Lindsey Myers: IIP Berlin Blog #5

This past weekend was my first weekend in Berlin in two weeks, so I was so excited to have the opportunity to explore more of this amazing city!  I spent my Saturday shopping in the Stadtmitte (city center), exploring Museum Island, and then finally sitting down to a dinner along the gorgeous Spree River.  Sunday, the group and I ventured to Mauerpark for the flea market.  It was definitely the biggest flea market I have ever been to!  I saw so much, and I’m pretty sure I left with so much more to explore!  This is definitely one of the places I’ll be bringing my parents when they come to visit at the end of my program.  However, Sunday’s fun was cut a little short for me because I actually had to work.  My supervisor asked me to help her set up Derdack’s booth at the Gartner Summit in Berlin.  This was a really cool experience because I got to see first-hand how an event such as this is run, as my internship focus is event marketing and logistics.

This week is actually my first full week of work since my first week, so I decided to focus this blog on some of the basics of my company and their value network principles.  Headquartered in Glen Allen, Virginia, and Potsdam, Germany, Derdack is an IT company that specializes in targeted alert notifications and incident remediation.  Although my internship does not focus on the technical aspects of the development and upkeep of the mobile application, I have tried to learn as much as I can about the product that I am marketing.  Generally, Enterprise Alert, Derdack’s main mobile application, is a quite complex product.  From what I have learned, it is an application that “automates notification and alerting workflows and mobilizes incident management, providing ten times faster incident responses and resolution.”  This all sounds great, but what does it really mean?  Basically, Derdack has created an application that will reduce downtime in a company by immediately alerting the right person when any type of incident has occurred.

What distinguishes Derdack from the competition is the fact that their application also allows their customers to remedy the issue from anywhere.  Even so, with any tech company, the main challenge becomes “How to maintain a competitive advantage when customers’ preferences are always changing and demands are constantly growing?”  The research and developers must constantly scan the market to determine what is needed and how they can provide it.  Therefore, Derdack’s strategy and value network is largely driven by the business environment.  Everyone at the company, especially the developers, has to be intuitive and have a good sense of customers’ wants and demands.  It really is all predictive analytics, understanding what customers want before they even know they want it.  Although I am not a part of the process, everyday before noon, the developers meet in one of the collaborative spaces to brainstorm new fresh ideas and talk about what their competitors are doing.  On my first day of work, I had to sign an NDA and was told that most of what is discussed with me must be kept very confidential as they do not want to risk a competitor getting a hold of valuable information.  I was told that the tech industry is all about “releasing a product before your competitor does.”  Like I said, although I am far from a tech expert, it has been interesting to get a little taste of it.  I believe that in order to do the best job possible with the marketing and logistics projects that I have been given, I have to have a firm understanding of the company as a whole and their basic line of business.

Well, only two and a half days left in the work week!  Then, I’m off to Wroclaw, Poland for a day trip!  It’s really amazing to me that I get to spend my weekends in so many wonderful places.  This summer is turning out to be an absolutely incredible experience, and I can’t wait for everything that is still to come!

Bis Später!