What It’s Like Working in Next Generation Commerce: Featuring commercetools VP of Solution Enablement
Enterprise organizations have been dramatically impacted by digital transformation. One area that has seen considerable change is IT. From re-architecting the enterprise for speed and agility, to evangelizing the need to embrace digital, IT teams are in many ways at the helm of transformation. We interviewed our very own VP of Solution Enablement, Luciano G, to learn how he and his team here at commercetools enable these digitally transforming organizations and how his leadership role drives the next generation of digital commerce.
Q: What exactly does “Solution Enablement” mean, and who do you work with on a daily basis?
L: The main goal of solution enablement is to ensure that every customer has the best experience possible and gets the most out of our platform to support their business needs. Our team works directly with our customers (ranging from retailers, to wholesalers, to fashion labels, etc.) and partners. Within each organization we interact with many different profiles, from developers to leadership roles on the business side.
Our main focus is customers, but we also enable partners to work with commercetools because our platform allows organizations to entirely rethink the way they implement a commerce solution. It is important that our partners are educated on the platform, so they can start off in the right direction. We have developed trainings and certifications to guide partners within the commercetools ecosystem and reduce the onboarding time.
Our team has several years of expertise in e-commerce implementations: Solution Architect, Development, DevOPs and Project Management. Each person provides a very specific set of skills to ensure successful implementations.
Q: Can you give us a little background on your experience in the tech industry and how you ended up joining the commercetools team?
L: I studied computer science in Argentina, graduated in 2004, and spent the last 14 years working for software companies – from big enterprises to small startups. Most of my career has been spent working around e-commerce implementations, including products and development in different countries around Europe; most recently as European Technical Director for an ecommerce integrator.
I always wanted to move from the implementation world to the product side, and since there was a clear need in the industry to do things in a different way, commercetools was a great opportunity for me. Since being in this role, I have had the unique experience of growing a new market, developing an organization, interacting with our early customers, and seeing how the team and our product has developed and progressed over time.
“It truly has been (and continues to be) an extraordinary journey.”
Q: In comparison to other commerce solutions on the market, what do you think positions commercetools as a leader in the industry?
L: I’ve had to run enterprise implementations with the other leading platforms in the market for several companies, so trust me when I say that I know the pain our customers have had to go through with their previous solutions because I was in their shoes for way too many years.
Now I spend a lot of time with new prospects, designing the architecture for their solution with commercetools. We designed our platform with a unique modular approach so customers can quickly implement the exact commerce services that they need and easily add more over time.
Q: What is the most commonly asked question you get from customers about how our platform works?
L: Everyone loves our idea, but they all have the same question: “So where do I start and where do I write my code?”
With older commerce models, our customers were used to getting a very defined (and restricted) set of rules that they needed to follow. They had code to modify, they could only use one programing language, and they had all the components defined (from the view to the database).
With commercetools’ headless, microservices-based model, we provide a flexible solution that allows organizations to work with any CMS platform they want for their front-end and write in any programing language they choose (maybe even more than one). Being microservices-based means we also offer commerce as small, self-contained applications which can be developed and deployed individually by dedicated teams. Setting up a network of these services allows for agile development, shorter release cycles, and faster time-to-market. Most customers are very pleased with this new way of creating software.
We as a company offer as much support and as many tools as possible to make it an easy transition from older (and slower) monolithic platforms to a modern commerce approach. We provide templates, tutorials, and an amazing documentation, which are all a great starting point.
At the same time, we have also created a reference architecture using the best practices and latest technology that can be repeated and will provide new customers and partners with the entire architecture on where to develop their solution. We call this our Blueprint Architecture. It’s a new effort from commercetools and my team to not only be the best platform, but also to provide the best support and tools.
Q: What are our innovative retailers are looking for?
L: By now everyone knows that having only one main website is not enough. Customers today have very high expectations, and they definitely want to be able to interact with their favorite brands across several channels in a seamless fashion.
Being omni channel is probably the most popular thing our customers are looking for and a perfect fit for us. commercetools was designed as an omni channel platform from day one, and our API-first technology allows interaction from every possible touch point. We already extend integrations to the most current and popular channels including smart bots, Facebook, and Instagram checkout, and we’re already working with major global brands on new channels like voice and car commerce. The channels that people use to shop will always be evolving and changing rapidly, so the focus for us remains on providing a flexible solution and implementation vs. the channel itself.
Our customers are also very excited about working more easily with their customer and product data, which enables them to build more personal and engaging experiences.
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