subshell is a flexible, tight-knit software company founded in 1999 with the goal of providing powerful and useful software solutions to a variety of media organizations.
In the year 2007 with the launch of the high end CMS Sophora, subshell GmbH Hamburg, Germany, evolved from a known software service provider for media companies to an innovative software product developer, specializing in Content Management Systems.
The premiere users of the new software were the German broadcaster NDR with their extensive on-line content and programming and the ARD, a joint consortium of Germany's regional public-service broadcasters, with www.tagesschau.de. Additional multimedia and TV organizations followed.
Thanks to its flexibility and multiple uses for publications of all types, as well as an updated user-friendly approach, Sophora became the answer for all forms of modern media companies.
In the forefront of subshell is product development, to further evolve, update and develop Sophora. This of course includes all types of support for the CMS, such as Professional Services, Training and Consulting. The implementation and individualization of the software can either be performed by subshell, the internal IT department of the client or it can instead become the responsibility of one of many of subshell’s approved technology partners.
Teamwork and a transparent development process are the cornerstone of Sophora’s success. subshell’s innovative process encourages sharing information on how to best solve problems and challenges. Via the constant exchange of knowledge and an open working style, subshell is able to offer technology solutions of the highest quality.
subshell’s long-term corporate goal is to continue in this vein, with a focus on innovative development while continuing to support a flexible, dynamic working environment where software development is actually fun.
Clients include most of Germany’s public broadcasters and other private companies, such as:
- Bayerischer Rundfunk
- Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung
- Das Erste
- Hessischer Rundfunk
- Radio Bremen
- Saarländischer Rundfunk
- Ticket Online
- Universal Music Germany
The team structure and development process at subshell is organized according to the well-known Scrum developmental framework. This organizational model encourages developers to organize themselves according to their best abilities and to develop achievable yet ambitious goals. Via the Scrum approach, projects and workloads are divided into “Sprints”, each with a duration of two weeks. A sprint planning meeting begins the process. A daily standup meeting keeps everyone on track. Each sprint ends with a sprint review meeting where the completed work is presented. A final sprint retrospective at the end of the two-week sprint recaps the project, in order to assess what was effective and to implement any necessary improvements.
Jan Boddin – Managing Partner
In 1999 Jan Boddin founded subshell Gmbh with business partner Tom Quellenburg. Jan focused on building a successful company by employing a highly motivated and well-trained team of IT specialist. From 1997-1999, before starting subshell, Jan worked for the multimedia agency Elephant Seven as a programmer on various projects for clients including Mercedes Benz and Deutsche Bank. In his time there, due to his success, he was promoted to Technical Director. Jan Boddin studied Philosophy and Mathematics at the University of Hamburg. After completing his master’s thesis, he led a yearlong project “Epistemic Systems” at the University.
Tom Quellenberg - Managing Partner
Since the founding of subshell with partner Jan Boddin, Tom Quellenberg is responsible for the continued technical excellence of the company. His leadership role is to maintain a standard of innovation and forward thinking without jeopardizing the usability of subshell’s products. Before beginning subshell, Tom gathered many years of experience as a consultant for various IT projects. Tom Quellenberg is a trained and certified Computer Engineer/Programmer and spent several years as a researcher at the FZI (Forschungszentrum Informatik) in the city of Karlsruhe, working on the development and conception of data bank systems.
Nils Hergert – Head of Business Development and Strategy
With subshell since the year 2000, Nils is responsible for the subshell’s success in the media industry. With the development and launch of Sophora, Nils Hergert guided the company’s evolution from a start-up to a successful player in the CMS market place. Nils Hergert studied Philosophy and Computer Science at the University of Hamburg.
