PODCAST

The MACH Alliance Podcast

Rory Dennis and Sonja Keerl

Businesses need help to adapt and adapt fast. And technology is a big part of being able to do just that. The MACH Alliance advocates for a new approach to enterprise technology. An open and agile approach. And that’s how we’ll approach our podcast. An open look at technology, customer experiences, at the business needs surrounding it all. We’ll bridge tech and business conversations, talk to guests that are tech leaders, independent experts, those who have done it and lived to tell the tale. We’ll tell the actual stories, in gritty detail. Because people should know what it takes, so they can be prepared to do it right. This is The MACH Alliance Podcast, a show about enterprise digital transformation, one that goes beyond theory and best practices. We bring you into the room with enterprise leaders who are embracing cutting-edge technology for good reason, and ask them: what does it really take to fundamentally change an enterprise?

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The future of MACH (Alliance)
10-06-2022
The future of MACH (Alliance)
With our recent flurry of new member announcements, we’ve surpassed 60 and the Alliance is going from strength to strength. As MACH becomes mainstream and examples of the incredible results brands are achieving are receiving more attention, our role as an Alliance will evolve. In a recent LinkedIn Live discussion, Sonja Keerl, Founder and President of the Alliance along with Kelly Goetsch, Alliance Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer at Commercetools discussed where MACH is moving to and how they are seeing interest developing in new industries and geographies.
The future of MACH (Alliance)
10-06-2022
The future of MACH (Alliance)
With our recent flurry of new member announcements, we’ve surpassed 60 and the Alliance is going from strength to strength. As MACH becomes mainstream and examples of the incredible results brands are achieving are receiving more attention, our role as an Alliance will evolve. In a recent LinkedIn Live discussion, Sonja Keerl, Founder and President of the Alliance along with Kelly Goetsch, Alliance Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer at Commercetools discussed where MACH is moving to and how they are seeing interest developing in new industries and geographies.
Navigating the new world with Jamie Hancox
22-10-2021
Navigating the new world with Jamie Hancox
It’s a new world out there. The vendor selection process is different. Roadmaps, technology features, and consumer behaviour, they’re all changing rapidly. Navigating your way through it can be challenging. Jamie Hancox, the founder of Commerce Futures and MACH Alliance Advisory Board member, joined Sonja Keerl on the MACH Alliance Podcast to discuss the current landscape, how things are evolving and how the MACH Alliance can help. Overview: Different territories. Different market maturity and technological adoption. And now a different way of architecting. The world of commerce, and its evolution, can be challenging to say the least.  As founder of Commerce Futures, and with years of eCommerce experience, Jamie Hancox sees the shifts and changes from all angles. Jamie spoke with Sonja Keerl about retail and commerce in different markets, how the landscape is changing, and how vendor selection especially is different to what it once was.
Crafting their way to MACH: The LoveCrafts story
12-10-2021
Crafting their way to MACH: The LoveCrafts story
LoveCrafts goal is to delight their customers. Held back by a monolith, they no longer wanted to say no to building things their customers love purely because of their technology. Halil Köklü, Chief Technology Officer at LoveCrafts, joined Rory Dennis on the MACH Alliance Podcast to discuss LoveCrafts move to MACH and its success so far. Overview: LoveCrafts is a global community of makers. From finding inspiration, connecting with other crafters, and purchasing everything they need, customers from over 190 countries engross themselves in their world, and their digital platforms. But as the business grew, their monolithic platforms couldn’t scale and keep up with them. So, with Halil Köklü, Chief Technology Officer at LoveCrafts, leading the way, they moved to a MACH approach.  Halil joined Rory Dennis to discuss their migration methods, including setting timelines and KPIs for projects, weighing up internal versus external resourcing, and how they got management onboard.
MACH. It’s a team effort.
20-08-2021
MACH. It’s a team effort.
Not many digital teams can say they were driving real value and revenue throughout a pandemic while the business was also in administration. Well, Melanie Wasley and her team at Debenhams did – through MACH. Melanie spoke with Sonja Keerl on the MACH Alliance Podcast to discuss how they did it, and how their team setup was so crucial to their success. Overview: With over 100 years of history, British department store Debenhams was heavily store focussed and risk adverse when it came to digital innovation. Then Melanie Wasley, who headed up digital products, and her team, turned to MACH.  Taking it one use case at a time, they were fully headless before the pandemic hit and before the business went into administration. This meant they could react and were still able to drive revenue for the business.  Melanie, now Digital Product Owner at Rapha, spoke with Sonja Keerl about how they got business buy in and critically how getting the right cross-functional team setup, and how empowering people, proved so valuable.
