It takes vision to change an industry – Interview with Robert Queck, Head of Competence Center eCommerce at Arithnea
Highest standards for highest quality: Our goal is e-commerce solutions that are as flexible as our customers are diverse. To do that, we work with the best. At our Partner Day in October 2018, we thanked those who focused on pulling together with us. Because only through the expertise of our cooperation partners, we can offer companies exactly what we do: agile solutions that adapt to the market situation and the needs of our customers at all times.
The excellent work of our partners is usually not visible on the surface but runs highly efficiently in the background. Because we know that, we’ve created awards for our partners that excel in innovation, performance and creativity. Here, in interviews, we present three experts who deservedly took our partner awards home.
Robert Queck, Head of Compentence Center eCommerce at Arithnea
commercetools Innovation Award 2018
As pilots in digital business, Arithnea guides and supports large and medium-sized companies in their projects towards digital transformation. Arithnea is part of a successful partner network, which includes Celum, e-Spirit and SAP Hybris. scrappel, a digital marketplace for recyclables trading, which came into being as an innovation project by the recycling company ALBA Group, as well as wilo, a premium supplier in the field of building services, water management and industry, are prime examples for well-coordinated cooperation of all involved partners.
In contrast to out-of-the-box monolithic commerce suites – where does commercetools add value for your customers?
Robert Queck: Customers benefit from commercetools’ digital commerce platform mainly in two ways. First, it’s the mindset of microservice architecture that can be the flag bearer through our customers’ transformation processes. Technical and business complexity has reached the next level, microservices are part of the answer to deal with it, and commercetools works as an excellent nucleus. Second, it’s rather unsexy at first sight but has the most significant impact of all: commercetools gives our customers a set of robust commodity eCommerce services that reduce initial investment costs for digital commerce projects. From a visionary business perspective, it ensures faster time-to-market and jump-starts new businesses taking the lead in new markets. What makes it even stronger is that this is not a one-timer. With its native cloud services and API-first strategy, our customers profit from continuous updates and service improvements, which means lifelong fitness without the update costs of self-owned monolithic commerce infrastructures.
If you had to decide between agility and functionality – which one would you chose for your customers?
Robert Queck: Agility or functionality? That depends on the target group. In existing markets and with organizations who know precisely what to do, you will opt for functionality. If five semiconductor factories are running on one platform and you want to have another one … agile is not an option. You even put the same coffee machines in the break rooms to suppress the chances of decreased success rates. But if you enter a new market you would rather choose an agile approach to benefit from flexible options. Same for business agility. New companies work within flexible structures and external partners until the business is stabilized. Afterwards, you go into supply chain optimization.
What does the concept “post-web-era” mean for your daily business and your customers?
Robert Queck: Essentially, it means uncertainty. We see a similar situation as Europeans during the settlement of the American continent. Without any judgment: There is an old web world that will undoubtedly remain for at least one generation. It has not even been adopted completely yet. And there is a new mobile, social, IoT, and who-knows-yet world, with all the related not-yet-proven promises. And like in the historical context, the new world also means adventures, frontiers, chances, and opportunities. We see that our customers are trying to position themselves and their business without having easy answers. Are our customers ready for a change? How many would follow? Do we miss new customers by giving old answers? Is it just another hype or is there a quality change? How can we stay attractive for high-potential employees? Those are just some of the questions we get every day.
So there is uncertainty, and together with our customers, we have to find ways into the new world which in most cases is not an all-or-nothing path. And in the end, this means there are no easy decisions and one-fits-all solutions anymore. Many of our customers choose multiple, very different approaches. Therefore, we regard ourselves as post-web-era pilots. In daily business, we have a strong suggestion: Don’t put all the money on the easy answers. Try something, evaluate, improve, try again.