Impressions from DBG Product, Technology and Innovation Conference

“Being agile – increase collaboration, speed up innovation, ship faster,” was the credo of this year’s Product, Technology and Innovation Conference and took place at Deutsche Börse’s offices in Eschborn, Germany. PTI 2018 is a two-day, multi-track conference full of thought provoking innovation content intended for Deutsche Börse employees. Over 670 people attended the conference with 86 presentations and ten workshops held by employees, experts from the technology industry and research institutions, as well as founders of successful fintech companies.

Andreas Preuss, deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Deutsche Börse Group, opened the PTI 2018 with an overview of the digital transformation towards a scalable digital infrastructure with an open architecture for technological advancement and enhanced partnerships. Important achievements that have been made since 2015 include the corporate shift to a product-centric organization, the availability and usage of modern software development tools and the establishment of partnerships with the largest cloud providers.

Originate contributed three presentations and three hands-on workshops. Kevin Goslar, SVP of Technology Strategy, spoke about using GitHub as an intranet and Devon Ferreira, SVP of Product and Design, spoke about the importance of design-thinking. Turner Carroll, Director of Design, spoke about how to incorporate design principles in engineering decisions. For the Originate workshops, Kevin ran two programming courses for non-technical people, which had a full room and was an astounding success. Kevin’s workshop taught front-end and back-end programming to a variety of non-technical people from Luxembourg and Eschborn. Through a structured program, participants were able to understand the basics of programming and applied their knowledge to build a micro-service in Go, together with an accompanying web site. Turner showcased design thinking through his workshop by guiding participants through the jobs, pains, and gains of employee gift giving. After using trigger questions and different colored post-it notes for rapid ideation, the group met and worked towards product solutions that would improve the practice of giving employees gifts. After exposing and teaching participants how to apply design thinking to a simple problem such as employee gift giving, participants learned how to leverage and apply similar mental models to their day-to-day work.

These workshops exposed more stakeholders at DBG to Originate’s innovative product management processes and thought leadership around digital transformation.

Brent Cohen, CEO of Originate, played a key role in the conference as the Originate executive sponsor and moderated 11 different presentations. Hayato Ryuki, Product Manager, contributed to the conference by managing and driving marketing, logistics, and the PTI 2018 website.

Alongside Originate, other notable speakers and topics included:

  • Luka Mucic, Member of the Executive Board and CFO of SAP SE spoke about the innovator’s dilemma and stressed the need for large organizations to change, to be open for new things, get early insights and learn from disruptive companies
  • William Raduchel, high-tech investor and member of the Originate Board of Executive Advisors, confirmed the need to enable disruption at large corporations. He used a quote from John Chambers, “Either we disrupt or we get disrupted” and expanded on the importance of organizational flexibility in reacting to uncertain external factors
  • Michael Korbacher, Director Google cloud DACH spoke about how “the future of cloud is now.” In his eyes, key challenges are to be more data-driven, stay ahead of competition, be more collaborative and productive, deal with security threats and be more agile. Cloud can help with many of those challenges
  • Miju Han, Director of Product, Data at GitHub spoke about the need to innovate and change the software development process. She emphasized the importance of diversity and focused on how innovation is useful, unique, and valuable
  • Anthony Rose, founder and CEO of SeedLegals shared twelve ways to think like a start-up. One advice was to avoid committees with more than five people and have smaller groups of decision makers instead

In his closing remarks Thomas Aidan Curran, Technology and Innovation Adviser to the Deutsche Börse Group and member of the Originate Board of Executive Advisors, spoke about the importance of the conference and of DBG’s corporate transformation in the last several years. He described the transformation as a “1000 day crossing” invoking and referencing the quest for enlightenment (kaihogyo) that the Tendai Monks in Kyoto practice. Just like the ascetic monks, Thomas spoke about the need for the entire corporate organization to devote themselves to the digital transformation at hand. The main pillars of this transformation include: 1. Creation of the product organization as the foundation to outship competition, 2. Creation of a digital platform which manages and distributes the product’s services, 3. Creation of an end-to-end digital business through innovation and new business models.

In conclusion, Originate was able to present and showcase its strengths in design-thinking and its unique product development approach to the broader Deutsche Börse employee base. The Product, Technology & Innovation Conference 2018 generated significant internal buzz and Originate looks forward to sharing more insights next year.

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