Zalando is a leading European e-commerce company founded in 2008. In only 9 years it went from 0 to 5.000 million EUR revenue and a headcount of 14.000. This massive growth proved hard to manage using a top-down approach. In 2015 the company began the implementation of new agile management practices called Radical Agility. At the same time, the company announced a change towards a platform-based business model.
I was assigned to the department that is responsible for most of the goods sold on the Zalando websites. The department manages all business processes that deal with suppliers like ordering of goods, buying decisions supported by data science, invoicing, and delivery into warehouses. In close collaboration with the management team I supported the move from top-down management to agile practises using SCRUM, OKRs, agile roadmaps and lean product development. In terms of technology the challenge was to transform a monolithic IT architecture into a scalable set of microservices that can be maintained by independent teams. To that end, I worked hands-on with engineers and applied API first design, AWS cloud infrastructure and used an enterprise service bus.
Springer is a world leader in scientific publishing and e-learning. The company has been in business since 1842. Historically, Springer used external agencies to provide most of its IT capabilities. This model proved to be unsustainable in a global market with fast-paced competition. Therefore, Springer started a program to build up its own IT capabilities with the goal to deliver successful software products faster.
I was part of the international management and IT architecture team that successfully designed and rebuilt Springer’s digital content delivery and e-learning systems from the ground up. The new platform, based on continuous integration, microservices, and agile management techniques, dramatically reduced time to market for new features and went live in 2015.
Zanox is Europe's leading affiliate marketing platform. Due to massive growth it became clear that the platform and the way IT projects were managed no longer scaled with the business needs. To that end, Zanox began in 2013 to reshape its IT landscape using an agile and event-driven architecture. Zanox’ business is centered around a massive amount of events from affiliate partners. Therefore, a microservice architecture based on a persisting event queue and a cold storage for offline data analytics was chosen.
I successfully supported that move as an external consultant in two key areas: coaching of teams for successful introduction of agile processes and hands-on work with engineering teams.