Dan Crowe, chief product officer of AutoTrader.com, gave the final keynote of the morning on how they’re using Software AG to bring together business and IT.
As an online business, technology is obviously a big part of their business. In case you don’t know who AutoTrader is, they’re an online classified ad site for vehicles, primarily in the US, competing with other auto sites but also with traditional paper media. Not only do individuals offer their cars for sale here, but auto dealers use it as an advertising platform for much higher volumes of used vehicles for sale. Their site has a lot of stickiness: on average, a customer in the key 18-34 demographic will spend 65 minutes on their site, more than any of their competitors, in part due to the variety of tools and information available in addition to the cars for sale.
Their key strategic IT objectives are to innovate faster than their competitors, extend their platform presence in the auto remarketing value chain, leverage data to demonstrate value, workflow-enable their back office systems, and build a scalable multi-business platform for future growth. They’ve implemented BPM in several areas of their business, with the next target being the order-to-cash process, and have implemented SOA and master data management. They’re currently in a transition from very siloed systems to a more mature, fully-integrated value chain in order to improve customer service, streamline their operations, improve collaboration between IT and business, and increasing competitive differentiation in order to keep their business lead.
They’re branching out into new car advertising, allowing customers to compare the deals on equivalent new cars at different dealerships in their area; you still want to go out and test-drive it first, but they want to be the place where the potential buyers come to find where to go in order to kick the best tires.