Volkswagen Digital:Lab and Pivotal plan new connected services
Issue Date: 2016-04-08

Volkswagen Group IT consistently uses agile workstyles and intensive cooperation with universities, technology partners and Volkswagen Group departments to develop digital solutions. At the new Volkswagen Digital:Lab in Berlin, the Group is working on this in a strategic partnership with software developer Pivotal. IT experts from Volkswagen and Pivotal jointly develop innovative software and mobility solutions for networked customers together with specialists from Technical Development and Sales.

"In our Digital:Lab we are working on a digital ecosystem that offers our customers a new user experience, new mobility services and a raft of networked vehicle services", Volkswagen Group CIO Dr. Martin Hofmann said. "We are creating completely new products for our customers, and are therefore turning Volkswagen from a car manufacturer into a mobility provider."

Hofmann commented that at the same time Volkswagen was establishing new workstyles which are being further developed. "Our IT experts in our labs in Berlin and Munich work the Silicon Valley way, we have brought the Valley to Volkswagen. Pivotal is supporting our experts with over 20 experts from San Francisco and Boulder, Colorado, and is training them in new software development methods. Our aim is to firmly anchor these skills and workstyles in the Group and in Germany. In the medium term, there will be more than 600 programmers, data scientists, design thinking experts and cloud architects working in our labs in Berlin, Munich and San Francisco", Hofmann said.

"Right from the start, Volkswagen software developers created innovative software solutions in cooperation with Pivotal at start-up speed", Edward Hieatt, Senior Vice President, Services at Pivotal, explained. "Plans include establishing a new IT platform." Volkswagen and Pivotal are focusing on innovative workstyles for software development. These are based on agile programming techniques such as extreme programming, as used successfully by firms in Silicon Valley. For example, software developers work systematically in changing pairs with daily stand-up meetings, regular weekly training sessions and continuous in-team optimization. This partnership fosters exchange and creativity within the teams, reduces the error rate, shortens development processes and allows swifter adjustment in the event of short-term changes in customer wishes.