Architecture transformation to follow business growth

Before 2013, ImmobilienScout24 began to transform the architecture of the core solution. The Client decided to transform their business architecture by dividing the application into a set of decentralised, microservicefocused hubs.

ImmobilienScout24

ImmobilienScout24

ImmobilienScout24 is Germany’s leading digital real-estate marketplace and helps users find their dream home. The platform is the first choice among digital real-estate classified platforms for 50% of consumers and provides end-to-end services in the real-estate sector – from property searching, through official documents, to loan agreements.

Business problem

The challenge

Before the transformation, ImmobilienScout24 maintained the entire digital marketplace as a single application. However, as the product grew:

  • It became difficult to maintain one codebase for an increasing number of features and teams working in parallel.
  • Creating a new build of the application required hours of processing time.
  • All data was kept in a data center – this led to increasing maintenance costs as volumes grew.

ImmobilienScout24 decided to incrementally transition from this model of operation into a set of decentralised microservice-oriented hubs. This required a fundamental business
and software transformation.

What we did

Our action

Since our Client wished to migrate their data storage onto the cloud, the majority of us had to transform into cloud-migration consultants. The entirety of the company divided itself into a set of service oriented sub-organisations. Each of them developed a unique way of working but each needed technical experts to deliver new functionalities.

This set-up required an extremely agile approach to business operations and development. We embraced this way of working and proved to be an ideal match for Immobilien-Scout24.

To develop relationships and communication channels, we initially had a rotating role of a code buddy, a team member who was present at the Client premises and ensured we delivered what and when it was needed. This allowed us to set-up direct communication channels with SMEs and stakeholders.

We work closely with a Product Owner to define the business goals and the functionality that should be validated and developed further. Our dedicated teams are entirely responsible for the technical aspects of introducing solutions for business goals (using the DevOps methodology). Because we’ve been working with ImmobilienScout24 since 2013, we act as technical consultants, identifying the best way of implementing those goals.

We also work to create a coherent knowledge transfer practice by building and sharing libraries populated with technical solutions and business information. For example,
when GDPR was introduced, ImmobilienScout24 identified dozens of its services that
would be affected. To prepare for this, we created a library of information on how to modify the services for compliance with
the new regulations.

Key technologies
  • Java
  • React
  • AWS stack
In two years cooperation with the team, they haven’t just delivered fast solutions for multiple products they have helped to tackle business challenges. With innovative server side A/B testing framework, which has been developed from scratch, we were able to run multiply A/B test for multiple customers groups at the same time. This saved us a lot of costs through efficient traffic usage and generated at the end additional 8% of revenue in mature, well established product, where this kind of revenue growth rates were not expected.
Additional to that the system has been written in a way where every other segment of the company was able to reuse it with minimum development effort!
Marian Majewski
Product Owner at ImmobilienScout24
What we achieved

The result

ImmobilienScout24 can continue to grow their digital marketplace using the dedicated teams we provide.
We have fully embraced the nature of our Client’s business and can quickly deliver a prototype of a functionality or microservice that needs to be validated. Our agile
approach means we can rapidly reprioritise sprint tasks or change our working methodology altogether to support the business needs.

Key achievements

  1. Becoming an independent facet of the ImmobilienScout24 operation that provides expertise on how to technically implement business goals.
  2. Becoming an integral part of the ImmobilienScout24 operation through knowledge transfer and sharing, close collaboration and a proactive approach.
  3. We were a part of a transformation that helped our Client increase their revenue by €18.5 million in 2018 (compared to 2014).
  4. We contribute to a strong and steady growth of ImmobilienScout24 – in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the first quarter of 2017, they increased their revenue by 6% to €60.5 million.
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