Our wide range of system solutions connects millions of people around the world every day: from around 610,000 employees in the Volkswagen Group and its 12 brands to our customers. At Volkswagen Group IT, we promote the digitalisation of Volkswagen and its products at our headquarters in Wolfsburg, at all production plants throughout the Group and in our IT labs around the world.
Our IT also supports the core business segments of the Volkswagen Group at all sites. We provide, maintain and continuously develop the Group-wide IT infrastructure together with the central data centres and worldwide networks.
We work with a motivated and committed IT team on the integration of the value creation process with our systems and accept the challenges inherent in competitive pressure, managing resources and the dynamism of the IT market.
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Volkswagen IT makes intensive use of agile working methods, especially in software development. The main benefits: Unbureaucratic procedures, increased speed and improved results.
We therefore consistently adapting workplaces and entire office concepts to agile working methods in order to foster collaboration and to strengthen a corporate culture of cooperation. The newly constructed IT City in Wolfsburg is an outstanding example. The office campus for about 1,500 employees is oriented towards agile working. Features include work islands for project teams, meeting points, fully networked meeting rooms and retreat rooms for concentrated working.
The pair programming (pairing) approach at Volkswagen is based on the project work of Silicon Valley IT companies. In our Digital:Lab in Berlin, software architects, designers and developers work on the basis of the pairing method. They form teams of two and always work on the same content of the project. This division of knowledge accelerates progress with the project, reduces errors and allows rapid adjustment to short-term changes in customer requirements.
Methods and experience in this area are now being transferred to the core IT organization in Wolfsburg. Increasingly, the possibility of "cross pairing", cooperation between IT colleagues in Germany and India across national and time zone boundaries, is being considered.
In addition, we use the pairing approach for the recruitment of qualified IT graduates. Instead of attending a conventional interview, international applicants spend several days working together with a Volkswagen employee and are fully integrated in project work – this is a first step in getting to know the team.
In a globally active organization such as the Volkswagen Group, our departments and specialists are no longer located solely at company headquarters but are distributed throughout the world. This is why we already launched the Group-wide knowledge network Group Connect in 2014 with a view to fostering dialog between its employees from different regions, departments and hierarchical levels.
Group Connect accelerates and facilitates the transfer of knowledge within the Group. Users can work together, find experts on specific topics throughout the Group, and request and obtain the information they need. They can call upon knowledge that has already been developed, take their orientation from best practice examples or provide such examples themselves. In addition, Volkswagen also uses Group Connect for intensive direct interchange between managers, including Board of Management Members, and employees. In the meantime, all the Volkswagen Group's 620,000 employees can use Group Connect.
Apart from our Software Development Center in Wolfsburg, we now have six IT labs and competence centers. We implement an agile approach there, and work closely with technological partners, universities and research organizations. This provides the best environment for devoting ourselves to the future issues of mobility and digitization.
Can computers or robots think? Could they have a consciousness? When specialists from the Volkswagen Group IT Data Lab talk about their work, they often hear questions like this. Here, at the Data Lab, an international team is working on the development of self-learning programs. In future, their development work could provide better support for their colleagues at the office and factory in many corporate processes. However, one thing is important for the Volkswagen specialists: if you are looking for machines that can think, you will find them in Hollywood rather than in the Data Lab.
Its the development of algorithms that independently learn how to detect and predict specific patterns and laws so that optimum decisions can be made. The key is machine learning or, to put it in simple terms, the ability of a program to link data, analyze interconnections and make predictions. Their work is based on deep neural networks. For neural networks of this type, the Data Lab specialists combine information science with mathematics, or more precisely with probability theory. Their algorithms learn by always independently taking the optimum decision from the mathematical point of view in real-time, i.e. the decision that corresponds to the greatest probability.
Dealer Solutions at the pulse of Silicon Valley.
The Digital:Lab is one of the six innovation labs of the Volkswagen Group IT. Our passion: software development and the corresponding platform as well as the digital ecosystem. Our team includes are around 80 developers, UX designers and product managers. We work together to develop apps and software for our customers in order to make the future of mobility truly come alive. We work with lean, UX and extreme programming methods in non-hierarchical teams. This ensures we are in a position to make quick decisions – that are not based on conventions, but rather on the greatest advantage for our customers. Throughout it all, we work in a transparent and open manner and regard feedback and support as an integral part – and so is English. After all, our employees from more than 17 countries have an impact on our daily social interactions.
The social commitment also belongs to a multifaceted and international culture. Therefore, in our spare time, we teach for example children programming languages, share information with each other and always focus on people. Furthermore, we frequently discuss topics with user groups and communities, which we welcome as guests during meet ups, workshops or fireside chats.
The Ideation:Hub is a creative unit and Volkswagen Group IT's start-up gateway. Our job: mentoring digitalisation projects in a solutions-focused, creative manner by contributing new, innovative ideas and technologies. We actively involve start-ups in this process and at the same time create the necessary interfaces with the company for them. For this purpose we have offices in Wolfsburg and Berlin.
Start-ups can register initially at our website www.ideationhub.de. The "matchmaking" process starts after a selection procedure has been completed. During this process we establish contact with interested departments. This establishment of contact may involve a first pilot project or a referral to our partner incubator at the "Gläserne Manufaktur" in Dresden as an option. The objective is to pool the power of innovation from start-ups and established companies and shape the digital future together.
Our core activities include:
Our mission at Volkswagen Group IT's Smart.Production:Lab is nothing less than driving the digitalisation of production and logistics forward. Here we act as a driver of innovation at the Production/Logistics/IT interface. We develop innovative software solutions as a team together with different divisions, group brands and selected start-ups and then roll these solutions out. We are thus making an important contribution to shaping Volkswagen AG's Production IT future. Our skills are reflected in our four fields of activity – Intelligent Robotics, Future Production Ecosystems, Internet of Things and Data Analytics:
Digital Transformation of Technical Development.
Concepts connected with high-performance intelligent mobility and developing apps.