VW swallows Diconium/ Important step for the development of a global distribution channel12. January 2020
VW swallows Diconium/ Important step for the development of a global distribution channel
With the complete takeover of the software developer Diconium, VW has taken a further step towards the associated goal of building a global sales platform.
Employees of Volkswagen and Diconium have already been working together on the new Volkswagen We Campus in Berlin since July 2019. In the near future, around 900 specialists will work together here to develop new mobility services.
Andreas Schwend, co-founder and co-managing director of Diconium, justified the approval of the takeover (since the end of 2018, VW has held 49 percent of the shares) by saying that under the umbrella of the global group, the company now has the opportunity “to help shape one of the most exciting digitalization projects currently underway”.
However, this is not without problems, because ID.3, the first electric car that Volkswagen is producing in large numbers, has been experiencing difficulties with software installation since December. Currently, the vehicles are being built without the software being able to be installed directly. The problem is expected to continue until spring 2020.
As a further reason for the approval, Diconium stated that ” our brand, our DNA and our autonomy will be preserved”. Why this should be so, remained open and whether this assessment will actually be true, one must wait and see. In any case, other facts count for VW: namely the global orientation of Diconium: the Stuttgart company is represented in Portugal, the USA, India and China with a total of over 1,000 employees. They develop digital sales platforms and IT systems for customer management. Diconium is thus filling numerous gaps in the existing concept, which the Wolfsburg-based company could hardly have closed so quickly on its own.
In November, Volkswagen founded the subsidiary Car.Software.org, which is to develop software for all brands. Diconium will be one of them. Its areas of responsibility include functions such as multimedia streaming in the car, automatic payment for charging and parking and updates for the vehicle. To this end, the online sales platform will be linked to the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, the development of which is also being operated within the Car.Software organisation.
Volkswagen intends to use Diconium to strengthen its digital sales capabilities. “This includes the development of a global online sales platform that will enable customers of all Group brands to purchase and manage digital services and on-demand functions for their fully networked vehicle in the future,” Wolfsburg said. Diconium has developed a kind of digital department store with a user interface, which VW customers will use to book new services in the future. „
Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Sales and Marketing, points out that digital know-how is crucial for the future of the Group. As an example, he cites the “We” ecosystem, with which VW offers tailor-made digital services and mobility offers for customers. “In the future, we want to network vehicles, customers and our partners in the trade even more closely with each other and create an end-to-end ‘Volkswagen brand experience’. To realize an omnichannel offering for our customers, we need the e-commerce expertise of strong partners like Diconium,” he explains the strategic background to the deal.
Christian Senger – VW’s head of software – is also satisfied. His new unit gains 1200 new employees at a stroke through the takeover. This gives him ” access to excellent expertise”, he praises his future partners.
Senger started in spring 2019 with about 500 software experts. By 2025, the number of employees in his unit is expected to rise to 10,000. This year alone, VW plans to hire around 2500 new software and digital experts. VW is currently developing just under 10 percent of its software itself, and by 2025 the figure should be more than 60 percent.