A Custom E-Commerce Solution for Deepfield Connect of Bosch.IO

Deepfield Connect needed a customer-facing sales interface, delivered at startup speed but interfacing with enterprise quality standards and requirements. b13 is their proud technical partner, integrating internal and external systems, and delivering new features with the quality people expect of a Bosch brand.

It all began when Benni, b13’s CTO, was asked to pitch for an online shop. “It quickly became clear that they didn’t need a typical e-commerce solution,” he recollects. “So we dug deeper, listened to their needs, and put together a customized shop tailored to their specific business requirements.”

A Bumper Harvest Every Year with Deepfield Connect

Florian Smarsli, E-Commerce Manager, explains Deepfield Connect. “Farmers can optimize their quality and yield of crops like asparagus and others, as well as milk production, using our smart sensor systems. We have an app that draws on the sensor data and advises on a wide range of topics, from protecting against frost to avoiding overheating in the protective polythene tunnels in the fields.”

The agricultural startup began life in the grow platform GmbH, a Bosch internal incubator and platform for global start-ups and intrapreneurs. “In 2014, a group of employees successfully pitched to take their idea forward with the support of the company,” he explains. 

“When we were ready to take our product online and sell our first subscriptions, we needed a website as a sales channel.”

So we dug deeper, listened to their needs, and put together a customized shop tailored to their specific business requirements.
—  Benni Mack

Staying Agile within an Enterprise Environment

The grow platform insulates innovators and their business models from many business challenges. Bosch provides skilled staff, ample office space, and the strong Bosch brand to give good ideas the best possible chance of success. This does, however, bring with it certain challenges.

“Working under the Bosch brand means we have to live up to high expectations surrounding quality and reliability, as well as sticking to brand guidelines and other requirements,” says Florian Smarsli, E-commerce Manager for Deepfield Connect. 
Deepfield Connect needed to spin up their website and sales channels extremely fast. They needed a technical partner who could integrate new and existing internal Bosch systems, while squaring the circle of agility with various compliance and branding requirements.

TYPO3 as a User-friendly Shop Window

The website went from proposal to launch in just seven weeks. Customers sign up for the subscription service through a TYPO3-powered frontend that integrated the billing provider, FastBill Monsum. TYPO3 also interfaces with Bosch’s internal authentication service and their e-commerce system, built in-house, as well as Adyen, their payment-provider solution. To help comply with Bosch’s privacy and data protection requirements, no user information is stored in TYPO3 itself.
In addition to the e-commerce aspects, TYPO3 is the central repository for all the website content and its editorial hub, where staff can edit and update it as needed. Last but not least, TYPO3 CMS is an open-source system; there are no license fees for its use, allowing Bosch to invest its money into other priorities.

Ideal for International Customers

Since their successful pitch back in 2014, Deepfield Connect has won over thousands of farmers, and they show no signs of letting up the pace, continuing to add new features.
For example, “We started an affiliate partner program so partners can send customers our way and receive a commission. The system flags these customers so we can see which partner needs to receive payment,” says Florian.
The product is finding favor all across Europe. As they enter new markets, Deepfield Connect has been adding new languages, taking advantage of TYPO3’s refined multilingual capabilities. Currently, the website is available in seven languages.

Friendly, Productive Communication

“We’re fans of b13’s ethos and the way they work,” Florian enthuses. “The service desk is great for quick responses and well organized. When a colleague in Marketing had an intern helping her, we could sign her up, so she was able to open tickets, too.”

“You can always get hold of someone,” he continues. “We have weekly meetings to prioritize tasks. It’s great that you always talk to the same contact person, and the response time is fast.”

You can always get hold of someone at b13. It’s great that you always talk to the same contact person, and the response time is fast.
—  Florian Smarsli

Working in Partnership to keep Deepfield Connect Agile

At b13, we love understanding customers’ real needs and believe that getting the start of a project right is crucial to getting the whole thing right. The question “Why?” is our most powerful tool. That’s how we understood what Deepfield Connect needed, and delivered a solution that works for them and their customers.

We’re proud to serve them as a technical partner, rapidly understanding their needs, and integrating their internal systems to deliver the quality customers expect from the Bosch brand while freeing up Deepfield Connect to work with the agility of a startup.