The way that automotive customers interact with brands has changed, accompanied by a major transformation of customer needs and requirements. Today’s brand experience expands beyond the car and other offline touchpoints to include various digital touchpoints. Automotive customers expect a seamless brand experience across all channels — both offline and online.
One platform for every customer need: My Porsche
In order to meet these requirements, we brought My Porsche to life — a digital service platform for customers, fans, and enthusiasts that allows them to access exclusive content and take advantage of new functions and digital products and services. Users can for example check their vehicle status and schedule service appointments for their car, update their Porsche ID profile or chose their favorite Porsche Center.
At Porsche, currently, 17 product teams work on different features and modules for My Porsche, aiming to deliver a highly personalized customer experience across all touchpoints. A couple of years ago, Porsche realized that it was time to move My Porsche from Zuffenhausen-based servers into the cloud. In this post, we would like to take you with us on our My Porsche cloud journey. We are excited to share the unexpected difficulties and challenges as well as our learnings and insights of moving a customer portal into the cloud with you.
Getting Started: The My Porsche cloud journey
To begin with, why did we decide to move My Porsche to the cloud? The on-premise-to-cloud-infrastructure transition was motivated by two main factors:
Challenge #1: Worldwide presence without geo latency
Our cars are driven all over the world and the quality is the same everywhere. However, the My Porsche customer experience was not the same everywhere. Especially in locations far away from Zuffenhausen, it was far from optimal, since all services were hosted in Germany. As you can imagine, this resulted in performance issues and high loading times.
Challenge #2: Time to market
Our cloud ambitions were also motivated by the fact that we had to wait weeks to months for the provisioning of a server at that time, which most likely still was not fully ready by then: firewall, load balancers and more had each to be requested individually in ticketing systems and configured by specialized teams with long waiting times due to high load of those teams. Overall it took a lot of time — that was mainly spent waiting. And thus we needed a lot of time to generate business value.
Advantages of cloud computing: Fully automated infrastructure and dedicated control
Cloud computing offers many benefits. It can, for example, drastically improve performance and scalability, allowing us to improve customer satisfaction in every corner of the planet. This is due to many big cloud service providers offering data centers around the world. Another advantage of using the cloud is its self-service approach to consume cloud services via API: APIs provided by the cloud service providers allow a high level of automation, thus following the self-service approach that we strive for. In this combination we have been able to eliminate the waiting times, so we can commission a new server easily within seconds and at any given time. And in addition with repeatable same and high quality, e.g. configuration applied to the server. These kinds of offerings also make it possible for us to empower the teams by giving them their own space in the cloud, where they have full control over what happens. However, as we soon have learned, this newly gained control comes with new tasks and responsibilities.
Anyway, we were ready to kick-off the cloud journey. So let’s go!
On-premise to cloud migration gone wrong: Too much too soon
Securing a cloud provider was relatively easy. We chose AWS as a platform for our cloud infrastructure, and we have not regretted that decision once. The next step was to decide what applications and processes we needed to migrate. Particularly challenging was, e.g. secure access to the cloud, the new CI/CD systems, and the network design, i.e. how do the applications communicate with each other.
Together with our Cloud & Tools team, we started to build a blueprint, taking all the different aspects into account. And we thought we had a solid cloud migration strategy in place. Our plan was to finish this blueprint and roll it out across all teams — everything at the same time. So, we decided to go for it with a big bang! Back then, we thought that the transition process could not be that difficult. We said let’s do it. And we tried to move all of our teams to the cloud at the same time.
But that didn’t work out well.
After more than half a year, there was still not a single team in the cloud. We realized the migration process was not that easy after all and that there were many more unforeseen challenges to tackle than we thought.
The solution: Cloud deployment one step at a time
As a result, we updated our migration strategy. We said let’s focus and move only two teams at a time. We concentrated on a few key aspects: our edge component, Ping Access, and the vehicle-related services of the Portal Services team.
We sent two members from our Cloud & Tools team to each of the My Porsche teams. They would now be part of that team to follow two goals: achieve the go-live and, more importantly, empower and enable the team members. In parallel, they have finished the open parts of the blueprint. When the go-live had been achieved and enablement was completed, the My Porsche teams had to operate its applications and infrastructure on their own without the people from Cloud & Tools. This was something they didn’t have to worry about before — but new adventures bring new challenges with them.
Improved customer experience and internal collaboration: Check
Finally, two My Porsche teams had successfully moved to the cloud in April 2018. We continued with two teams at a time each with two people from Cloud & Tools. But we learned that we had to adapt. As time went on, new technologies came to replace old ones. But more importantly, we learned that every team is different. Each team we worked with had slightly different needs and requirements. Besides a technological transformation, our cloud journey also became a cultural journey.
