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The Telco "Digital Attacker" Experience: Interview with Mark Klünnen from Sunrise UPC


In a recent article, McKinsey presented a new strategy for telcos that is revolutionizing the telecom industry: The digital attacker strategy.

In the article, McKinsey highlights that these digital attacker brands have proven to be more cost-efficient in customer acquisition than the parent companies. Moreover, these units can reduce service costs by 50 -70 % per customer, while delivering a better customer experience with NPS rates 30-40% higher than for their incumbent competitors. 

In the article, McKinsey discusses what it takes to launch a digital attacker brand, identifying 5 critical steps:

  1. Create a radically simplified and differentiated product.

  2. Adopt customer tested design and ultra-easy user experiences.

  3. Build using flexible technology that helps fuel innovation.

  4. Use digital marketing and advanced analytics to drive digital sales.

  5. Recruit digital talent and adopt an agile working model.

Swype is mentioned as a great example of a successful digital attacker brand. So, we asked Mark Klünnen, Director of Strategy & Innovation at Sunrise UPC, about his experience launching a digital attacker brand, and how our fully-digital on-boarding platform has helped them to achieve their goals.


Moflix: Could you please tell us about swype? 

Mark Klünnen: swype is part of Sunrise UPC, one of the leading mobile providers in Switzerland offering services tailored to the needs of cost-conscious telecommunications users. In 2019, we decided to launch a new digital telco to the Swiss market, called swype. We needed a fully digital solution for customer on-boarding where users could do everything via app. In other words, we wanted to offer a digital and seamless experience to our customers. I guess you can say that the only non-digital part of the process is that we send a physical SIM card to the address provided during the onboarding. But even that is changing now since we implemented the eSIM feature in February of this year (2021). 


Moflix: Why did you launch a digital brand?

Mark Klünnen: We want to be at the forefront of digital innovation. With swype, we were the first in the Swiss market to launch an digital only, app-based mobile subscription.


Moflix: Why did you choose Moflix's solution?

Mark Klünnen: We wanted a fully-digital and reliable solution for swype build on the latest (cloud) technology. Everything is done in the app, including: verifying identity, activating new subscriptions, digital number portability, managing accounts, customer support and so on. We didn't want physical stores or paperwork. We wanted everything digital, that's why we decided to work with Moflix. Also, Moflix promised (and delivered) a fast implementation and a delivery within 6 months. So, that's what we were looking for and that's what we did.


Moflix: According to McKinsey, one of the key steps to launch a digital attacker brand is to create a simplified and differentiated product. How did you achieve this? 

Mark Klünnen: Well, we first simplified our offer. We only offer two plans and an optional international package that can be added to either plan. Both offers are easy to understand and very transparent without any hidden costs. I strongly believe that is what makes our product different and unique. The users have the power and can do everything through the app. They can download the app and complete the whole onboarding - including the identity verification and SIM ordering- by themselves without the need for a customer service representative. And even if they need help, they could either find it in the Q&A section or via chat, but everything is in the app.


Moflix: What can you tell us about the app design and the user experience of the swype app? 

Mark Klünnen: The idea behind the swype app is simplicity. We wanted an app that feels just right for our customers. The app design is intuitive, so it is easy for our users to onboard, manage their plans & accounts and receive help if needed. 

We are continuously improving our app based on customer feedback. For example, we started with WhatsApp chat for customer support for those who needed help and couldn't find it in the Q&A section. But then, we found that it was more convenient for the users to have in-app chat, so they didn't need to leave the app to get support. This improvement made customer support easier for our customers and more effective for us. Another improvement is that the app supports direct, in-app eSIM registration. Users can download and activate an eSIM with a simple click of a button if their device supports the technology; now you can say that is truly a 100% digital solution.


Moflix: What can you tell us about the technology behind the app? or What would you highlight from the technology used in this app?

Mark Klünnen: in a few words: flexibility, ease of deployment and the relatively low cost of the app's service orchestration.

The swype app was developed by Moflix and it is based on their platform built entirely on the cloud using AWS microservices. This server-less setup has allowed the creation of a completely new type of customer experience. The swype's core solution is based on a series of micro-services by Amazon Web Services, which lowers our costs and enables the orchestration of further cloud-based services, such as customer identification, billing, or customer support. 


Moflix: What can you tell us about the analytics and metrics provided by the app? have they influenced your marketing efforts?

Mark Klünnen: I might say that this new digital approach has changed the way we plan and execute marketing campaigns and promotions. Everything we do in regards to our marketing campaigns is strongly based on the metrics we receive from the platform. We also receive information on the efficiency of our marketing campaigns. We are constantly monitoring those and distributing the resources accordingly; making it easier and faster to plan our campaigns.


Moflix: Any final thoughts? Is there anything else you would like to highlight? 

Mark Klünnen: Well, I think what I'd like to highlight is the easiness to set up and start running a digital operator like swype. We have been able to significantly reduce our operational costs compared to our other brands since pretty much everything is done online. We don't need physical stores or people working in those stores. I also think that this digital model allows us to explore and introduce new innovation more easily than with the traditional models. It is easy to make changes and improve our product to meet our customers' expectations. We have definitely seen and benefited from higher efficiency and higher NPS with this solution. 

It's great to have a reliable partner and agile cooperation as we have experienced with Moflix. We will continue improving our product and services to meet the demands of the modern customer.  


Moflix can help you write your digital telco success story. We develop and launch customizable digital solutions for telcos at low risk, at low cost and within only 100 days - without the need of an expensive and complex IT transformation. Book a live demo and start transforming your business for the future. 


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