Microsoft to become strategic partner for the digitalization of THE CIRCLE

ein Prototyp des Circle Gebäude am Flughafen Zürich

Wallisellen, May 15th, 2018 – Flughafen Zürich AG and Microsoft Switzerland have established a strategic partnership for the digitalization of THE CIRCLE. The common goal is to offer the tenants, their employees and visitors of THE CIRCLE a maximum of quality, comfort and efficiency as well as a unique, personalized digital experiences.

 «We have set high ambitions for the digitalization of THE CIRCLE and will redefine the way people work, shop and spend their leisure time», says Stefan Gross, CCO of Flughafen Zürich AG. «This will enable us to further increase the attractiveness of this new destination at Zurich Airport and provide important impulses for Switzerland as a innovation hub.»

The strategic partnership between Flughafen Zürich AG and Microsoft Switzerland marks the official start of the planning, development and implementation of the digitalization of THE CIRCLE, in which a new human experience is created by merging the physical and digital dimensions.

Marianne Janik, CEO Microsoft Switzerland: «We are very pleased to further refine the vision developed together with Flughafen Zürich AG and turn it into reality in close cooperation with the tenants and other partners. THE CIRCLE offers us the opportunity to integrate our visionary concepts in the areas of digital transformation, smart buildings and modern workplace into one project and to put them into practice.» As already announced in February, Microsoft Switzerland will relocate its headquarters in Wallisellen to THE CIRCLE and create the «workplace of the future» on approximately 3’500m2 of rental space.

Quality and efficiency with smart buildings

«Innovative control and operational concepts as well as the use of intelligent cloud and IoT solutions (Internet of Things) will enable us to increase the quality in the buildings,» says Beat Pahud, project manager for THE CIRCLE. «At the same time, it will also enable us to operate buildings and infrastructure more efficiently, which will have a positive impact on the operating costs.»

Future tenants should also benefit from the complete digitalization of the buildings, for example in optimizing the utilization of space. «New workplace concepts and flexible forms of cooperation, supported by digital solutions, should help tenants to make best use of their office space and adapt it to the changing needs of the organization,» says Roger Altorfer, Head of Services at Microsoft Switzerland. «We also want to ensure that employees and visitors can use the infrastructure efficiently and easily, for example with smart room booking and intelligent lighting and temperature control.»

Unique digital worlds of experience for tenants, their employees and visitors

The IoT platform to be developed by Flughafen Zürich AG and Microsoft Switzerland will be running customer-focused digital services, providing the employees at THE CIRCLE and visitors a unique experience. «The digital services will help people at THE CIRCLE find their way around and get access to products and services in a new way», says Roger Altorfer. For example, a virtual concierge and a digital guidance system are planned right from the beginning.

This platform will also enable tenants to offer their own content and services. «With this platform we are building the foundation for a digital ecosystem at THE CIRCLE», explains Roger Altorfer. «Through the interaction of physical and digital dimensions, we offer tenants the unique opportunity to present their products and services in a completely new way and to communicate and network with employees, customers and visitors». Altorfer is convinced that the idea of the ecosystem will offer completely new opportunities for customer interactions, especially for tenants in the retail and hospitality industry. At a later stage, the digital ecosystem shall be expanded to the airport and beyond. Beat Pahud: «The region around the airport is developing enormously. We are convinced that the great opportunity of the future lies in creative partnerships and connected services.»

Digitalization brings competitive advantages for tenants

Over the next few months, Flughafen Zürich AG and Microsoft Switzerland will work together with the future tenants on the vision of the digitized THE CIRCLE in workshops.

«We offer our tenants added value and a clear competitive advantage by creating an inspiring place that combines connected life, modern workplaces and new brand experiences», says Beat Pahud. «This extremely attractive environment will not only enable tenants to position themselves in the market with creative concepts and win new customers but will also create opportunities for new ideas and approaches to shape the future workplace. This will certainly have a positive effect on the motivation and productivity of existing employees and will also be an important success factor in the competition for new talents.»

Media contact
Tobias Steger, PR & Communications Lead, Phone: +41 43 456 63 74, [email protected]
Microsoft Switzerland GmbH, Richtistrasse 3, 8304 Wallisellen

About Microsoft
Microsoft is the leading platform and productivity company with the mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft Switzerland GmbH is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Redmond USA). Since its establishment in 1989, the subsidiary has developed into a typical Swiss SMB with 620 employees. Microsoft Switzerland is connected to the country’s economic and political institutions and maintains an active social dialogue on the topics of innovation, security and education. The partner network comprises 6’000 local business partners and 14’000 certified product and solution specialists nationwide. Microsoft Switzerland GmbH has its headquarters in Wallisellen near Zurich. Further offices are located in Wollishofen, Berne and Geneva.

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