Case Study from billwerk and Y1
Autonomous driving as a software solution
“I experienced billwerk as our nice neighbours, who not only sell a good service, but also offer competent advice and are always available.”
Autonomous driving as a software solution
What was the initial situation like? What were the challenges to be mastered?
Autonomous driving is becoming more and more a reality. The fact that machines will eventually replace humans in road traffic is no longer an absurd future vision. Especially in theory, self-driving buses, taxis or other means of transport already exist. In the US Silicon Valley, the “motherland” of new technological developments, research is making great progress.
But here too, the first steps towards “autonomous driving” are being taken. A major German automotive supplier developed a software that allows any number of users to analyze the results of object recognition and decision making in autonomously driving vehicles and thus classify their accuracy.
In the next step, this solution required a distribution channel that would make the software available to as many users as possible as quickly as possible. This enables the use of the software to be planned according to demand and at the same time prevents the number of licenses in circulation from being higher than necessary. The immediate provision is nevertheless essential.
What possible solutions have you considered for meeting the technical / infrastructural challenge?
Machine learning usually produces results, which in turn must be controlled by a person. Often, however, this is a large amount of results, which in turn requires the effort of many people.
In order to be able to ensure this, one must be able to mobilize many people quickly and at short notice, to manage an assignment or to plan ahead for future large orders and book licenses in advance.
A licensing model was developed for this purpose, which is to positioned in the area of volume licensing, but allows both flexible duration and flexible user numbers.
Such a model did not yet exist ready-to-use on the market and therefore had to be planned and created.
For this purpose, a lean solution for managing the subscriptions was planned and developed in cooperation with billwerk for the handling of the subscriptions. The project was based on the e-commerce technology Sylius.
As a result, we transformed an e-commerce framework that was optimized for selling physical products by quantity to suit subscriptions of non-physical products in flexible quantities and with flexible durations.
We worked with Sylius for our solution because, unlike monolithic systems, it is easier to implement new features in compact frameworks. In this case, the capability for subscription-based sales of non-physical products was created, which also offers a third-party vendor for processing.
Both would have been possible in monolithic systems as well, but would have led to much more initial effort, since the partly large scope of distribution of such systems would have made it necessary to deactivate or rewrite large parts of the system.
Why did you decide to meet the challenge with billwerk?
billwerk offers experience and expertise in all legal issues concerning subscriptions and their processing.
The cancellation process for a subscription is kept simple and completely transparent at all times.
The project start was in the critical phase of the EU-DSGVO and with billwerk we had a partner who was comprehensively covered with sufficient lead time in this respect.
The API provided allows for easy management of subscriptions by the connected shop, guaranteeing maximum convenience for the end user.
Customer data such as addresses, tax numbers and their validation directly in the shop and the real-time management of the subscription volume could be easily implemented.
How did the integration (operational, structural, timewise, etc.) of billwerk and the transformation of the organization work in connection with the solution?
In order to understand the customer’s needs as thoroughly as possible, we conducted a requirements workshop to answer as clearly as possible what we should implement our solution for, as well as to clarify what exactly the software should facilitate and how we envision the technical implementation.
We dedicated ourselves to the MVP with a small team of two developers and a project manager in order to keep the budget to a minimum and to quickly deliver visible results which we can use as a basis for long-term development.
For this purpose, a further workshop was held in the course of planning a follow-up project. The follow-up project was to focus less on subscription management and more on the software per se to facilitate internal customer communication and collaboration.
How does the solution work today (metrics)? What is your conclusion?
The customer, for whose software for the “autonomous driving” project we developed the solution, ultimately decided against our proposal.
The model, which Y1 and billwerk developed together, was finished and is available with all technical resources.
Key features of our jointly developed solution at a glance:
- Subscription solution with flexible terms
- Compact implementation in an open source framework
- Third party provider with expertise in the field of subscriptions
Do you have any helpful tips for other project managers who are also facing a similar challenge?
Since autonomous driving is becoming increasingly important, projects such as the one we have mastered with billwerk will certainly become more important in the future.
For the software solution, it is worth taking a look at the providers. It was easier for us to implement the solution with Sylius, because it meant less effort than using a monolithic shop system.
Y1 Digital AG was created in April 2020 out of the agencies codekunst, mzentrale and Sitewards and offers integrated solutions for digital commerce: from digital branding and design via UX/UI, development, cloud services, digital marketing and extensive consulting services. The head office is in Karlsruhe; other locations are Munich and Frankfurt (a.M.), Stuttgart and Leipzig. The 100 employees are headed by Peter Schneider, member of the board of directors, Sebastian Wernhöfer and Lars Ax, accompanied by their founder Patrick Scherr.
With the experience of more than 20 years of e-commerce and the focus on B2B enterprise Commerce and B2C-/D2C-Commerce for Fashion & Lifestyle the agency offers, also thanks to a international partner network, a high degree of expertise and powerful solutions to implement successful and sustainable projects in a goal-oriented manner. To do this, we rely on the Adobe Magento Commerce, novomind iShop, Spryker, Shopware and Sylius in the field of commerce systems.
Among the agency’s clients are well-known companies and leading brands such as Bogner, Zarges, Steiff, Roche and many more.
With the brand DAVE42, Y1 is a firstmover and proven specialist in the area of “Conversational Interfaces” and leading language technologies such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant & Co.