Volkswagen is opening the We Campus in Berlin, providing 900 jobs. Six employees report on their work for the mobility of the future, the digital ecosystem Volkswagen We, and their own personal motivation.
Christin Buss, Performance Marketing Expert
My name is Christin Buss, I am 32 years old and a Performance Marketing expert. The Performance Marketing department focuses mainly on marketing measures in the digital world; on the one hand, they are measurable and on the other, they can be continually optimized. The aim is to acquire new customers and to continue to address existing customers.
My job currently involves the production of photos and videos for the umbrella brand Volkswagen We and for the Volkswagen We services. In doing this, I am often guided by something that I learned when working for Walt Disney in Florida: that there is no better job than to inspire people. In other words: Create some magic!
In the last few months, together with my colleagues and a creative agency, I have designed and produced the campaign “We are on the move”, which you can see at volkswagen-we.com. It shows what We stands for, what our vision is and how mobility services will be integrated into our everyday lives in the future.
I moved from Braunschweig to Berlin two and a half years ago. Since then, I have been experiencing the challenges of living in a big city every day. I think that we are really far ahead in Berlin: my cellphone is full of apps from various mobility service providers, and I currently use around ten different services. In the near future, I would like to see a further expansion of this range, as well as the smart connection of services and partners. And smaller towns, too, should be able to benefit from the mobility transformation.
I am greatly looking forward to working in the We Campus. Not only because new things always bring fresh energy, motivation and inspiration with them, but also because for me, We is more than just a brand. We see ourselves as a community, and we are now showing this outwardly too, through the We Campus.
Stefan Zeidler, Product Manager, We Park Smartphone App
My name is Stefan Zeidler, I am 39 years old, a Berlin native and Product Manager for the smartphone app for We Park. We are currently preparing a completely new development of our app, which will include everything that our customers have requested from us. This will considerably improve the user experience of our service.
I cycle to work every morning, about half an hour, even in the depths of winter. My journey to the We Campus takes me through the Brandenburg Gate, past the splendid buildings along Unter den Linden and past Alexanderplatz. It is interesting to see the latest mobile gadgets – roller, bike, scooter and car-sharing – along the way. But I also sense the competition on the roads and see the stress that drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are exposed to. At We, as part of Volkswagen we are contributing to making roads more attractive for all road users – together with cities and local authorities, but also with users.
Our former office building, the Johannishof, used to be the GDR Ministerial Council’s guest house. That was a real challenge, particularly with regard to acoustics. So I think I will miss … nothing! The new rooms in the We Campus are bright, generously sized, modern and have a great acoustic. I sit in the sixth floor with my team and have a view of a lot of green, but also of the urban backdrop of skyscrapers around us. The concept of the We Campus – with interaction zones, concentration areas and lounge and play areas – reflects our connection with the city and our transparency, curiosity and openness.
Jens Baumgarten, Lead UX Designer
I am Jens Baumgarten, I am 36 years old and responsible for User Experience, or UX for short, at We Park. This means that, as a UX employee, I work with our product managers to ensure that we conceive our offers exclusively from the customer’s point of view. Because that’s what’s important. Of course, we have always developed products and services for our customers, but now they are a fixed component as early as the development stage. This means that absolutely everything – from new ideas to operating concepts and improvements – is tested on customers.
We Park is a challenge because, despite the apparently simple function “purchasing parking tickets”, parking occurs in a variety of ways from the customer’s point of view: in the car, using a cellphone, using other apps, etc. But wherever it takes place, it must always work equally well. Because every product, no matter how small, influences the way in which users experience Volkswagen. We know this from our private lives, too. If something doesn’t work once, I won’t be so keen on using it again.
I have lived in Berlin since 2011. There is no better city in which to experience and develop mobility. Here, there is every form of mobility that you could wish for around every corner. You take the mode of transportation that offers the best way of getting you to your destination – depending on the traffic, time of day, distance and your own preferences.
I have been longing for the arrival of the e-scooter, which is already available in other cities. Now I am incredibly happy to be whizzing through Berlin on it. However, my favorite mode of transportation is the Coup electric roller. Both the app and the vehicle are examples of an unbelievably good UX. This shows how the transformation to digital mobility can work! We at Volkswagen We are right in the middle of this transformation and are even able to actively help shape it.
Katharina Marquordt, Product Owner, Urban Mobility International
My name is Katharina Marquordt, I am 30 years old and Product Owner of the WeShare app at Urban Mobility International, or UMI for short. This is a 100 percent subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, which is managing vehicle-on-demand services such as WeShare.
As a product owner, together with the development team I record and evaluate the customer and stakeholder requirements for the WeShare app, create a task list from this and then prioritize it. The aim of our work, which we do in a team with software developers and designers, is to provide an app which will enable a lot of satisfied customers to whizz through town in an e-Golf1.
