Open4business is our Partner of the Month for June
The German digital service provider open4business recently re-developed the website for an international tech manufacturing business – and deployed Ibexa Digital Experience Platform (DXP) to do it.
“It was our first project as certified partners of Ibexa,” says Dirk Langenheim, the open4business Managing Partner responsible for business development and sales. “It was great to get this under our belt. The most challenging thing when you start a new partnership is to win project zero.”
“It was a very positive experience,” adds Marcel Häberle, the Managing Partner in charge of project management and customer relations. “What excites me is that we only leveraged about 10% to 20% of Ibexa’s functionality for this project. We can take the client – and our future clients – so much further with the Ibexa DXP.”
Based in Friedrichshafen in south Germany, open4business is a digital full-service provider, “positioned at the interface between business and technology”. Both Langenheim and Häberle stress the fluid, holistic aspect of this approach, where technology is seen not as a black box, or even a “solution”, but as belonging to a process of engagement with the clients as their needs evolve.
“The Ibexa functionalities are crucial for us, of course they are,” says Langenheim, “but what is indispensable is that Ibexa shares our vision of what it is that we do, and what digital transformation really means.”
First and foremost, digital transformation is a process – and a process that is different for each business. “This is why we don’t think in terms of one-off, short-term projects. We think long-term, and the project is always a relationship.”
Ibexa DXP comes from the same place: future-proof, scalable, extendable and inter-operational, it can take businesses in many directions at their own pace.
“Digital success is more than content,” says Häberle, “it is more than e-commerce, more than personalization, important though these are. It is about how digital tells the story of your brand. This is so different for each client – and Ibexa’s flexible and modular architecture helps us to tell that story in as fluidly as is possible.”
This is why open4business welcomed Ibexa repositioning itself as an enabler of digital experience – an experience that connects brand and customer, static and dynamic content, B2B to B2B2C to D2C.
Technology should not only be able to integrate easily with core systems, it should also integrate with legacy in the widest sense: the culture of a company and “what makes each company unique,” says Langenheim. A monolithic, take-it-or-leave-it tool is a barrier to digital success.
“We are true believers in the best-of-breed strategy,” Langenheim adds. “We like to build platforms; we like to compose platforms. Ibexa’s modular architecture allows us to do just that.”
Another important facet of the synergy between open4business and Ibexa is “quick results”, as Langenheim puts it. “You get these providers that embark on long, drawn-out projects where you have to do a lot of builds and spend a lot of cash before you see a single pixel. That is not our way.”
Häberle adds: “We are in it for the long haul with our clients but that means you have to create trust quickly. You have to be able to show positive results quickly.”
Ibexa enables fast developer onboarding, and its API-first approach facilitates rapid integrations. “But it’s more than that,” says Langenheim, “agile implementation is part of Ibexa’s DNA – and that is what we need from a technology partner.”
Open4business does not believe that projects involve a constant trade-off between stable operation and flexible development. “But you need to leverage the DevOps approach and have a DXP that is quick out of the starting block and supports fast release cycles,” Langenheim says.
For the German tech manufacturer, open4business and Ibexa built an interface to the PIM, and developed a middleware functionality that gave a heterogeneous and dispersed pool of stakeholders access to the same presentation layer. “This is where Ibexa showed us the interoperability of its technology,” says Häberle.
Open4business is keen to leverage more use cases with Ibexa, especially in eCommerce. The agency has been hosting a series of webinars on its collaboration with Ibexa; the latest one is entitled: Successfully winning customers: content-based eCommerce in complex sales models and will be held on June 22.
“We’re at the starting point of our partnership,” Langenheim concludes, “and we hope to soon reach a position where we run two or three powerful projects a year. As I said, we’re great believers in getting on with projects and bringing up the first results very quickly. I am confident that this is what open4business and Ibexa will be able to deliver.”