Opel CIO Kuelpp says all IT systems will have been transferred from GM by year-end (Photo: Faces by Frank)

BERLIN – The decoupling of Opel IT from previous owner General Motors is ahead of schedule, Thomas Kuelpp, CIO of the German car brand, told the automotiveIT Congress.

GM sold Opel to PSA Group in 2017 and Kuelpp was tasked with integrating all IT into the French carmaker’s systems. He didn’t share the original timetable, but said: “We’re tracking ahead of schedule and plan to have completely taken over ownership of 1,350 applications from GM by year-end.”

Kuelpp painted a picture of a complex, multi-faceted transfer operation that not only involved those 1,350 applications, but also meant Opel needed to take over application maintenance and support, adopt PSA’s engineering language, translate all codes used for parts and systems into PSA’s coding, and sign new software licensing agreements.

In addition, Kuelpp had to change email systems for 30,000 staff, merge Opel’s contact center with PSA, pull Opel systems out of US-based mainframe computers and transfer operations from GM’s Dublin data center to PSA facilities in France.

“It is a highly complex undertaking, but so far it has worked,” Kuelpp said. He added that it will take “a few more years” for the entire transition to be completed.

Kuelpp said that, next to the transition, he also needs to deal with other business priorities. “Despite all process optimization, we haven’t lost sight of innovation,” he said. “We’re expanding the digital customer experience, big data and cloud-based services.”

The automotiveIT Congress takes place every year. It brings together more than 500 executives from the IT and automotive industries.