I did not grow up in a city, and was therefore always dependent on transportation – which is another reason why I am now motivated to help shape the mobility of the future. Almost ten years ago, I moved to Berlin but commuted to Volkswagen in Wolfsburg for almost seven years, until the Berlin office was opened. This meant that my journey to work became shorter but no less interesting! Since we equipped the first prototype of the WeShare app and the first vehicles with telematics, I have been coming to work in an e-Golf almost every day. This enables me to test the things that we at Volkswagen We are providing for the customer and incorporate my own experiences every day.
For me, WeShare is really very special. I am glad that we are offering the car-sharing service with 100% electric power, and therefore stand not only for flexible mobility but also for sustainability. But another special thing for me is the UMI team: it has a strong team spirit and high level of motivation. I am sure that one of the reasons for this is our “no ranks – no titles” philosophy, which gives everyone a voice! With the move, we are now bringing this “we” feeling to the We Campus. I am particularly looking forward to the air conditioning, which will hopefully enable us to survive the hot phase of launching WeShare with a cool head this summer.
Benjamin Kranz, Product Owner, Vehicle Activation Service
My name is Benjamin Kranz, I am 34, Vehicle Activation Service Product Owner, and I am a native of Berlin. Berlin is the right place for the Volkswagen We Campus and the digital working world because Berlin is simply never finished – it is constantly developing! Here, I can quickly test things that will not be possible in other cities for a long time.
What skills does a product owner have to possess? I have to be a digital all-rounder. In principle, I develop the best product for our customers, together with all the possible stakeholders. This includes planning and review meetings with the development team, workshops with the Performance Marketing and Reporting department, coordination with the Legal department and compliance with data protection regulations. Together, we turn visions into reality.
Our Vehicle Activation service enables our customers to log onto Volkswagen’s We ecosystem, so that they can use and experience all the mobile online services seamlessly. I came to Volkswagen We in September 2017 with the aim of being really responsible for something, from beginning to end. I am now doing that as a product owner.
There is a very open working culture at Volkswagen We. That’s a good thing, because we all feel the pressure in our areas. There is really a lot happening in the automotive sector. I’m thinking of electric mobility and new mobility services. It is a great thing to be part of such a transformation and to contribute to it. Sure, it’s not easy – on the contrary, it is often really difficult! That’s why it is particularly important that we all pull together – and this is now reinforced by the concept of all being under the same roof at the We Campus.
Ingo Müller, Head of Energy Solutions, Elli Group
My name is Ingo Müller, I am 39 years old and Head of Energy Solutions at the Elli Group. I came to Elli in order to help shape digital energy solutions for the customers of tomorrow, on the basis of an initial green energy offer. I am looking forward to developing new, innovative products at the We Campus, together with my colleagues from We and Volkswagen, at the interface between the automotive industry and the energy sector.
At the Elli Group, I develop our product range of energy solutions – currently in Germany, but further afield in the longer term. My job is perhaps most closely comparable to that of a production planner: I try to “industrialize” the digital value creation chain. The most exciting question for me is therefore whether a product is not just interesting but can also be offered and sold in bulk at acceptable unit costs. Connecting Elli and We by means of intelligent package solutions is therefore a key component for growth and profitability.
Volkswagen has set itself the pioneering task of helping e-mobility to reach the mass market in Germany, and we can all be proud of that. For us as a team, this means we have a responsibility to help enable mobility at ecologically and economically acceptable costs in the future, as well. It is a unique opportunity for the automotive industry to conquer the energy market. The energy industry is a service provider and partner for “security of supply”. However, with an emotionally charged product like the automobile, or mobility in general as a basic need for our customers, nobody is better positioned than Volkswagen to bring together our customers’ stationary and mobile energy supply needs in the form of attractive products. And we are now working on this vision together at the We Campus.
What is Volkswagen We?
Within its We ecosystem, Volkswagen offers a growing range of vehicle-related services and mobility products which can be used in the car or with a smartphone. These include applications for cashless parking and electricity charging (We Charge), opening your own car for delivery services and cleaning (We Deliver in the new Passat), simple and convenient parking (We Park), and the fully electric car-sharing service WeShare.
Volkswagen is continually expanding its range in the Volkswagen We ecosystem. From 2020, all new models, starting with the fully electric ID.32, will be connected to the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, which will make many functions and services technically possible for the first time: from vehicle updates to individually bookable functions which can be activated in the car. More than 1.5 million customers are now already registered at Volkswagen We, and the number is steadily rising.
What is WeShare?
Through its sub-brand WeShare, Volkswagen is introducing a comprehensive, completely electric car-sharing service in selected cities. The first vehicle fleet will start in the German capital, Berlin – it will initially comprise 1,500 e-Golfs and, from 2020, an additional 500 e-up!s3 – and later, in the course of the year, the fleet will be gradually transferred to the first models of the new Volkswagen ID. family. Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen Brand Board of Management Member for Sales, says: “We want to get young, urban users excited about e-mobility. With our car-sharing service WeShare, we will electrify Berliners first.”
1 e-Golf – Power consumption in kWh/100 km: combined 12.7; CO2 emissions combined
2 ID.3 – The vehicle is not yet available for purchase.
3 e-up! – Power consumption in kWh/100 km: 11.7 combined, CO2 emissions in g/km: 0 combined, efficiency class: A+