Volkswagen We Experience

A Volkswagen-IBM partnership at Aperto's premises

Increasingly, cars have to offer more than just transport product and people. They need to plan ahead, entertain and support daily routines. Volkswagen and IBM have partnered to develop a variety of personalised digital mobility services.

We Experience (WeX) is a digital product launched within the Volkswagen We digital ecosystem. Combining environmental, vehicle and customer data, the service is able to recommend actions to the driver, e.g. engage him or her via hyperlocal advertisement. 

The partnership between Volkswagen, IBM and Aperto is an outstanding example of agile collaboration. Agile practices according to Scrum methodology, that is working in non-hierarchical, interdisciplinary teams and a shared work space have proven a fast-track to successful product development. The offices of IBM’s Aperto in the heart of Berlin are the mixed teams' permanent location. 

IBM and Volkswagen colleagues work closely together with experts from Aperto, spanning the professions business design, UX/UI, visual design as well as frontend and backend development. The overarching framework for joint collaboration is Aperto's lean business innovation process.

Car manufacturers as mobility service providers

The automotive industry faces one of the biggest changes in its long history. To integrate the latest trends such as electro-mobility, autonomous driving and the increasing connectedness of vehicles in their offering is a challenge for OEMs. The industry also has to respond to pressure from international competitors and develop business models and apply agile work methods to speed up product cycles.

An innovation model for data-based businesses and user-centric services

With the Garage Factory model, IBM and Aperto offer a lean framework for the development of digital products. Garage-Factory spans all development stages, from the initial idea to successful implementation and customer acceptance. The first part of product development takes place in the ‘Garage’, brainstorming, conception, refinement, and market-testing a respective Minimal Viable Product.

The Garage phase is characterised by open collaboration between our corporate clients and digital partners. Co-creation and co-location are the key elements here: In the WeX collaboration, Volkswagen, IBM and Aperto employees work jointly on new ideas in cross-company teams at a shared location.

In the second phase of the innovation cycle, the ‘Factory’, the product is scaled following the first market launch. With the increasing scope, the original 'Garage' team grows and splits into several sub-teams that share responsibility for the new digital product. In addition to scaling development capacity, ‘Growth Hacking’ techniques are applied. Different marketing channels are used to fuel product awareness and grow the active customer base.

Innovate like a start-up, scale like an enterprise

The ‘Garage Factory’ model combines the speed, agility and innovation of a start-up with the scalability and implementation experience of a large enterprise. It provides a framework to push innovative product ideas and launch according digital services within a short timeframe.

Although the ‘Garage-Factory’ model can be applied to a variety of innovation initiatives it has been created as a means to develop new digital business: mixed staffing drives knowledge exchange, actionability and motivation within the teams while contributing to organizational learning. Thus, Garage-Factory utilizes the unique strengths and existing capabilities of each corporate party.

Methods for lean product development

Design Thinking

IBM Design Thinking provides our clients with access to a methodology with global track record that is not for any industry. Its application enables practitioners to shape a digital product in the context of possible usage scenarios, that is, based on users' pain points and expectations.

Business Design

Business Design seeks to understand the context at hand in order to create viable new business. Using Design methods, we develop a guiding policy or digital strategy that will support our clients to reach their innovation goals. We assess, coach, ideate and sympathize with the client in order to find coherent action plans and drive digital transformation. 

Interdisiplinary, agile teams

Our innovation approach is based on Design Thinking and Business Design methodology. Agile teams are at its core and develop concrete product and service concepts. Our teams achieve a high degree of actionability due to the close collaboration between client-side team members and our experts from IBM and Aperto. Teaming up in this constellation contributes to organisational learning and fosters knowledge sharing.


Only few innovative ideas actually culminate in a digital product. It is important to ensure a constant influx of ideas to the corporate innovation funnel in order to  continuously create new offerings and products. We seek to integrate a client's creative potential and back it up externally wherever necessary. Cooperation with our industry and methodology experts and media partners help to ensure the quality of our deliverables. 

Validated learning

Once ideas have moved from digital prototypes to Minimal Viable Product (MVP) a cycle of testing with users begins. Product optimisation according to user feedback follows until a growth path is identified or the product idea is discontinued. Iterative testing with user groups enables decision-making and "failing fast". We diligently monitor new products' success and user acceptance rates with respective metrics.

iX Platform Design

In some cases, innovation potential is to be found in inmultifaceted, platform-based business models rather than individual digital products. We have accumulated expertise and experience designing platform dynamics and help our clients to develop their platform business. With our iX Platform Design process we have a methodology at hand that provides guidance when creating platform schemes.

It‘s not a project, it‘s a venture!

Adriano Bezerra-Delaunay

Executive Director - Lean Business Innovation (Aperto)

What can we do for you?


We are driven by projects that both inspire and challenge us. So if you’re looking for an agency to collaborate and grow with, you’ve found the right partner. Focusing on three primary areas – strategy, creation and technology – to deliver a holistic solution for your project.


Adriano Bezerra-Delaunay, Executive Director Lean Business Innovation
Aperto – An IBM Company
Chausseestr. 5
10117 Berlin
+49 30 283921-0