Pioneering web portal

Milestones in the digital transformation process

An interview with Dror Peled, Deputy Division Manager and General Manager Marketing & Sales Export at Mitsubishi Electric Europe BV, and Guido Ahle, Manager Digital Experience at adesso SE.
adesso is one of the leading IT service providers in Germany and has been expanding its portfolio in the area of digital experience for several years. Mr Ahle, you serve as head of the Line of Business Digital Experience at adesso. Why is so important to expand activities in this area?

Guido Ahle: ‘We’ve been experiencing higher demand for digital solutions and modern web portals in various industries for several years. This means that our customers see a need for action here – and so do we, of course. Companies like Mitsubishi Electric recognise that without advanced technologies and innovative approaches, they cannot communicate effectively with their target audiences or provide them with a high-quality online experience. Marketing and sales cannot operate in today’s world if they are not digital and data-driven. Drawing on our experience in the digital experience space, we develop customised solutions for our clients to drive their digital strategies forward.

Which fields in the DX space have been in particularly high demand in recent months and in which sectors have you been most active?’

Guido Ahle: ‘Personalised user experiences that enable companies to address their customers individually and provide them with customised content were in very high demand. Beyond that, the integration of digital asset management systems (DAM), content management systems (CMS) and digital experience platforms (DXP) was another key topic since many companies are looking for ways to manage their digital resources more efficiently. There are a whole host of sectors we serve. For example, the automotive industry increased their investments in DX to improve the quality of customer interactions. But we are also seeing increased activity among financial service providers, in the health sector and in the retail space. The Covid-19 pandemic underscored the need for a strong online presence and a seamless online experience in many industries. And we are there to support our customers during these transformation processes.’

Mr Peled, you are in charge of Marketing and Sales Export for the Living Environmental Systems (LES) division at Mitsubishi Electric Europe. You were looking for a partner who could help you create a new digital infrastructure, which included a new website and a central knowledge database. Why did you choose adesso?

Dror Peled: ‘When it came time for us to choose a suitable partner, criteria such as technical skills, innovativeness and extensive experience in the field of digitalisation were vital for us. adesso stood out with their broad expertise in the area of digital experience and their strong track record in similar projects. They understood our requirements and our vision for the new website and knowledge database. What is more, we were impressed by the agile project management methods they deploy and their ability to respond quickly to changes. Right from the start, we knew we had made the right choice by opting to partner with adesso. The successes we have enjoyed so far confirm this.’

What requirements did the new website and knowledge management system have to meet and how did you go about planning the project together with adesso?

Dror Peled: ‘We did not so much create a new website as launch a portal that is very easy for our customers and stakeholders to use. We also created an application called Fach- und Ansprechpartnersuche, which allows consumers to locate and contact suitable professional handicraft businesses. Other topics such as the personalisation of content and offers, commerce functionalities in a non-public domain and efficient search features were also important to us. We were able to meet all of our requirements working together with a single provider as part of our partnership with adesso. The close partnership and detailed coordination processes were certainly critical to the success of the project.’

Guido Ahle: ‘We began by defining our requirements and goals at in-depth meetings and workshops, where colleagues from Mitsubishi Electric outlined their vision for the new website in detail. We translated this vision into personas, customer journeys and, finally, design concepts before then defining the technical requirements.’

Dror Peled: ‘It was very important for us that the web portal be modern, user-friendly and look good. It should represent our brand and products in the best possible light and offer visitors a seamless, informative online experience. In addition, it was also of great importance to create a central knowledge database. This should above all provide our customers with easy access to complete information about our products and services. For us, the ability to personalise content was another key feature of the portal to ensure that the website was able to meet the individual needs of visitors to the site.’

The adesso project team was involved in the design phase as well as in the implementation of the portal. Why was this particular aspect so important to you?

Dror Peled: ‘We wanted to make sure that the vision and concepts we developed during the planning phase were carried over without a hitch when it came time to actually implementing the website. Having the adesso team involved throughout all phases of the project was critical to ensuring that our requirements and expectations were met.’

Guido Ahle: ‘Being involved in every aspect of the project was also very important for us. This allowed us to react quickly to challenges and ensure that the web portal and knowledge database were able to meet all of the quality standards that had been set.’

Dror Peled: ‘Guido Ahle’s team developed a deep understanding of our brand, our products and our target groups. They were not only our technical partner; they were also there for us to advise and assist us. Entrusting these three roles to a company like adesso proved to be the right choice.’

An agile approach based on Scrum was used to carry out the project. Can you give us a look inside the process and how you worked together?

Guido Ahle: ‘We took a standard, sprint-based approach to organising the project. In other words, we split the work up into short, intense phases. Each sprint had clear goals and tasks that had to be completed within a defined period of time. During the sprints, we met regularly to discuss progress, identify obstacles and make adjustments. These meetings helped us be agile in responding to changes and ensure the project stayed on track.’

Dror Peled: ‘The agile collaboration with adesso proved to be a great success. By splitting the project into sprints and defining clear goals, we were able to continuously track progress and ensure that the implementation met our requirements. Defining an MVP (minimum viable product) and MMP (minimum marketable product) proved to be the right strategy to not only develop the web portal quickly, but also to get it online expeditiously. Which is why we focused on the core requirements for go-live. Our teams and adesso were in close communication, and we had a full overview of the development process.’

How has the new website been received by your colleagues and what added value were you able to deliver?

Dror Peled: ‘The new web portal has been well received by our colleagues. Usability, the modern design and the enhanced user experience are really appreciated by many of them. What our internal teams, especially the marketing and sales departments, really like is the ability to personalise content and easily manage information in the central knowledge database. These departments were also able to give feedback from time to time as the project progressed. Overall, the new web portal bolsters our digital presence and helps us be even closer to our customers and offer them added value. The number of leads the web portal generates every day is a testament to this.’

Looking forward, have you given any thought to how artificial intelligence can be used in marketing to hone and improve the web portal and make work easier?

Dror Peled: ‘I believe AI will play an increasingly important role in all aspects of life, including of course in marketing as well. AI opens up a number of opportunities to further improve the user experience, provide personalised recommendations and increase the efficiency of our marketing activities. AI-supported analysis tools, chatbots and virtual assistants that can answer customer queries automatically are not science fiction; today, they are reality. The future of marketing will undoubtedly be influenced by AI, and we’re making sure we stay on the cutting edge from a technological perspective.’

Guido Ahle: ‘AI integration opens up a host of opportunities to improve the web portal and make work easier. Today, we are already using AI-powered methods to deliver personalised content to the right user segments. The next steps going forward will be to analyse user behaviour or even automate marketing activities. AI can help us better understand customer needs and provide experiences tailored specifically to them. We are looking to focus on innovative technologies and approaches to optimise web portals – as in this particular case here – to meet the demands of the future.’

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