategic options for new digital business models for expo media ag. They also proposed a digital transformation path for the company so that the new digital business models can ideally be supported.
The students’ teams presented their innovative ideas including fully virtual and hybrid expositions. We have seen for example the use of virtual and augmented reality, a fair as a service or a gamification approach. Some teams already presented the first prototypes and built virtual exhibition environments in which, for example, the process of accompanying customers and visitors was simulated.
Adrian Sperl, CEO expo media ag
«I really enjoyed working with the different teams. The variety of ideas and strategic options was excellent and with the first working prototypes the teams already paved the way for potential implementations in the future. At expo media ag we are convinced that physical events will remain an important part of every company’s marketing strategy. However, virtual interactions will increasingly augment those physical events, creating hybrid experiences. The BFH live case has provided us with multiple innovative ideas how to develop and transform our business model in order to continue to serve our clients’ needs best. I want to thank all the teams for their great work and dedication!»
Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication (FOITT) - One-stop-shop customer experience
A one-stop-shop customer experience with automated demand and order processing from start to finish. Students of the Master Digital Business Administration worked together with representatives of the Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication (FOITT) to solve a digital transformation service. The goal of the live case was a mockup of an IT marketplace that could enable a one-stop-shop customer experience within the public administration.
In the final presentations, the teams showed possibilities of a one-stop-shop experience with automated ordering processes. In addition to the technical solution, an agile way of working to change the internal culture was also proposed.
Andreas Lautenschlager, Member of the Executive Board, Management Services
«The FOITT experienced an extraordinarily interesting partnership with the BFH over the past months and will be able to use the results and learnings of the reports for the ongoing transformation. For this reason the FOITT would be highly interested in building up a continuous cooperation for future Live Cases with BFH.»
Networking event with award ceremony at the Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication
Gaston - Together against foodwaste
Students of the Master's programme Digital Business Administration supported the start-up by developing a concept for market entry with the aim of making the app known in the community.
In the final presentation, it was recommended to use social media activities to increase awareness of the app and thus build up a community. Furthermore, the cooperation with Gig Workers was recommended. In addition, the app should not pursue aggressive growth.
Thomas Vogel, Co-Founder Gaston
«I was very happy with the work done by the group. It was way more than expected. The group understood our goal with Gaston. They generated real value with new ideas and their detailed analysis of ours. The Live Case team really helped Gaston to find its purpose.»
hey Patient AG - Digitalized healthcare on a global scale
heyPatient AG aims at providing services that enable streamlined processes and seamless interaction between patients and doctors.
Consumer demand with regards to digitalized healthcare is growing and the importance of digitized patient-oriented processes is evident. The app organizes healthcare appointments and paperless admission, informs on treatment insights and preparation and keeps everything important always at hand, from insurance cards to documents.
Students of the Bachelor International Business Administration together with fellow students of the Czech University of Life Sciences were asked to strategically analyze selected regions within the EU, Southern Africa, Middle East, Asia and Northern America with the aim to identify high potential markets within the respective region.
The students conducted a thorough target market analysis of potential customers and end-users of their digital health service offering as well as considering global, regional and local competitors. In a second step, the students focused on market entry strategies, customer acquisition and the identification of feasible business models for the chosen markets.
Regula Spühler, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Co-Founder heyPatient
«We very much appreciate the thorough analyses and we enjoyed the exciting presentations and many surprising insights worked out by the student teams. On top of this, we got some valuable market insights from students originating from or living in these regions. It was not an easy assignment, considering that healthcare markets have their specialty in every region. We now look forward to follow-up on the recommendations and thank the students for their great work.»
Leaves - Coping with the loss of the partner
Students of the Master's programme Digital Business Administration developed a strategic roadmap, a recommendation for the organisational structure and a proposal for further development for the project.
In the final presentation, the five-member team showed a sustainable roadmap for Leaves, with which the offer for grieving relatives can be established.
Benjamin Barblan, Project Manager
«The result for me is very valuable. I have evidence of business models which are unlikely to work and good leads to pursue. I have material to handover to anyone who would like to actually start the hard work to build the distribution company in Switzerland. Thank you for your work and our collaboration!»
SBB - Facility management of the future
The SBB division infrastructure is responsible for the lifecycle management of more than 1,000 buildings and stations that are essential for operations, as well as for more than 100,000 technical installations in the buildings, stations and tunnels.
Currently, the buildings and facilities are mapped alphanumerically in a database. With the introduction of BIM (Building Information Modelling), this data is to be supplemented and replaced by 3D models - a «digital twin» is thus created for each building/facility. The students of the Master in Digital Business Administration analysed the potentials of digital twins in strategic, organisational, cultural and structural terms.
The students developed tailored use cases featuring «digital twins» for SBB. They developed ideas on how existing processes could be digitalised and drafted initial models for data management. They also investigated the impact on existing and future job profiles and working culture.
Adrian Wildenauer, Building Information Modeling (BIM)-Expert SBB Infrastructure
«It has been a pleasure supporting the students in generating impressive, futuristic yet feasible ideas of a digital twin in the construction industry, similar to what has been implemented in many other industries.»
Smart city solutions for swiss cities
Smart City activities
Patrizio Bisante (board member, Smart City Verein Bern), Marisa Kappeler-Schudel (Smart City Officer, City of Winterthur) and Dr. Christian Geiger (Chief Digital Officer, City of St. Gallen) brought a wide range of topics to the Business Case Studies module of the Bachelor's degree programmes in Business Information Technology and Business Administration.
In a two-week initial phase, students from both degree programmes developed solution proposals on various topics such as smart city project portfolios, smart interaction with tax authorities, questions relating to mobility, energy efficiency and participation.
The proposed solutions were presented at a conference. In the process, 48 more concrete project ideas crystallised, which were reflected on several times in peer groups using design thinking creativity techniques. These were discussed with the theme sponsors, and the 24 teams will each pursue a topic and develop solutions for it. Examples are Airbnb for parking spaces, smart city butlers or chatbots for simplified interaction with tax authorities.
Splint Invest – Further development of the business model
Due to inflation and historically high stock market prices, investors are looking for alternative ways to protect and increase their assets. Splint Invest wants to use this potential. Our students of the Master Digital Business Administration evaluated the existing business model of the start-up in strategic, organisational and technological terms and identified new opportunities.
The student teams presented strategic roadmaps and showed the advantages and disadvantages of Splint Invest remaining an investment house or positioning itself as a marketplace for third-party providers in the future. Through surveys, they provided valuable insights into the start-up's response. The teams also outlined the next steps for the company in terms of culture and technology.
Aurelio Perucca, Co-Founder & CEO
«The collaboration with the BFH and the students was very inspiring and provided new impulses that we are now testing and implementing. Many thanks to all involved – it was great fun!»
Swiss Post - «Your Gateway to China»
The Swiss Post initiative «Your Gateway to China» supports SME’s in their e-commerce expansion to the Chinese Market by offering a comprehensive full-service cross-border e-commerce solution.
Students of the Bachelor's degree programmes in Business Administration and International Business Administration conducted a global strategic analysis of the Swiss and EU industry markets as well as the Chinese end-consumer market. Furthermore, they assessed the market potential for program.
After an intensive week of collaboration, the groups presented their results and strategic recommendations to the representatives of Swiss Post. They were very impressed by the results, the innovative ideas and the creative proposals for action and have already evaluated the most relevant ideas and started to implement them.
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