Today, the My Porsche cloud adoption rate is at roughly 75 percent — and rising: we strive for a full 100 percent cloud coverage. 14 out of 17 teams have migrated to the cloud. The worldwide distribution of our applications has sped uploading time, improving the overall My Porsche customer experience. A huge success!
In our next post, we’ll talk about the importance of cross-functional, dedicated teams and the concept of decoupled alignment. Many thanks to everyone who has been part of the My Porsche Cloud journey so far!
Chief Marketing and Communication Officer of Automobili Lamborghini
Mrs Katia Bassi joined Automobili Lamborghini in September 2017 as Chief Marketing Officer and Board Member. She’s the first women ever to join Lamborghini board. Prior to this, Mrs Bassi joined Swatch Group in 1990 as Marketing Manager Tissot, before being appointed Marketing Director of Worldgem Group in 1999.
From 2001 to 2007 she lead the Ferrari Licensing Department, until her appointment on May 2007 as Commercial Director of FC INTERNAZIONALE SPA, the Italian football club founded in 1908 and commonly known as “Inter” for short.
From December 2008 she worked as Italy Country Director for the National Basketball Association (NBA).
In 2013 Katia Bassi joined AM Brands Limited and was Vice President Aston Martin Lagonda Limited and Managing Director AM Brands Limited.
Mrs Bassi holds a Bachelor of Political Science from University of Milan and a Bachelor of Law from Pavia’s University, two Master degrees in Business from Columbia University of New York and from University Bocconi of Milan and a Master degree in International Law from Harvard University.
Ricardo Guadalupe, 47, was appointed CEO of Hublot on January 1, 2012. This appointment has made him the designated successor to Jean-Claude Biver, who in turn is now Chairman of the Hublot Board of Directors. It also represents the culmination of an entire career in the Swiss watch industry, and 20 years of loyal collaboration with Jean-Claude Biver, collaboration that has yielded exceptional results, such as the rebirth of Blancpain and the incipient development of Hublot, two brands that rival the biggest names in watchmaking.
RICARDO GUADALUPE – CEO DE HUBLOT
Ricardo Guadalupe, of Spanish origin, was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, on March 5, 1965, where he grew up, and carried out all his studies in this region known as the cradle of Swiss luxury watchmaking. After finishing his high school studies, already driven by the entrepreneurial spirit at that time, he decided to study at a Swiss Business School, before moving to California, United States, to take a course at the University of Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1988, at 22 years of age and with a university degree and a successful experience in the United States behind him, he decided to return to Switzerland to start his professional career. He chose the field of watchmaking, a passion that he had nurtured since his childhood in Neuchâtel.
His first steps were taken at Bulgari, as Head of Product. Already then Bulgari was a renowned company, but in terms of watchmaking it was just a small organization in Geneva. A dream opportunity to learn and address all aspects of the business: creation, design, production, acquisition, development of the distribution network, marketing … Together, these seven years allowed him to understand the product and the traditional aspect of the profession, and develop at the same time an aesthetic sensibility for design and creation, essential for the “Italian touch”. This allowed Ricardo Guadalupe to play a role in the development of the group’s future activities and its strategic move from Geneva to Neuchâtel.
In 1994, after a meeting with Jean-Claude Biver that would be decisive for his career, he encouraged him to join his Blancpain team. The brand had been acquired two years earlier by the Swatch Group. A rebuild process was required to restore functionality. The adventure promised to be exciting, and it represented a new opportunity for Ricardo Guadalupe to develop his entrepreneurial instincts. The experience was enriching, particularly in terms of technical knowledge about the movements, their creation, development and production. This is a key aspect of the profession. This was also the beginning of 20 years of loyal collaboration and friendship with Jean-Claude Biver. In 1997, he was appointed Director of International Sales and Marketing at Blancpain. In 2001, after eight years and more than 100 million in turnover, he left the company.
In 2001, armed with years of experience in diverse but complementary areas, and prepared to implement operating principles and high-performance work systems, he became an independent watchmaker consultant, and received an offer to develop Léonard watches. This represented the novel challenge of producing and positioning watch franchises in a new universe: fashion. He successfully launched and marketed several models in a highly competitive industry.
Three years later, in 2004, Jean-Claude Biver decided to take the reins of Hublot and called Ricardo Guadalupe to join him in this new challenge. The task at hand was extremely ambitious: in short, to revitalize the brand and launch a new development to go from a production of 90% quartz watches to 90% mechanical watches. He didn’t hesitate for a second. At that time, the brand created in 1980 had a small workforce of about 30 people and had a turnover of just 25 million Swiss francs. What happened next is well known: Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe combined their talents and experience to make Hublot a success.
