Opening of METRO software development hub in Berlin and start of a foundation partnership with the Code University of Applied Sciences

7 December 2017

  • In addition to Düsseldorf and Bucharest, METRO opened another software development hub in Berlin
  • METRO's foundation partnership with the CODE University in Berlin to start in November

The Chief Information and Chief Solution Officer (CIO/CSO) Unit of METRO AG opened another location to drive the digital transformation at the former transformer station in Berlin Kreuzberg. In the new Berlin office, product owners, software developers and UI/UX designers will be working on digital processes in close cooperation with the international units of the wholesale and food expert. Another step to promote digitization is the company's collaboration with the CODE University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, which started its activities in the immediate vicinity of the new office in Berlin Kreuzberg this semester. METRO's CIO/CSO Unit is a foundation partner of the CODE University.

The digital transformation will be implemented from the Düsseldorf headquarters and forms an essential element of the duties of Timo Salzsieder, Chief Solution Officer and CIO of METRO AG. With his team, he is responsible for digital solutions that support the multi-channel business, the e-commerce activities as well as the global IT demands of the METRO Cash & Carry stores. All processes are based on METRO-specific IT solutions. Even though METRO's international business models vary from one country to another, they are harmonised and supported in Germany. This requires IT experts working in the CIO/CSO Unit.

The new hub in Berlin forms another element of the digital transformation. As an additional location in the epicentre of the tech scene, this is where national and international colleagues work on IT projects and develop prototypes and software which is or will be deployed at METRO Cash & Carry worldwide.

"The opening of the office at the former transformer station in Berlin Kreuzberg repre-sents a logical step in our digital transformation. The tech scene, which comprises both national and international experts, is strongly focused on Berlin. We use this trend and offer colleagues and also new employees the possibility to work for us in Berlin", says Timo Salzsieder. The collaboration with the different digital units of the group is enabled by a matrix organisation whose functions work in close cooperation using agile methods. "Whether you work in Düsseldorf, Berlin or Bucharest does not make much of a difference. We have all the technical systems in place to work from anywhere in the world on common projects and, through this flexibilisation of the locations, we also drive the cultural change within METRO", continues Salzsieder.

His responsibilities also include recruiting new talents and collaborating with tech potentials. "Collaboration and community building with talents from the tech scene constitutes an essential element of digital transformation. We were particularly pleased to learn that METRO is a foundation partner of the newly opened CODE University. We were immediately convinced by its new and holistic approach. Programmers, designers and product managers are exactly the kind of talents we are looking for", says Salzsieder. The CODE University is located in the direct vicinity of the new CIO office at the former transformer station in Berlin Kreuzberg.

For Thomas Bachem, founder of the CODE University, experiential learning is a pedagogical principle of the CODE University: "Our students are to solve real-world problems in teams. That is why partnerships that give them access to practical projects are essential. As an international wholesale and food specialist, METRO with its cross-country and country-specific demands offers a diverse environment where our students can test their skills and learn", continues Bachem.

The students learn continually in project groups and liaise with industry partners to develop solutions for real-world problems already during their studies. This gives the young tech talents the opportunity to collect practical experience and look behind the scenes of "corporates", as the international corporations are referred to in the tech and start-up scene. METRO will use its cooperation with the CODE University to engage in a continued exchange with the future potentials in order to present ourselves as a potential employer to the young talents from the tech scene.

 

METRO is a leading international specialist in wholesale and food retail. The company operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. In the financial year 2015/16, METRO generated sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the local and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers. With its sales brands METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as delivery services and digitisation initiatives METRO sets the standards for tomorrow: for customer focus, digital solutions and sustainable business models.