Content Delivery — From Head to Headless

by Sorina Mone, Marketer at Magnolia
Nov 20, 2020 | 5 MIN

Digital transformation is a concept which is relevant to companies in every industry. According to Gartner, 87% of senior business leaders say digitalization is a priority, yet only 40% of organizations have brought digital initiatives to scale.

But some industries in particular are more challenged by digitalization. One such industry is the energy sector, where new offerings and new customer engagement channels are required to evade competition in a commoditized market where differentiation is mainly done via price.

In their Magnolia NEXT session, Andreas Schuth, Teamlead for Innovation & Digitalization, and Rajaesekaran Yogarajah, DevOps Engineer of Swiss utility company, Primeo Energie, explain how they overcame the challenges of expanding digital communication and the need for digital transformation with the help of Magnolia’s DX architecture.

Challenges and Emerging Trends Within the Power Industry

Swiss energy supplier, Primeo Energie provides 180,000 customers with 10’000’000 kWh of energy in several countries across Europe. Their focus is on renewable energy sources but supply other types of power as well.

Schuth provided an overview of some of the challenges they were facing in their industry which included digitalization of processes, products & services, as well as customer relationships. This is accelerated by changing consumer behaviors and demographics. Also, within their industry there is a growing trend of decarbonization, where customers are moving towards renewable energy sources and new forms of energy storage instead of fossil fuels.

Primeo’s Journey Towards Digital Transformation

Getting digital transformation right requires a bit of a balancing act. While technology is clearly necessary, the most critical aspect is the human capital. For Primeo, digital transformation requires them to focus on radical innovation and the creation of a new value chain.

This includes creating new value propositions, innovating with new businesses models, while accepting that some new paths will have an unclear outcome. When the focus is on radical innovation there will also be some uncertainty as to whether new products will generate revenue.

Rapid innovation must also be balanced with the optimization of efficiency and reduction of costs which requires a more incremental approach to digitalization, but also comes with reduced risk.

By balancing these two areas, Schuth explains, can yield cross-domain business models, new and innovative products and offshore-development & operations. Also, utilizing a digital platform offers a new way to move forward with a digital ecosystem.

Primeo began their digital journey connected to multiple CMS platforms and portals. However, the digital business of tomorrow meant that they needed a service-based core platform, connections to IoT, and an ecosystem for partners and analytics that would allow them to focus on a multichannel customer experience.

As they delved further into the digital experience, they began with portals which contained digitized processes and services for customers before adding e-mobility, a white-labelled eCommerce solution, an SCS (self-contained system) with Google home integration and a new website powered by Magnolia. Consequently, their platform also evolved from a monolithic system to a now modular architecture with both cloud and on-premises capabilities.

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Creating a Digital Platform and Ecosystem

Andreas and Raja then touched on the makeup and underlying architecture of the Primeo ecosystem. Powered by Google Cloud, Magnolia manages content for both its website and other digital portals. As they’ve grown, they’ve used Magnolia’s DXP architecture to connect multiple channels, including social media, core systems like a CRM, and their external partners.

As a utility company, Primeo also uses a hybrid cloud and on-premise set up for their infrastructure. This allows them to keep data safe and compliant, yet still leverage the cost-effectiveness of the cloud and on-demand scalability. With the help of Magnolia, they have transitioned from an on-premise monolithic system, to microservices architecture with a view towards utilizing orchestration and deployment of containerized services across multiple environments.

An API Based Approach and Headless: Opportunities for the Future

Along with providing them with the flexibility and modular capabilities for their architecture, Primeo Energie is currently leveraging Magnolia to transition their existing website, portals, apps and eCommerce to a headless system that facilitates headless commerce. Magnolia’s headless CMS capabilities helps them manage all of their content and deliver it anywhere, including to channels which haven’t been invented yet. Magnolia’s visual SPA editor has been instrumental in this transition thus far.

Magnolia’s flexibility, technical expertise, mindset and culture were some of the reasons why they chose us as their DX partner.

Watch the on-demand recording of the Primeo Energy talk at Magnolia NEXT:

About the Author

Sorina shapes Magnolia’s brand and product communications, with a focus on creating demand and on enabling sales, partners & clients to make the most out of this great product.