In just one year, in April 2005, they accomplished the incredible feat of launching a revolutionary chronograph: the Big Bang, perfectly in tune with the brand’s “Art of Fusion” concept. The watch, which was unveiled at the BaselWorld 2005 Basel Fair and received the “Best Design of the Year” award at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix that same year, was an immediate success. The awards happened very quickly. Hublot received an injection of extraordinary dynamism, guaranteeing exceptional growth. Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe were the engines that drove the rebirth of the brand. Taking into account its achievements, we could even speak of “birth”: firstly, the economic growth of the company, with a turnover increase in four years from 25 million to more than 200 million Swiss francs in 2008, when the brand was acquired by LVMH. But there has also been physical growth, with the inauguration in November 2009 of a new high-tech factory on the shores of Lake Geneva in Nyon, an event attended by Bernard Arnault. 6,000 m² have been devoted to the art of watchmaking, the creation and production of movements such as the UNICO, a column-wheel chronograph, and major horological complications such as the tourbillon, the minute repeater, the Antikythera movement, the Key movement. of Time, the LaFerrari (world record with 50 days of power reserve), etc. Eager to stay at the forefront of research into new high-tech materials and preserve its cutting-edge expertise, Hublot set up a foundry to produce Magic gold, a scratch-resistant 18-karat gold released in late 2011. That same year , Hublot acquired the Swiss company Profusion, specialized in the manufacture of carbon fiber components. In 2013, Hublot also presented the world premiere of a watch made of bright red ceramic.
In terms of marketing, the constancy and consistency of Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe are as remarkable as their need to disrupt preconceptions. “You have to go where the potential customers are.” This strategy made him the first to bring a luxury brand to the world of football. In 2008, Hublot became the “Official Timekeeper” of the Eurocup. In another historic milestone, in 2010 the brand became the “Official Watch” and “Official Timekeeper” of FIFA and the World Cup ™ (the next in Brazil in 2014), after being chosen as “Official Watch” and “ Official Timekeeper ”of Ferrari. Two masterstrokes that gave Hublot enormous visibility on the world market.
Hublot has also created an exclusive club of friends and ambassadors that goes beyond sports, all of them legends in their respective fields, and with whom the brand collaborates closely on various charitable projects: Usain Bolt, the fastest man on the planet, the Bayern Munich, Juventus Turin, Ajax Amsterdam and Paris Saint-Germain, to name just a few in the world of football, as well as Ayrton Senna’s family with the Ayrton Senna Institute, the prestigious Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, chaired by SAS Prince Albert II of Monaco, Dwyane Wade and the NBA champion team Miami Heat, Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA, Maria Riesch and Dario Cologna of the ski world, or Depeche Mode and Jay Z in the musical field. The brand also supports polo and golf through competitions, since: “The connection comes from sharing. By not sharing, we lose. At Hublot we have been fortunate, and it is our duty to share part of that success ”.
With Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe still at the helm, Hublot is also the first luxury brand to launch an online television service (Hublot TV), and it continues to explore revolutionary new interactive platforms. From a commercial point of view, the network of exclusive boutiques and authorized distributors has grown since 2007-2008 and currently has 750 points of sale and more than 70 exclusive boutiques in some of the most prestigious places in the world (Geneva, Place Vendôme from Paris, Madison Avenue in New York, Miami, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Cannes, Saint Tropez, London, Berlin, Munich, Moscow, Warsaw, Prague, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur , among other).
Anchored in the present and constantly evolving, at the forefront of new advances in technology and fundamental research of new materials, Hublot remains committed to traditional wisdom, creating watches that bear the mark of the most talented watchmakers. In this way, the brand represents the Art of Fusion between watchmaking culture and avant-garde technical development, between the past and the future … in the words of el Presidente de Hublot, Jean-Claude Biver, y del CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe: “no se trata de romper con el pasado, por el contrario, le rendimos tributo al conectarlo con el futuro”.
How did you come up setting up a retail company that curates luxury interior products?
We decided to defy the market. It was a long time ago, myself and Ricardo Magalhães, the creative director for Covet House and Cofounder of the group, left college in the pursuit of the Portuguese true craftsmanship represented in the interior design and furniture world. We clearly found a gap in this field, we’ve searched, studied the markets and come up with the first designs: a collection of more conservative furniture and another much bolder. The market had a great response to the bold collection, and the eagle took flight from there to now.
What is your approach to e-commerce versus brick & mortar? Why flats / apartments and not traditional retail space?
