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Volkswagen and IBM enter 5-year partnership to develop digital mobility services

Volkswagen and IBM intend to develop digital mobility services together. Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand responsible for Sales, said that the objective of the agreement between the two companies—initially set for a term of five years—is the development of personalized digital services for the driver, with a view to shape actively the growing trend towards networking between vehicles and drivers.

“We Commerce” is to be the first joint development within the Volkswagen WE digital ecosystem. This will be an integrated service to provide drivers with recommendations for action at the right place and time. After the customer’s permission has been obtained, the cognitive abilities of the IBM solution will ensure that these services learn from the driver’s preferences and habits in order to make recommendations that are as personalized as possible.

Retailers, filling station chains, the hotel sector and restaurants will be able to use We Commerce to place their offerings in a targeted way directed towards individual customers.

Our objective is to establish an open marketplace for developers so that they have the possibility of creating a joint digital platform. Volkswagen will benefit from our long-standing industry expertise, our cloud services and our AI-based Watson technologies as well as our digital design know-how.

—Dirk Wollschläger, IBM General Manager Global Automotive Industry

These new digital products will be developed by interdisciplinary teams on the basis of agile principles in development and testing cycles which are as short as possible in order to create services tailored to the actual needs of customers.

—Jürgen Stackmann

This cooperation will be part of Volkswagen’s FAST program. (Earlier post.) In future, this will allow interchange with suppliers, which is more intensive to take place at an earlier stage in strategic and technological terms.

With IBM as a key partner for our FAST program, we will show how fast we can succeed in implementing our ambitious plans for the development of digital services.

—Ralf Brandstätter, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand responsible for Procurement

The newly developed services will be operated by a Volkswagen Cloud and an IBM hybrid cloud. The basic services of Volkswagen digital platform will be combined with the wide variety of cognitive capabilities and additional micro-services as such as machine learning in the IBM cloud.

With access to the IBM Cloud Services Catalog, Volkswagen and national sales companies and partners will also be able to develop market-specific services to satisfy present and future mobility needs rapidly and independently.

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