Going international: The AddStore project with hybris
The AddStore is an e-commerce platform offering NTT DATA Business Solutions’ software solutions and add-on packages for the SAP landscape. Since going live in Germany in March 2013, it has proven to be a huge success.
Two years down the line, we set about launching the AddStore in our Western European countries, and I took the lead as head of the project. Our challenge? To offer individual product ranges from a centrally managed catalogue for each country – in the respective native language and currency.
Broadening horizons with country-specific stores
The AddStore offers products specifically designed by NTT DATA Business Solutions to enhance the SAP experience. In addition to software solutions and add-ons, there are also training sessions and workshops available. These courses instruct users on how to get the most out of SAP solutions. The AddStore is not just useful for customers: It is also frequently used by consultants and sales staff as a source of information to keep them up to date on the latest NTT DATA Business Solutions innovations.
An international team of four developers were hand-picked to develop the AddStore on the hybris platform. Our task was to create a consistent and centrally maintained product catalogue, as well as localized and heterogeneous offerings for eight countries – in, as of now, four languages and 3 currencies. Work on the project began in March 2015, with the first launch in June in the UK. Stores were rolled out in other countries over the following months. Although the project was focused on launching the AddStore in our Western European countries, the US store was introduced shortly after.
We chose hybris as the basis for the new e-commerce platform. In my opinion, this was a smart decision: In addition, hybris offers accelerators – such as predefined setups – in order to save time in the development phase.
Multilingual, multicurrency and individual product ranges sourced by a centralized catalogue: based on hybris, NTT DATA Business Solutions launched country-specific Addstores in Western Europe as well as USA. Dr. Anna Flötotto describes the scope and challenges:
Cohesive, coherent, consistent
For me, this project was a new experience in terms of the methodology we employed. Unlike typical SAP ERP projects I’ve been involved in, we had no detailed project plan before we got started, but used an agile method defining development sprints. This gave us the benefit of increased flexibility, and enabled us to complete the task within a relatively short time frame. As I took on the role of project management, I had the opportunity to learn more about hybris and define my requirements in greater detail over the course of the project.
Now, each country can tailor their range of products and services by selecting specific items from the central AddStore catalogue. This helps to better coordinate the offering, and has the potential to generate synergies between the countries. Moreover, the AddStore features responsive web design, and provides a coherent overview across different countries and between sales staff and customers. We were also able to significantly improve AddStore’s visibility on Google by taking SEO aspects into consideration throughout the project. I am extremely satisfied with the outcome, and we are already in discussion with other countries about future rollouts, and their use of the hybris-based AddStore as a global platform for NTT DATA Business Solutions products and offerings.
About the author
Dr. Anna Flötotto has worked at NTT DATA Business Solutions since January 2011. Since 2014, she has held the position of Manager for Products and Solutions.