powwow GmbH is the leading B2C provider for online sales of hardware and mobile phone contracts in Germany. With its two portals, sparhandy.de and deinhandy.de, powwow ranks both first and second in the German market. The company has successfully taken the first steps towards replacing its legacy system with a scalable best-of-breed approach. Partnering with valantic has opened up new horizons in e-commerce for powwow.
Alongside the project, valantic conducted specialized IT training for a dedicated team at powwow. This strategic initiative empowers powwow to independently continue its operations starting in 2022.
powwow, a market leader in the indirect German telecommunications market, excels as an e-commerce enterprise with a steadfast online focus. Its core offerings include provider-independent mobile phone contracts and a wide range of mobile devices. Additionally, powwow operates as a mobile communications provider. Guided by a strong belief in cutting-edge and forward-thinking technologies, the company wholeheartedly embraces innovative solutions to deliver an unparalleled and flawless shopping and user experience.
“The collaboration with valantic was driven by the shared goal of shaping powwow’s technological future,” explained Dr. Philipp Hoberg, Head of Concept & Requirements Engineering at valantic. “We formed a team consisting of developers from both valantic and powwow. The relaunch of the pricezilla.de store served as a technical blueprint for the other brands. After successful onboarding to the new technology, powwow is now empowered to continue its technological success independently.”
The project was complex, primarily due to the heterogeneous combination of hardware sales and mobile phone contracts. Each year, powwow processes over 500,000 orders encompassing cell phones, contracts, and accessories from a wide range of providers. The activation of these contracts and the strict verification process for buyers present significant complexity, as each provider has unique rules and compliance requirements.
The primary objective of the project was to replace an outdated in-house solution that hindered the strategic advancement of powwow’s brands. The existing system, characterized by a monolithic structure that had evolved over several years, incurred high maintenance expenses. Challenges arose in master data management, store content management, and maintaining a consistent page structure and user experience (UX). The multi-brand approach, utilizing a shared checkout, further complicated the replacement of the legacy system.
“We adopted an iterative approach to tackle the complexity, essentially ‘slicing the cake into edible pieces,’” explained Dr. Philipp Hoberg, describing the project’s methodology. One of the early tasks was addressing user guidance inconsistencies, such as reducing the number of different types of list pages from nine to just one. The project marked the beginning of a new digital era with the implementation of Spryker as the e-commerce backend and Frontastic as a powerful and scalable frontend technology.
To optimize master data management, the Akeno PIM system was implemented. For the headless CMS, Contentful was selected. Simultaneously, efforts were made to simplify the complexity of the old legacy system. A crucial aspect of the project was the early initiation of end-to-end testing for critical processes. Initially, the focus was on developing new deal landing pages, followed by the complete relaunch of the pricezilla hardware store.
During the project, powwow leveraged the opportunity to establish an independent project team, which functioned in a quasi-mirrored fashion to the valantic team. To ensure a seamless transition, in-depth training on the new tech stack was conducted at the valantic Academy. The focus was on facilitating a continuous knowledge transfer and successfully onboarding the powwow developers.
Project duration: 24 months (release of the first subproject already after ten months)
Other competence centers
The project was intentionally designed to enable powwow to independently tackle future tasks with its own dedicated team. The immediate focus will be on equipping the other brands, sparhandy.de and deinhandy.de, with the new technology. Additionally, efforts will be directed towards migrating the bundle business, involving hardware and contract combinations, to the updated technology stack.