PAYBACK is the largest and most popular multipartner loyalty program, launched in 2000 in Germany and operating in 11 countries worldwide. The multichannel marketing platform is used by over 31 million customers in Germany alone. Users are rewarded with PAYBACK points for their purchases at 680 companies, both stationary and online. Among the biggest partners are REWE (supermarkets), dm-drogerie markt (drugstores) and ARAL (gas stations).
The need for more business agility
PAYBACK digitized and mobilized early on, in terms of its program direction and product – and has, for example, one of the most used and most popular shopping apps in Germany. A few months ago, the company took another major transformation step into the cloud: PAYBACK wants to offer its partners a faster time to market and a state of the art technical foundation to integrate their own digital ecosystems.
One of the key areas where PAYBACK wanted to increase agility is setting up marketing campaigns for the partners. These campaigns are customized to each partner’s request but incur relatively high set-up costs and take some weeks to bring to the market. Each one requires a campaign manager to coordinate with several teams to achieve the final outcome.
PAYBACK partnered with Thoughtworks to change the way of delivering products and services, both organizationally and technically. During the Discovery phase, the team identified modernization candidates across different business domains to deliver business value in thin valuable slices.
One of the first initiatives was the cloud transformation. Together, PAYBACK and Thoughtworks built the first product in Google Cloud, while still integrating with data center applications. The team also provided a new long term cloud infrastructure with sensible defaults and secure networking; balancing governance and team autonomy needs. With that, the delivery teams were able to both access on-prem services and provision cloud resources securely.
With this in place, PAYBACK was able to support the first partner marketing campaign, moving from a zero cloud platform set up to a minimum viable platform with Google Cloud in eight months.
Setting up a Google Cloud platform has been a great first step for PAYBACK to see the possibility of convergence into a global system. Partner campaign managers now have the flexibility to configure a campaign in just a few steps, thus reducing setup time and costs. The platform was rolled out to several countries in a short space of time, the demand from PAYBACK partners is high and it is being well received by customers.
I am very happy that we have the first use case live in Google Cloud and that we can now start to scale into further use cases, products and teams.