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CUSTOMER SUCCESS STORY

VNTR: Steering PostFinance towards innovative horizons

How VNTR—the innovation and venturing unit at PostFinance—streamlines and integrates the company-wide innovation process using ITONICS Innovation OS. From identifying trends to managing portfolios and launching growth ventures.

Mathias Strazza, Head VNTR, PostFinance (1)
VNTR PostFinance logo
“VNTR ensures that PostFinance's business remains future-ready and relevant. With the ITONICS Innovation OS, we systematically identify trends through the innovation field, manage the early innovation portfolio, and create new opportunities.”

Mathias Strazza, Head of VNTR, PostFinance

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THE CHALLENGE

Developing business models for the bank of the future

In today's rapidly evolving financial industry, innovation is a crucial strategic pillar for leading Swiss financial institution PostFinance. Since 2013, the bank has relied on its own Innovation and Venturing Unit, operating under the name VNTR, which focuses on Horizon 3 innovation. This involves developing new business models, harnessing emerging technologies, and paving the way for the future of digital banking. VNTR is dedicated to engaging with future-oriented themes, ensuring that PostFinance remains relevant to its customers and competitive in the market.

Matrix-Opportunity-Portfolio-Postfinance (1)

An innovation and venturing hub

VNTR champions forward-looking innovation at PostFinance by tackling unexplored themes and challenges. By analyzing trends, swiftly testing prototypes, and investing in new ventures, VNTR brings future-oriented solutions to market. To streamline innovation efforts, PostFinance adopted the ITONICS Innovation OS, establishing a central platform for continuous innovation.

With a single source of truth for innovation intelligence, VNTR ensures actions are aligned with strategy, and strategy is informed by data—to scale and sustain growth at PostFinance. 

Objectives of implementing a central innovation platform

THE WAY FORWARD WITH ITONICS

Perfecting the innovation process

Since its inception, VNTR has refined its processes and perfected the Horizon 3 innovation process. In doing so, it has established a structured and transparent approach to fostering innovation at PostFinance.

PostFinance Innovation Process - VNTR

Foresight

Anchoring its decision-making in strategic foresight, VNTR begins the innovation process by identifying and exploring relevant signals, trends, and technologies. The aim of this foresight phase is to derive new fields of innovation that may hold potential new opportunities for PostFinance.

Innovate & Grow

The Innovate & Grow phase bridges strategic foresight with operational scalability. It involves rapid market experiments to test feasibility and customer needs. Defined hypotheses are rigorously verified or falsified, ensuring a smooth transition from ideation to operation. Confirmed hypotheses propel projects toward the final phase.






Operate

VNTR's final phase focuses on efficiently scaling initiatives for sustained growth, within or beyond the organization. It entails implementing validated innovations, optimizing processes, and adapting strategies for long-term success in dynamic markets.

Phase Gates

VNTR rigorously evaluates every innovation project through a phase-gate process—not all emerge successfully. At each gate, and continually based on evolving insights, decisions are made: to proceed with enthusiasm (love it), refine as needed (change it), or discontinue (leave it) with informed judgment.






The Annual Process

Twice yearly, VNTR hosts a collaborative workshop to define new innovation fields using trends and insights. Opportunities emerging from this session are presented at Gate 0, defining upcoming topics for exploration and steering VNTR's future actions.

Achievements

  • Centralized data access: ITONICS centralizes innovation intelligence and efforts at PostFinance, ensuring easy access for all stakeholders and enhancing data-driven decision-making.
  • Flexible and robust control: The platform facilitates precise portfolio management, enabling customized oversight and strategic alignment of innovation initiatives.
  • Enhanced collaboration: The adoption of a unified platform has dismantled silos within PostFinance, fostering robust cross-departmental collaboration that enhances innovative outcomes.
  • End-to-end traceability: Each innovation initiative can now be traced from its origin through to specific technologies, trends, and signals, enhancing accountability and insight.
  • Transparent management: Different innovation teams can now manage and present their exploration portfolios with clarity, allowing for individualized and effective oversight.
  • New growth opportunities: Integration of foresight activities into the ongoing innovation process ensures that PostFinance captures emerging growth opportunities and remains ahead of future trends.

Future horizons with ITONICS

Originally launched within VNTR, ITONICS Innovation OS is now used across PostFinance, empowering cross-functional teams to advance innovative projects across all three strategic horizons. This expansion ensures that, from the earliest stages, every type of innovation is nurtured on a unified platform. In this time, the user base has grown from just 20 initial adopters to over 100. Looking ahead, PostFinance will explore new connections between its implementation process and ITONICS, reflecting the platform's integral role in shaping innovation at PostFinance.

VNTR PostFinance logo
“Today, the ITONICS software solution is an essential part of our innovation framework at PostFinance. It centralizes our innovation intelligence, enabling strategic agility and comprehensive market insight to ensure we remain at the forefront of the financial industry.”

Mathias Strazza, Head VNTR, PostFinance

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About-Postfinance

About VNTR & PostFinance

VNTR represents the innovation and venturing efforts of PostFinance, initiatives that extend beyond the confines of the current strategic period. While PostFinance concentrates on its core business operations (Horizon 1) and transformative initiatives within the core (Horizon 2), VNTR explores emerging themes, technologies, and business models that are still uncharted by PostFinance (Innovation Horizon 3). Throughout this process, VNTR identifies, develops, and invests in new business models. It aims to capture and capitalize on those opportunities with the potential to evolve into scalable and sustainable ventures for PostFinance. 

PostFinance is one of the leading financial institutions in Switzerland. It serves approximately 2.5 million private and business customers as a reliable financial partner, offering fresh solutions and smart innovations.

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