Volkswagen Races Toward Next-Gen Automotive Manufacturing Leadership With Google Cloud And T-Systems

More clouds do not need to mean more challenges, as long as you’re working with a strong, centralized IT foundation.

Volkswagen Group, a well-known global automotive brand, is proving that multi-cloud strategies can be easily managed and effective as part of its continued IT modernization. The company is driving innovation, service delivery, and infrastructure management across its dynamic multi-cloud environment.

Within Volkswagen, the Volkswagen Group IT Cloud (GITC) manages the company’s IT transformation initiatives. GITC selects and standardizes platforms and applications that provide fast and efficient delivery of high-performance, scalable, and cost-effective IT services.

The company chose to work with Google Cloud to move its infrastructure and key operations to microservices architecture supported by multiple clouds.

Let’s look at how partner T-Systems worked with Volkswagen to implement a landing zone, or cloud foundation that acts as a modular and scalable configuration, based on Google Cloud to support its complex multi-cloud application strategies.

Building a well-oiled IT machine

“Volkswagen is a process-driven organization, and we need a unified approach to IT to make processes run optimally,” says Tibor Farkas, Head of Cloud, Volkswagen AG. “We wanted to standardize how we work and adopt a multi-cloud strategy to mitigate risks and improve user experiences.”

T-Systems stepped in to help iron out the details of the new cloud foundation, working with Volkswagen and  Google Cloud Consulting and Premium Support to create and socialize a proof of concept (POC). The new foundation needed to be technically tight and process-oriented to ensure buy-in and a positive reception by all the groups involved.

“T-Systems came in with exceptional knowledge of Google Cloud, Agile methodologies, and how to get the most out of that environment,” says Kiran Francis, Product Manager – Google Cloud Foundation Services, Volkswagen AG. “They were instrumental in getting the project off the ground. They also shared a wealth of knowledge and skills with our team so going forward we would be able to effectively maintain the new IT foundation on our own.”

T-Systems solutions architects worked with Google Cloud customer engineers and Volkswagen stakeholder departments to address all challenges as they arose, keeping the project moving ahead on schedule. After a successful POC, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) now acts as the centralized application hub for new Workloads to be built, delivered, and managed.

Volkswagen also uses Cloud Firestore for flexible and scalable database management across web, mobile, and server development environments. By using Agile methods in developing the IT foundation, T-Systems helped adapt these and other Google Cloud solutions to Volkswagen Group’s IT environment to ensure a rapid, seamless implementation.

“This new microservice-based architecture built on Google Cloud is fully automated and includes a self-service portal that enables users to request a project and provision the necessary tools in under 20 minutes,” says Kiran. “From a project onboarding and IT provisioning perspective, this is now the benchmark for our organization to measure other cloud use against.”

On the road to even more advanced IT

With the new Google Cloud foundation running smoothly, Volkswagen Group has optimized shared and global services provisioning across previously disparate network solutions worldwide. Google Cloud provides a highly secure environment with native encryption management, organizational structure, and identity and access management (IAM) tools that boost the efficiency of group-wide compliance and governance policies.

“We’ve seen many benefits since completing this project with T-Systems and Google Cloud, including enhanced scalability, cost savings, and improved reliability,” says Kiran. “We also streamlined IT maintenance by working with Google Cloud managed services, which gives our IT team more time to focus on high-value activities.”

Volkswagen is also beginning to use Google Cloud artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) solutions to improve its products and services. For example, the company uses Google Cloud to help develop self-driving cars and improve manufacturing plant efficiency.

“Like every other industry, automotive is undergoing a digital transformation, as we tap into the latest technology breakthroughs to improve how we design and manufacture vehicles that customers rely on worldwide,” says Kiran. “T-Systems, Google Cloud, and Google Cloud Consulting provide Premium Support and powerful technologies that help Volkswagen Group transform our business and better serve our customers in ways that mitigate risk and capture opportunities in our fast-moving industry.”

Further aligning with its commitment to innovation, Volkswagen Group is focused on reducing its carbon footprint like many of its automotive peers. These efforts span not just vehicle manufacturing processes but ultimately the company’s vehicles on the road around the globe.

“Google Cloud positively impacts our sustainability efforts. We can integrate carbon footprint data into our central cloud portal and provide it to each project team to enhance visibility,” says Kiran. “Unlocking sustainability-related metrics helps people understand how to reimagine their work to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Centralized, scalable, and microservices-driven IT from Google Cloud, along with an enhanced knowledge of Google Cloud and Agile methodologies from T-Systems, is enabling Volkswagen with its ten brands to remain as a central force in automotive manufacturing for decades to come.

Check out what Google Cloud Partner T-Systems can do for your business.

By: Thomas Kinateder (Director, Google Cloud Consulting)
Originally published at: Google Cloud Blog


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