A new frontier with Cartier, thanks to MACH
06-08-2021
A new frontier with Cartier, thanks to MACH
Luxury retail customers expect a bespoke service. And with smartphones in hand, they expect it online now too. Thomas Davis, International Digital Operations Director at Cartier, joined Rory Dennis on the MACH Alliance Podcast to discuss how Cartier have been accelerating digital, both internally and for customers, with engagement just as paramount as selling. Overview: Things have come a long way since Cartier’s beginnings in 1847. Now though, it’s time to do things differently. With a new generation of customers, digital-first customers, Cartier have been accelerating their digital strategy, trying to unlock their potential when it comes to not only selling but customer engagement.  With Thomas Davis, International Digital Operations Director at Cartier, at the helm, Cartier have moved from a monolith to a MACH approach, liberating their data to be able to build experiences on top of it. Now, they can respond quickly to the “niche opportunities” that the luxury retail calendar works within. Thomas spoke with Rory Dennis about how Cartier are working with MACH to not only build customer engagement but internal engagement through a range of digital initiatives that compliment Cartier’s existing physical networks.
Working out MACH for the health and fitness industry
22-07-2021
Working out MACH for the health and fitness industry
From retail to health and fitness, Jim Hingston first went MACH whilst at Debenhams and has since moved on to be Head of Digital Product at The Gym Group. He joined Rory Dennis on the MACH Alliance Podcast to discuss his experiences and how they’re looking to grow and scale The Gym Group. The Gym Group boasts 183 locations throughout the UK, are open 24/7, and have a flexible, low-cost, no-contract model that differs from a lot of other gyms. With this model, they’ve experienced huge growth and are only looking to scale it further. At their heart though is digital experiences – from signing up to accessing the gym, there are so many digital touchpoints and interactions. Jim Hingston, Head of Digital Product, is tasked with leading the digital growth, helping to scale the business into the future. With bespoke needs unique to the health and fitness industry, building MACH foundations that allow them to piece together all the different systems has been key. Hear from Jim around his time so far at The Gym Group, as well as his learnings from implementing MACH at UK department store, Debenhams.
The building blocks to success with MACH and LEGO Group
18-06-2021
The building blocks to success with MACH and LEGO Group
Niall Edwards, Vice President Marketing and Channels Technology at The LEGO Group, joins Sonja Keerl on the MACH Alliance Podcast to discuss how LEGO Group has moved to MACH, and critically how they evaluate vendors, changing from a feature-led mindset to an outcome-based outlook. The LEGO Group needs no introduction. A business that’s constantly innovating, they have been migrating their systems to MACH over the past few years after realising a lot of effort and money was being wasted with slow, laborious monolith technology.    What Niall Edwards, Vice President Marketing and Channels Technology at The LEGO Group, says has been critical is the vendor evaluation process. Whereas we’ve “become absolutely addicted to thinking about features,” Naill says business must flip the thinking to be focussed on outcomes. LEGO, as a result, have adjusted their RFP process, engage in more two-way conversations where fit is vital, and don’t just look to a list or matrix of capabilities that vendors can tick off.  Hear from Niall as he joined Sonja Keerl to discuss The LEGO Group’s digital journey, where their monolithic pain points were, some of their fundamental principles when looking at vendors, and more.
Building omnichannel experiences the MACH way, from scratch
07-06-2021
Building omnichannel experiences the MACH way, from scratch
This episode of The MACH Alliance Podcast features Rainer Knapp, Global Director IT & Digital at Wolford. He talks with Sonja Keerl about creating omnichannel experiences using MACH, including how they overcame initial doubts from the board and scepticism around the project being financially viable. Wolfords are a market leader in luxury skinwear with decades of innovation behind them. Boasting 250 boutique stores, over 3,000 trading partners and multiple digital channels, they feature in over 45 countries across the world. Needless to say they needed their infrastructure to support all their customers, wherever they are and however they shopped. The goal was a true and consistent omnichannel experience.  Rainer Knapp, Global Director IT & Digital at Wolford, joined Sonja Keerl to discuss how they transformed their digital platforms, including how they managed to convince an initially doubtful supervisory board and how moving to MACH proved to be a better decision financially.
