Artificial intelligence to provide digital support for businesses

Lausanne-based company Nexthink helps its clients to improve their digital infrastructure with a solution that combines data gathering, supervision, analysis, and proactive anticipation.

Based in Prilly in the canton of Vaud, Nexthink offers major companies management solutions for their digital experience. In concrete terms, they are a software company which provides customers with the necessary information for them to limit their costs, minimize their IT problems, and ensure the necessary levels of security of their data. "Our solution combines data-gathering, supervision, analysis, proactive anticipation, problem-solving, and interactive dialogue with employees to communicate, create awareness, and provide a continuous improvement in quality," says Pedro Bados, Nexthink CEO and co-founder.

The Vaud-based company’s innovative product can discover, capture, and analyze all of the network connections and dependencies of applications from all the workstations (desktops, laptops, etc.) of a company or institution in real time, even in organizations with hundreds of thousands of devices.

850 clients around the world

In addition to its head-quarters in Lausanne, the company has a presence in nine other cities, from Boston to Sydney via Madrid and Dubai. It has around 850 clients throughout the world and 280 employees, around 100 of them in the canton of Vaud. Its turnover currently stands at several dozen million francs.

Founded in 2004, Nexthink’s origins date back to an advanced research project in artificial intelligence carried out at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). "One of the external examiners was the head of IT of a famous watch manufacturer, and he found the research so innovative that he advised the team to transform it into a product that his company could buy," recalls Bados. Shortly thereafter, Nexthink was created and then, two years later, the watch manufacturer became its first ever client. Today, beyond its historic client base (see box), the company works with various large firms such as JTI, Geneva Airport, Bunge, and Migros.

Despite its international expansion, the company has maintained its head-quarters in Lausanne with over 100 employees, which is also where all of the product development is carried out by over 70 engineers, as well as the financial and HR functions for the global business. "This region is unique in the world in how it combines an incredible dynamic for innovation with an attractive environment that ensures an exceptional quality of life," says Bados.

A valuable support from the Economic Promotion

"The first clients and partners that we were lucky enough to work with were companies that were established in the canton of Vaud," Bados explains. "They enabled us not only to get our commercial growth up and running, but also to get a better understanding of the needs of clients and businesses so that we could continue to innovate and develop our products in the right direction." These loyal clients of Nexthink include the State of Vaud, the City of Lausanne, IMD, and the Vaud Hospital Federation.

"We received support from the Office for Economic Affairs of the canton of Vaud with a loan from the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT)," says Bados. "We also benefited from synergies in the EPFL science park, where our offices have been for almost 10 years. We still collaborate today with the canton, for example by contributing to the scale-up program and speaking at Economic Affairs events." Beyond the loan from the FIT around the time of its launch, the company has also benefited from various consultancy services as well as workshops to provide better information and training for its employees – not to mention contacts, help with networking, and support for its various administrative processes.