0:58 – Why companies need an e-government solution
3:45 – Switzerland vs Estonia
20:48 – The startup lifecycle on EasyGov
25:27 – Covid loans
34:55 – Collecting data and protecting privacy
Martin Godel is the Head of Small and Medium Size Enterprise Policy at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), based in Berne. In 2002, he earned his Master’s Degree of Law and Diplomacy from Fletcher School, administered by Tufts and Harvard University. For nearly two decades, Martin has held various positions in business endeavours, including Head of the Swiss Business Hub for the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan (2007-2010) and Counsellor for the Swiss Government (2002-2004; 2005-2007). Godel’s main concerns are relieving the administrative load through e-government tools and assuring prime conditions for SME’s access to funding.
Has contact with government paperwork made your company weary and in need of a smart fix? Progress may seem slow, but governments are definitely moving towards more efficient, unified solutions. Today, we hear Martin Godel, the brains behind the Government-to-Business e-platform EasyGov since 2017.
“The need was clear, but nobody was doing it.”
Martin’s interest is clear: “e-government wants to make your life easier”. Luckily, Martin noticed the gap in the digitalisation of company registry and hopped in: this marked the beginning of EasyGov. By combining hard tech expertise and a politically-engaged network, his platform “aims to offer everything a company needs during its lifetime when it comes to business-to-government interaction”.
“Slowly, things are building up.”
Martin is positive that Switzerland is quickly catching up with the early advances of countries like Estonia. After all, creating a crisp platform is not all about having a good-looking website. However, some key features are still missing: most important of all, government-regulated electronic identity systems.
Companies know how efficient recognition is vital for closing contracts briskly and polishing applications. So, what’s left? Legally speaking, the Swiss Parliament accepted the initial proposal. The response of the Swiss electorate to the e-ID Act referendum of March 7th, 2021 will determine the next step.
“Every platform must recognise it’s not the only platform, and is part of a much larger ecosystem. However large and broad and good the platform may be, it is never the only one.”
It is natural to see how centralised states like Estonia have an easier time balancing platform offer. In contrast, Switzerland’s 3 federal levels, by working with largely independent ministries and services, present an ocean of digital initiatives.
Platform creators are bound to feel a bit overwhelmed. Martin has navigated those currents before, so he keeps some valuable tricks up his sleeve for new developers:
– Business registry changes and brand registry;
– Instant connection to Intellectual Property institutions;
– Application for secure, government-proved loans;
– Balance of legal pursuits (Betreibungsauszug);
– Salary declarations for social insurance deduction (and many more!).
EasyGov knows it’s not all about providing service. Compromise and proactivity are the backbone of a helpful platform. Here is what marks EasyGov’s commitments:
As of now, Martin envisions two new handy services for the platform:
Hopefully, the addition of new services to easygov.ch will create a domino effect just like cross-selling in on-line shopping: if one works perfectly, why not try the rest?