Delivering speed and performance for PUMA
20-05-2021
Delivering speed and performance for PUMA
As one of the world’s leading sports brands, PUMA operates in a lot of different geographies and markets. But with it has come a lot of different technologies and systems and a model that didn’t put digital at the heart of its operations. Time to market was slow, there were a lot of software issues, and initiatives sometimes just couldn’t get off the ground. The aim was to switch that all around. Digital had to come first, especially with D2C channels coming to the fore, speed and performance had to be high with PUMA wanting to be the fastest sports site in the world, and technology had to change in order to deliver. Dylan Valade, Head of Global Ecommerce Technology at PUMA joined Rory Dennis to discuss PUMA’s digital transformation, including how speed becomes a key priority, how they moulded technology to fit the team and business needs, and how collaboration and knowledge exchange has increased across teams as a result of the changes. Key highlights: For PUMA the strategy is to buy over build, as it means they don’t waste time building from scratch and instead use that time to implement, test, and try.The goal for PUMA was to be the fastest sports site in the world, but they had to work with what they had and make incremental changes. But knowing speed and performance were within their control, they knew they could achieve financial gains on the back of it.They started by bringing all geographies onto one code base, which brought with it a whole new way of working, increased sharing of work, and knowledge exchange. As a result, people and systems got better, and rollouts became faster.
Bypassing the hesitancy for change: Making a business case for MACH with Peter Burggraaff
23-04-2021
Bypassing the hesitancy for change: Making a business case for MACH with Peter Burggraaff
Shaping the tomorrow for an enterprise cannot rely on how they got to today. They need to dare to let go of what they feel comfortable with, says Peter Burggraaff, Partner & Director at Boston Consulting Group.  More and more enterprises are making the move to MACH, but there’s still a high level of hesitancy at an executive level surrounding change. So how can you make the business case for MACH? Well, it starts with clearly defining the reason you want to change and then the uses cases.    Peter joined Sonja Keerl, Vice President of the MACH Alliance, to discuss the rethink businesses need surrounding their IT technology and within their organisation, as well as the need for use cases to be driving the change, not just because a business wants MACH. Key highlights: Enterprises must have a technological and organisational rethink. They must have discussions not just around IT but around the people, the organization, the skills needed for the future and how they work can together both internally and in collaboration with business partners.Enterprises must be thinking from a use case driven approach. This then allows businesses to define the technology needed to do that, the building blocks and organisation needed to build and support it.   Being specific in the articulation of digital change is a big weakness, especially at a C-suite or board level. More and more the need for change is clear, the ambition to do something digital is clear, and the need to accelerate is clear. But what businesses aren’t clear on is what it is they want to change and how fast they want to go.   Retailers must “not only decompose the architecture but decompose the journey to value creation.” While most retailers typically spend around 1-1.5% of revenue on technology, truly digital retailers spend 5-7%. Yes, businesses may spend more but they will become more efficient, and develop greater opportunities to grow.
Sprinting to the start line: Adopting MACH in a B2B business with Gireesh Sahukar
22-04-2021
Sprinting to the start line: Adopting MACH in a B2B business with Gireesh Sahukar
With over 100 years under their belt, Dawn Foods is a leading manufacturer and distributor of bakery ingredients in over 100 countries. But with little to no eCommerce and digital presence, they were left asking themselves “what do we need to do to stay in business for the next 100 years?” It wasn’t just about surviving, but evolving and thriving. They quickly realised they needed to be where their customers were – online – and they couldn’t just rely on person-to-person sales in the modern age. So Gireesh Sahukar, VP of Digital at Dawn Foods, joined to help kick start their digital innovation with all roads leading to an API-first, microservices approach.  Gireesh joined Rory Dennis to discuss in-depth their digital transformation, including how they decided upon a MACH-based approach, how they launched in 22 weeks, and what success and value they’ve realised as a result.  Key highlights: When researching and talking to vendors there was no architectural disagreement – everything was about being API driven and API first.    You can really spin up a compelling B2B experience in a short period of time. Dawn Foods went from no code, no team, and no requirements to a full-blown launch in just 22 weeks. And with technology evolving at pace, Gireesh believes this would be even quicker if done now, possibly as low as 16 weeks.   Getting to launch is just the starting point. It’s not the finish line. Dawn Foods has been able to constantly iterate, pushing live over 40 different capabilities to the platform that have each driven conversion and engagement.   By every metric defined Dawn Food’s digital transformation has been a success. Customer adoption and engagement, order value, conversion, everything has surpassed the goals they set.
Welcome to The MACH Alliance Podcast
21-04-2021
Welcome to The MACH Alliance Podcast
This is The MACH Alliance Podcast, a show about enterprise digital transformation, one that goes beyond theory and best practices. We bring you into the room with enterprise leaders who are embracing cutting-edge technology for good reason, and ask them: what does it really take to fundamentally change an enterprise? Before that, hosts Sonja Keerl, Vice-President of the MACH Alliance and Rory Dennis, Executive Board Member, caught up with the rest of the MACH Alliance founders, Kelly Goetsch, President, Matt Bradbeer, Treasurer, and Pascale Lagarde, Executive Board member, to get a better understanding of the MACH Alliance, why it started and basically what it’s all about.