Part of the Solution: How Digital Customer Experience Simplifies Medical Progress
At Sartorius IT, a team of software engineers and tech enthusiasts works together in an agile working environment with a start-up culture. By fostering fast-paced innovations from building a digital ecosystem to the use of augmented reality glasses, they ensure smooth collaboration with customers. As a result, researchers and engineers are able to focus on the important part of their work: achieving medical progress.
Editor's note: This article dates from 2021; in the meantime, the IT Software Development and Innovation team is aditionally in charge of all Sartorius eBusiness Platforms.
This article is posted on Sartorius Blog.
Anyone entering the office of the IT Software Development & Innovation team at Sartorius is likely to think they have walked into the wrong room: Instead of desks and a classic office set up, the space offers lounge corners and creative areas. The person responsible for this is Dominik Kopp. "If we want to be innovative, we need the right environment to spark creative ideas,” he argues. Two years ago, he started building the now 30-person Software Development & Innovation team within the more than 300 person strong IT department at Sartorius. What makes them special? “We are part of corporate IT – and we are very customer-focused. Our goal is to address their challenges and help them simplify progress through digital solutions.”
If we want to be innovative, we need the right environment to spark creative ideas.
Head of IT Software Development and Innovation
Improving Customer Experience Through Digital Processes
Max Lutz joined Sartorius three years ago, after studying mechatronics and working at a start-up. Today, the 25-year-old is part of a unit in the team responsible for identifying and implementing innovative digital tools that help to ensure smooth customer processes. "Currently, we are building the My Sartorius portal, which will improve our digital customer experience – or put simply: make our customers’ work life easier”, he shares.
The portal is the entry point to the company's digital ecosystem, allowing customers to see their order overview, check the status of products in maintenance, or even configure products on their own. “Together with Product Development, we recently developed a product selector for the Cubis II lab balance, which is both intuitive to use and sophisticated in terms of its functionality.” Customers can also download licensed software applications on the portal. “This reduces the time, for example, to license, download and activate data analytics software from several days or even weeks to just a few minutes,” Max explains. “This allows our customers to focus on the important tasks – their experiments to find cures for cancer or dementia, for example – instead of struggling to obtain software.”
The Introduction of Mixed Reality: A Success Story
One of the most innovative projects currently underway in IT Software Development & Innovation is the introduction of the Microsoft HoloLens, a pair of augmented reality glasses, to versatile use cases. The idea emerged from Sartorius' own InnoDay, an internal intrapreneurship program that Dominik Kopp initiated: "Everyone can apply and pitch an idea, and if the judges believe in it, they get a certain amount of time and a budget to develop a prototype.”
Denis Brinkwerth and his team convinced the judges with their ambition to introduce mixed reality into customer service. “From the very beginning we wanted to make an impact for our customers – not just play around with the devices. The idea then suddenly gained special importance when the pandemic struck,” Denis recounts. A customer had received several Sartorius bioreactors for large-volume manufacture of vaccines, but the technicians responsible for commissioning could not be on site due to travel restrictions. The solution? Mixed Reality. "In cooperation with Microsoft, we had already configured glasses for such a use case. We then simply drove to the nearest courier service and shipped a pair to the customer. The technicians in Germany and those on site completed the commissioning together. And that’s how we helped speed up the coronavirus vaccine production,” Denis recalls. Today, more than 70 glasses are in use for remote service, virtual product presentations, product development and even Factory Acceptance Tests.