Contentful is now long-term partner of IBM iX


A new long-term partnership between IBM iX and Contentful, an API-first composable content platform, is set to help clients build digital experiences at scale. In the interview, Markus Dietrich (CEO IBM iX Dusseldorf, Austria, Croatia) and Patrick Finn (Vice President of Partnerships Contentful) explain the exciting foundations of the new partnership, the relevance of growth in composable content, and how Contentful is ready to support IBM iX's existing portfolio.

IBM iX has a new partnership with Contentful, a content management system for composable architecture and flexible headless design. The Contentful® Composable Content Platform brings the building blocks of content together to create content once and reuse it for any digital experience. With built-in orchestration, a robust app ecosystem, and frameworks to easily extend the platform to meet specific requirements, Contentful lets teams work together to connect, create, and extend content more efficiently. In this conversation, Markus Dietrich and Patrick Finn share valuable insights on the partnership and explain how to benefit from it.

Markus, tell me more about your existing partnership with Contentful and why you decided to make the partnership official.

Markus Dietrich (IBM iX): We’ve been working together on several successful projects for the past years. Maybe one of the biggest ones was the implementation of Contentful for our client Fressnapf. But we wanted more. We knew we wanted a partner in the content space who could serve our clients’ needs, and in November Contentful emerged as the frontrunner. We really trust Contentful’s expertise and appreciate the history we’ve got together.

Patrick Finn (Contentful): We have a great relationship with IBM iX. And we’re excited to partner closely to help organisations create transformational customer experiences.  And IBM iX provides the innovation and scale that helps customers accelerate digital transformation globally.

IBM iX is already working with multiple partners in the content or headless CMS space. Will the partnership interfere with existing partners, and what’s different about Contentful?

Markus Dietrich (IBM iX): As a technology-agnostic agency we want to provide each client with a complementary system and future-ready composable architecture. We see increasing demand to implement content solutions like composable content and headless CMS that let our clients optimise and digitise their web presence. However, for some clients, the words “headless” or “composable” may make them picture something prohibitively complex. This partnership lets us offer a garage model, like a “fail fast and improve” model.

Patrick Finn (Contentful): Yes, due to our content platform’s decoupled, API-first architecture and best-of-need approach, basically anyone from anywhere can work on the platform and exchange structural components with other technologies and services. That’s especially important if the client’s existing platform already works with established components. We basically enable professional multichannel management, simplify the digitisation of every website and optimise the omnichannel user experience. With the help of the web-based platform, workflows are automated across all output channels. That’s what makes us unique.

What can IBM iX expect from the partnership?

Patrick Finn (Contentful): Clients can expect a trustworthy partnership, where we know how to collaborate and consult new clients in strategy consulting, UI/UX consulting, and technical conceptualisation, and always approach the market as a team. We want to offer a wholesome experience going from developing, testing, and launching content experiences while also providing continuous support. The API-first, SaaS, and cloud-native approach enables a collaborative workflow. That is convenient because — especially with remote work and the international client base of IBM iX — we can focus on finessing productivity rather than spending energy on problem-solving.

Earlier, you mentioned with Fressnapf you already successfully implemented a digital experience platform. Who else are you targeting and who can approach you for future projects and what do they need?

Markus Dietrich (IBM iX): Yes, we have built best-in-class knowledge management for Fressnapf store employees so that they have all the required information about day-to-day work on their wearable devices and can consult their customers better. With user-centricity being the focus, anyone can benefit from a composable digital experience platform. That’s the amazing part of it. A DXP can look very different and be personalised to any industry’s needs.

Patrick Finn (Contentful): Exactly, and they don’t need much. We need to get an understanding of whether they want to keep their existing architecture or if they want to set up a new one. In both cases, we need to figure out the business goals and objectives. After talking it through and meeting potential partners, every client is as involved as they would like.

Now, my last question. Tell me, how companies can benefit from implementing a composable content platform?

Patrick Finn (Contentful): When digital teams can connect content across their business, their content becomes endlessly reusable. We know that content is everything, and when businesses unlock the potential of their content, they are free to power new ways of delighting customers at every point of engagement. Pair this freedom with straightforward integration of any tools or services, and you have an extremely powerful platform that can extend to meet any business need, current or future.

About Markus Dietrich

Markus is CEO at IBM iX Dusseldorf, Austria, Croatia and dedicates his time to digital transformation. He has been part of IBM iX since 2007 and has held various positions in consulting, sales, project, and account management since joining the digital agency. In January 2015, he took on the position of Managing Director and in this role has led the expansion of the rapidly growing consulting team, among other things. Since August 2021, he has been managing the IBM iX Studios in Düsseldorf, Austria and Croatia as CEO of a team of around 500 people.

About Patrick Finn

Patrick brings over 25 years’ experience as a leading expert in channel and strategic alliance development and management. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two daughters. Before joining Contentful, Patrick was Head of Global Channels and Alliances for Bloomreach, and held the position of Senior Vice President, Global Channel and Partnerships for SAP hybris. Patrick holds an MBA in Strategy and Marketing from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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