Currently, subshell has a staff of approximately 20 people in their offices in Hamburg’s HafenCity.
subshell: A History
Tom Quellenberg and Jan Boddin found the software firm subshell in Hamburg, Germany
subshell creates the content management website for BMW’s Formula One website and Mini website, in conjunction with the agency Kabel New Media.
tagesschau.de and the NDR choose subshell for their online programming needs. subshell builds fullstory for the NDR, a new content management system based on Vignette. The foundation of a long-term cooperation with NDR is laid as subshell continues to build and expand its expertise in the media industry. fullstory was in use until 2007.
subshell wins the bid from Universal Music Group German to build a centralized product catalog. The product catalog is so structured that all content can be accessed via all Universal websites and other publication. Another long-term working relationship begins.
subshell launches subCMS, a java based content management system. The new CMS is put to use at all of subshell’s clients, including Universal Music Germany, Ticket Online and VW.
subshell leads the change to an RSS exchange format for the ARD.
subshell develops a versatile business-to-business software for Universal Music, universal b2b. Universal Music then launches universal b2b and is able to offer its distributors the most current information regarding new releases, marketing strategies and special events.
The music download portal popfile.de is launchedby former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and a former Universal Music Executive, Tim Renner. The portal uses subCMS and features an integrated product catalog and ordering system.
subshell develops a newsletter management system makano. Makano sends 250,000 personalized newsletters weekly to registered fans. With this powerful new tool, Universal Music easily remains in contact with 2,45 million email addresses and 1287 different mailing lists.
subshell develops the online jazz and classical musical portal for Universal Music Group German, JazzEcho.de and KlassikAkzente.de.
subshell launches the software type-o-mat for online typographical image generation.
ZDF starts using subshell’s teletext editor Texas for a larger part of their videotexts. With this change, one editorial team leads the online and teletext offers.
subshell expands and relocated to a loft located in a former hygrometer factory in Hamburg’s trendy Sternschanze neighborhood.
In the same year, subshell develops TableStar for the NDR, a program that compiles statistics for sporting events. This is the first project at a German broadcaster that is guided by the principles of Agile software development.
subshell launches the search engine subsearch, which is based on “Apache Lucene” technology. Through this process subshell adds a user interface for managing indices, statistics, web services and crawl functions to LuceneThe NDR and other subshell clients switch to subsearch.
tagesschau.de is nominated for a Grimme Online Award.
subshell is chosen as the software developer for the Bundeszentrale fuer Politische Bildung’s video asset management needs. The solution is based on the open-source-software “DSpace” and is developed in such a way that cross-media and multi-media media formats can be easily researched and located.
subshell participates in subsequent GmbH, which provides solutions for the downloading and selling of digital media assets.
In the same year, subshell develops a meta-data editor for Universal Music Germany. The editor can easily work with local and international databases to better sort, access and catalog data. subshell begins to work with the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP), which Sophora will later be based upon.
subshell is chosen for the technology implementation for Volkswagen’s “Sound Foundation”. Musicians and bands can use “Sound Foundation” as an online vehicle to keep in contact with their fan base. Fans can locate special forums, download music and receive exclusive invitations to concerts and special events. Fans can participate in the selection of new talent for the foundation’s support program, which is aimed at offering new musicians the right information and support to succeed in the music industry.
subshell decides to part with subsequent, in order to better focus on its own product development projects.
Due to the success of the Agile software development methodology, subshell switches its entire development process to the Scrum method.
subshell launches Sophora. tagesschau.de and the NDR are the first clients.
subshell consults TicketOnline with the re-launch of their online ticket portal and offers continued support in the area of technology development for the customer.
subshell relocates to a former cement storage facility in Hamburg’s booming HafenCity. The company is fully concentrated on product development and related services.
subshell celebrates its 10th year in operation and continued growth during a period of worldwide financial uncertainty.
The MDR decides for Sophora. The project is implemented by subshell partner Sybit in Konstanz, Germany Further television broadcasters follow.
subshell’s partner network grows to over 18 members and ranges from well-known global players to smaller local IT specialists.
subshell launches Toromiro, its second product. Toromiro is developed for the growing number of Administrators of Java Content Repositories and the developers that work with them.