Today, from around 500 employees in the Covet Group, 200 are connected to production, 50 to central services and the other half connected to the commercial, marketing and design areas. So, we have a very strong presence in the online world. Although we have a very clear approach to the e-commerce we are currently expanding, and we’re creating more and more showrooms. We’ve recently opened and flat in NYC, the Covet NYC showroom, we’re about to inaugurate Covet Valley, our second house in the Douro’s margins, complementing the Covet Douro mansion.
We also have Covet London and Covet Paris, and all of these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the real world Covet experience. We’re still expanding and bringing closer all design lovers, giving them the opportunity to feel our pieces and get moved and inspired by them, and I think that’s much more of an experience than just open a store.
You recently introduced a ‘lounge’ concept. Tell us more.
An inspiring place where you can spend a pleasant time during every international tradeshow around the world. We’ve created a space where everyone can enjoy the experience with our specialized team of ambassadors and walk through beautiful high-end design creations and its stories while relishing good appetizer and taste great Portuguese wine. We aim to bring back the wonderful tradition of sitting face to face with our partners and friends, fulfilling their desires and establishing lasting relationships. The mission is very simple: “Celebrate design as friends”.
What is the selection criteria of your products / brand which you include in your offering?
We want to celebrate and honor the craftsmanship and every single person who creates soulful pieces with their own hands. We want to create a tribute to all makers for their wisdom, storytelling, and for building history with beautiful creations through ancient techniques and raw materials. We stand up for the ones that keep the art of craftsmanship alive. A desire to reveal the process as a peer of the finished product itself. In this journey from the past towards a new cultural progress, we are committed to promoting creativity and innovation, to respecting traditions and safeguarding the heritage. We support those who devote themselves to the excellence of craftsmanship, and that’s the soul of every single piece of furniture, upholstery, lighting and accessories produced by out amazing artisans. The mission I started after college is much clearer now.
Which are the most effective marketing tools nowadays? How important is still traditional print media versus online?
Like I’ve said before we have a very strong online presence. Social Media, Marketing and E-commerce represent almost half of our efforts. But in the same way I recognize the true value of a handcrafted product, that feeling of touch a magazine or a newspaper will never begone. We also have a press department, and we do recognize the importance on having our products and projects projected not only online, but in those physical publications. It a very important tool, mainly because interior design agencies, influencers, designers, and also finals buyers do prospect in those magazines and look for inspiration, and we want to be that source of inspiration.
We also have produced a trendsetting, Luxury and Design Magazine created to bring the latest design news from around the world. We attract a sophisticated global audience of both professionals and design lovers by presenting a unique, curated selection of interior design projects, exclusive interviews with the world’s best and collectable travel guides. International, influential and trendy, CovetED is the world’s top collectors source for interior design and luxury lifestyle news. Every three months, we distribute 20.000 copies directly to professionals, in new stands in the major capitals worldwide, and we cover the best design events around the world – Milan, Paris, London, Singapore, New York and Miami. We recognize the importance of the printed publication and that’s why we’re invested in getting through these markets.
To what extent your brand is related to lifestyle? Do you provide a ‘full option’ design solutions? (i.e. clients who would trust you to select all the products for your interiors?
We do offer the opportunity to inspire and select products for a project. COVET HOUSE offers a curated selection of contemporary designs from the world’s top furniture, lighting and accessory brands, together with unique marketing tools, with the clear mission of boosting the creativity of the interior design community.
Covet House is one of the best examples on providing the most powerful to creativity, by offering interior design services and produce ambiences and give tips on how to construct amazing design from our products, from a wide range of luxury brands under the Covet House name like Boca Do Lobo, Delightfull, Brabbu, Koket, Maison Valentina, Circu, Luxxu, Essential Home, Rug’Society, Foogo or Pullcast
Are the specific trends in interior design which you would highlight for this year?
Being a part of the trendsetting world is one of the missions of the group for this year. We want to be in the frontier of the trendsetter brands. We have an amazing panoply of trends prepared for the year 2019. An amazing assembly of products ready to make anyone fall in love with our pieces. I stand out the Art Deco Retro Vibe Floral for the Spring 2019, the Abstract Art Geometric, a trend mostly inspired and using some cantaloupe and living coral tones, the trendiest color for the year 2019.Along the year, Covet Group will present their trends and give opportunity for our clients to be truly inspired, but also inspire the world.
Have you considered branching out into providing interior products for hospitality?, in particular, hotels.
We currently have our hand full with astonishing hospitality projects. We’ve also promoted the Covet International Awards, which some of the awards given were in fact in the hospitality category. Our brands are represented in some of the most renowned names in the world, like Hilton Astana, Pestana Palácio Freixo, Paramount Dubai, Hotel Providence, Four Season NY, Loews Regency Hotel, The Langham Hotel London, Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Hamburg and Hotel Castelbrac. We offer carefully curated options and customization for every kind of project.
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