Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie once said, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.” In this final installment of our series of blogs about the AOE B2X Commerce Cloud, we will take a look at how teamwork builds sustainable and reliable solutions, both from a technical and from a “people” perspective.
A prime example of teamwork in developing software solutions is the AOE B2X Commerce Cloud, which provides companies with a flexible, future-proof solution for communicating with and selling to end customers (B2C), other businesses (B2B), partners (B2P) and employees (B2E). This modular, API-based suite is designed to grow with the needs and increasing complexity of organizations. The B2X Commerce Cloud is comprised of numerous individual components, integrated and refined by AOE to build a state-of-the-art solution where the entire solution is more than the sum of its parts.
Our business and software development processes are built on teamwork, more specifically on Agile teamwork. Our software development teams work according the guidelines postulated by the Agile Manifesto, which places a heavy emphasis on individuals, working software, true partnerships with customers and the ability to respond quickly to change. What this means for our customers is that they are an active part of the team(s) dedicated to them from the very beginning.
One can view the issue of teamwork and the B2X Commerce Cloud from two major perspectives. From a technical point-of-view, B2X is a powerful solution suite built on a number of tested and reliable individual software solutions. As discussed in earlier blogs in this series, some of the most important software solutions incorporated into B2X are the Adobe Experience Cloud, Magento and Akeneo PIM. In other words, a “team” of software components is needed to build our B2X Commerce Cloud.
The other perspective concerns a business- or collaboration point-of-view. B2X was built one project at time, in conjunction with numerous international companies, whose requirements – both technical as well as business – varied from project to project.
We carefully developed what was to become AOE B2X Commerce Cloud together with our various “customer teams”. Each project and each solution was an ongoing learning process, aimed at fulfilling the client’s requirements at the time.
Over time, we realized that there was more to what we were developing than simply a one-off software-driven solution to solve a customer’s problems. We were creating a vision, in the sense of Andrew Carnegie, of building a comprehensive platform that would be capable of quickly and efficiently helping a company communicate with its stakeholders.
We are convinced that to develop successful software solutions into today’s complex business environment it is necessary to build cross-functional teams, where developers have complementary sets of core competencies. Competencies they can nurture and use to build reliable, fast and future-proof solutions. The only teams that are capable of delivering such solutions are built along agile guidelines and use processes such as Scrum or Kanban. It is important to realize that the competencies needed to be successful go beyond technical expertise. It is equally important to have extensive knowledge of vertical industries, to be able to recognize needs and determine the business value each feature can deliver. Only the combination of technical- and business expertise creates innovation.
As mentioned above, some of the components comprising our B2X solution include E-Commerce, PIM and personalized/targeted performance marketing, to mention just three.
Though each software component is excellent in its own right, what makes the B2X Commerce Cloud truly powerful is in seeing where each component has its strengths and customizing these strengths to provide an optimal B2X platform for every customer. The strengths of each component build upon each other increasing power, flexibility, scalability and business value exponentially. In other words, the B2X Commerce Cloud is greater than the sum of its parts.
If we examine Andrew Carnegies’s complete quote above, we can apply it to the B2X solution in its entirety. Each individual software component contributes its strengths to the objectives of the overall solution and, by extension, to help meet the needs of the customer. “Common” software is thus in a position to attain uncommon results.
The same mindset can, of course, be applied to the individuals working on any given project (both to AOE employees and those working on the client side) as well as to the entire team.
Regardless of how you look at it, AOE lies at the heart and soul of the B2X Commerce Cloud (depicted, incidentally, by the AOE-gray T-shirt). We combine all the pieces of the puzzle – personalized marketing, E-Commerce, PIM and all the other components – into one holistic platform to meet all the commerce needs of our clients.