BMW Group

Gets Clarity to Quickly Solve for the Digital-First Driver, Leading the Way in Connectivity

Key Benefits

Gained a broad and deep view of the complex business ecosystem


Harmonized digital performance and customer experiences across the globe


Freed up resources to drive innovation and meet sky-high (and rising) customer expectations

Challenges: Tectonic shifts in the auto manufacturing space, the rise of connectivity

Only a few years ago, car showrooms were a place for customers to talk about horsepower. The focus was on tangible features and materials that could impact the car’s safety, drivability, and performance. Today, it’s about connectivity.

Once central to only 20% of buying decisions, digital services are now prioritized by 80% of the customer base. And at the forefront of bringing digital to the customer is BMW, a 100-year-old brand synonymous with quality, innovation, and performance.

“It's an incredibly exciting time,” notes Guy Duncan, vice president of digital services and operations at BMW Group. Duncan’s unit is responsible for cloud services, electrification, and the company’s pioneering ConnectedDrive App, among other digital services.

 

This is the third company where I’ve implemented AppDynamics. It’s a kick-ass product. It just works. I like to call it a MRI of your enterprise.

Guy Duncan, Vice President of Digital Services and Operations, BMW Group

“What we need to do at BMW is deal with that change, and figure out not only what services we need to give our customers, but how those services operate and perform, because of the expectations of our customers,” he adds. “If you spend a lot of money on a BMW, you expect those digital services to be at the same level.”

Car consumers expect these services to work fast and every time. But for an international company like BMW, it’s also critical that they work consistently on a global scale.

“I think availability is incredibly important, and so is the reliability of those services,” Duncan explains. As users come to rely on things like remote start and keyless entry, as well as myriad other digital functionality, it’s important they just work, effortlessly.

“It's incredibly important that we match those expectations of functionality, and always be ‘on’ for our customers. Additionally, we need the insight from data to provide innovation,” Duncan explains.

But this insight adds yet another layer of complexity: data protection. This, of course, differs from country to country, but factor in product localization, data regulations like GDPR, and staying relevant against a changing roster of big names in the digital space like Google, and BMW finds itself in a challenging situation.

“That’s just a high-level overview of how complex it is,” Duncan adds.

About BMW Group

BMW is a brand known for premiere driving experiences. But it’s also a software company operating within the internet of things (IoT). Having grown its digital services team from 70 to 180 people in three years, BMW is serious about elevating the personalized driving experience.

Solution: An MRI of the enterprise designed for rapid innovation

BMW ships 2.7 million vehicles a year—which translates into millions of cars that need to be connected to an outstanding customer experience. That’s why every year, BMW increases its rate of innovation to get new features into the vehicles faster.

To save the resources needed to keep up that rate of innovation, BMW felt the only option was to find a partner.

“We want to be able to focus our spend and get as much innovation out of that stream as possible,” Duncan explains. “When we look at the complexity involved, we look for partners to help solve problems for us. That’s really important to us because we don’t want to waste developer time building those types of tools.”

After test-driving AppDynamics, BMW found the solution more than robust for the job: predict and manage service performance rather than waiting for downtime to happen.

“This is the third company where I’ve implemented AppDynamics. It’s a kick-ass product. It just works,” Duncan says. “I like to call it a MRI of your enterprise.”

Benefits: A simplified view of a complicated ecosystem, ensuring a world-class experience

“We can see all the corresponding layers. We can see the cloud, we can see these services, we can see what’s exposed. And we can roll that into the enterprise so quickly.” -- Guy Duncan

BMW itself is one small sliver of a global, complex ecosystem comprised of process partners, the vehicles themselves, and the cellular networks they run through. With AppDynamics, BMW was able to simplify the complexity and gain a broad view of their ecosystem, including APIs and data. For Guy and his team, this gave them massive clarity about potential problems.

“I don't have to spend precious resources building up those monitoring services myself,” Duncan explains. “Correspondingly, we get incredible insight into customer behavior in terms of how they're utilizing specific tools. And I just don't have to worry about it. AppDynamics takes care of it for me, which makes the other pieces of that complex equation much easier to deal with.”

To BMW, solving problems faster means delivering better experiences sooner— on par with the quality and excellence people have come to expect from the brand— to customers around the world.

“It lets us be less political and deal with data more in terms of what we’re trying to solve for our customers,” said Duncan.

We can see all the corresponding layers. We can see the cloud, we can see these services, we can see what’s exposed. And we can roll that into the enterprise so quickly.

Guy Duncan, Vice President of Digital Services and Operations, BMW Group

“We get an incredible insight into customer behavior in terms of how they're utilizing specific tools. And I just don't have to worry about it. AppDynamics takes care of it for me, which makes the other pieces of that complex equation much easier to deal with.”

Guy Duncan, Vice President of Digital Services and Operations, BMW Group

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