Speexx Customer

SBB Receives Prestigious Oertli Prize for Communication Skills

Munich (GER), November 2020 - Speexx customer Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has won the Prix Oertli, a prize that honors leading activities that promote and facilitate multi-language interaction in everyday Swiss life.

The Swiss-based Oertli Foundation was created in 1967, with the goal of strengthening the internal cohesion of Switzerland through better mutual understanding among all four national languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. This goal is to be achieved through constant communication among the different parts of the country. In this spirit, the Oertli Foundation promotes the exchange of in-depth information about the country's various language and cultural groups, as well as the recognition and celebration of living multilingualism in the four national languages.

In short, the Foundation aims to build bridges among the language regions of Switzerland, and SBB, with some collaboration with Speexx, has achieved exactly this. Indeed, the Oertli Foundation believes that SBB vividly represents multilingualism in daily life. 

Together, SBB and Speexx moved the Swiss Railway's entire workforce from face-to-face language training to digital learning almost overnight. The companies designed a flexible training concept that was ready to go digital immediately; thanks to interdisciplinary, cross-team collaboration, Speexx and SBB produced learning concepts that allowed for a large portion of SBB's workforce to assess and improve language skills digitally, involving requirements and terminologies specific to their individual job functions.

Due to the nature of SBB's business - rail transport, involving a tremendous amount of logistics, especially as it carries more than one million passengers a day - it is crucial that everyone working within the organization can communicate with and exchange information in his or her preferred language, as well as in the preferred languages of customers, partners, and other stakeholders. It should be noted that those taking SBB literally pass through four different language zones, so depending on job function, staff involved need to, by law, be able to speak those languages at certain levels.

Historically, the Prix Oertli has always been awarded to individuals. The award granted to SBB marks the first time that the prize has been awarded to an entire organization.

The prize will be received at a ceremony by Sandra Hutterli, Head of Corporate Training and Digital Transformation, on behalf of the organization - and specifically the IT People & Transportation department. The award is presented in recognition of this department's seldom-noticed, yet crucial commitment to the four-language Switzerland.

"It's an honor to receive this award from the Oertli Foundation," said Ms. Hutterli. "We were able to move all our face-to-face training, as well as our assessment and certification to Speexx. Our work together was an example of successful digital transformation, especially as it's become possible for SBB employees to learn independently of time and place, better combining work and learning."

"Especially during these remote working times, we're thrilled to be empowering communication and helping organizations go all virtual with their work and learning," said Armin Hopp, President and Co-founder at Speexx. "As an international company ourselves, with offices throughout the world, we've had many years of experience working remotely and also entirely digitally. We look forward to helping other organizations ease into this new normal of all-remote work and learning transformation."