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A truly digital telecom operator


Deutsche

Telekom Where innovation

is mission critica


al

WRITTEN BY

LAURA MULLAN PRODUCED BY

JAMES PEPPER

w w w. t e l e k o m . c o m


Embarking on a digital journey to foster innovation, Deutsche Telekom is set to remain as Europe’s leading telecom operator aving established itself as one of the world’s leading telecommunication companies, Deutsche Telekom is set to ink a new chapter in its story as it embraces a new wave of digitisation. No mean task, Dr. Kai-Ulrich Deissner, with his responsibilities as Chief Financial Officer of the newly found Board Area Technology & Innovation under Claudia Nemat, Board member Technology & Innovation, has a meaningful impact on this transformation. Deissner is what they call in German a “colourful dog”. Not your usual finance officer, he has worked in many parts of the value chain and in three regions across Europe; product marketing, many years of

H

sales and process engineering in the local German business, as well as several CFO roles mark his 14-year long career for Deutsche Telekom. This diverse background extends to his private life: Deissner is as passionate about his job as he is about gaming (he is a level 40 PokemonGo player) and long-distance running. He was initially trained as a journalist and studied American poetry at Cambridge university, before making his first professional steps in the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s. “And where is the money – this was the leading question when the bubble burst”, he looks back, “and this is what has been guiding my professional behaviour ever since.” Bringing both operational and financial experience to the fore,


“We strategically see ourselves as the leading European telecom” — Kai-Ulrich Deissner Chief Financial Officer Technology

Deissner says that today digitisation is critical for the success of the company. “Digitisation is inevitable. It will happen anyways, so it’s better to take it in your own hands rather than let it happen to you,” Deissner observes. “Any market player out there will tell you that digitisation is mission critical. You need to become faster and quicker w w w. t e l e k o m . c o m


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“Changing our network from traditional copper to fibre is a strategic investment for the future” — Kai-Ulrich Deissner Chief Financial Officer Technology

and more innovative to remain competitive by enabling accelerated digitisation for better customer experience.” Deutsche Telekom’s commitment to digitisation is most visibly manifested

requires convergent networks

by the fact that it created a new board

that speak a single language: IP.

area called Technology and Innovation,

Especially Claudia Nemat’s team

clearly signalling the self-conception

is driving this convergence of

and importance of technological inge-

technology, IT and innovation at

nuity for the organisation.

Deutsche Telekom. This will

Convergence – the bundling of differ-

make the company faster and

ent network, communication and IT

more efficient. Convergence

technologies – was one of the major

allows to overcome technical

steps into digitisation. Customers want

limitations, making new, innova-

to be able to access their data quickly,

tive services possible.

anywhere and at any time. This

Deissner explains that, as


more rapid technological

strengthen innovation, to make it much

advancements have entered the

quicker and to deliver what we promise.”

fray, the borders between net-

Being fully committed to its technology

work technologies and

leadership attaining innovation leadership in

information technology are

networks and 5G, Deutsche Telekom recog-

quickly receding.

nises that its core asset is its leadership in 5G

“Historically separate divisions

and lightning-fast network. As the fundamen-

such as network technology (NT)

tal basis for this, the company is currently

and information technology (IT)

undergoing “a network modernisation of his-

are now converging as technol-

torical scale,” Deissner stresses. With his

ogy develops. Classical network

long-distance running experience, Deissner

technology and IT grow stronger

knows that in order to undergo this radical

together. Software Defined Net-

transformation, you need a long breath and

works are on the forefront,” he

endurance.

says. “To acknowledge that,

On top of this, the organisation is driving

we’ve combined network tech-

network expansion in Germany faster than

nology and information

any other company. Recently, just under 300

technology into one area to

new mobile base stations went into service in the region. In 2017, the company also installed 40,000 km of optical fibre in Germany alone, more than the entire length of the federal road network in the country. To prepare for the rollout of 5G, Deissner says that Deutsche Telekom is overhauling its

w w w. t e l e k o m . c o m


network to keep hold of its top-class

you actually see something on

position. “We strategically see our-

the street. With new technolo-

selves as the leading European

gies, we can accelerate this

telecom and, with that in mind, it is vital

process immensely, making us

that we keep our network updated,”

more efficient and decreasing

says Deissner.

our time to market.”

“Changing our network from tradi-

Digital transformations can

tional copper to fibre is a strategic

rack up huge expenses. At

investment for the future. For us it is

Deutsche Telekom, instead of

very clear if you want to be a leading

just looking at the amount that

European telecom, your core asset is

the company is investing, man-

your network, and that’s what you need

agement discussions centre on

to modernise and to keep it on top and

the impact on the top line and

innovate in the future.”

more and more on customer

New technologies certainly accelerate this network expansion.

experience. “Expanding our technology

“Traditionally, any new network is rolled

leadership is exactly the right

out in a detailed way taking many dif-

impetus for delivering the tech-

ferent steps and a long time,” he

nology and network innovations

continues. “It can take months before

that the digital transformation


needs. How well or poorly we deliver these

explains Deissner. “To

technology and network innovations will also

establish a unit that is

determine our bottom line, and thus the suc-

faster, more innovative,

cess of our company,” Claudia Nemat, Board

and more convergent, we

member Technology & Innovation, stressed

decided that we not only

as part of the Capital Markets Day in May

need to focus on how

2018.

much money we invest, but

Whilst this is a concept often adhered to in

also on what we get for

theory, Deissner is ensuring that it becomes

that. Often a complex task

an ingrained everyday practice so that

to do...”

Deutsche Telekom can forward its position in the market. “Traditionally, the finance department

“In some cases, we’re looking at areas that are not traditionally measured

measures input, so we measure and control

in finance, like customer

how much money we invest but put equal

satisfaction. It’s been quite

attention to the ‘output’ controlling, so both

a journey for our finance

top line and customer experience KPIs,”

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embracing the intelligent era with the intentdriven network In 2018, Huawei launched the Intent-Driven Network solution. This solution enables the rollout of a digital twin world that connects physical infrastructure to business needs. The network is driven by customers’ business intents and service policies. With intelligence, simplicity, ultra-broadband capabilities, openness, and security in mind, Huawei will help build a network that puts user experience front and center. Firstly, the Intent-Driven Network has the predictive analysis capability. Using big data and AI technologies, the network can predict network issues, proactively optimize network performance, and troubleshoot in advance. The network can also perceive the service experience of every single user in real time. With self-learning capabilities, it can continuously improve its intelligence and ability to perceive network issues and user experience issues. Secondly, the Intent-Driven Network is a simple network in terms of architecture, protocols, sites, and O&M, thus achieving full lifecycle automation and making the network more agile and efficient. This

helps improve the utilization of network resources and the flexibility of services. Thirdly, the Intent-Driven Network introduces new ultra-broadband technologies to achieve massive number of connections, ultralow latency, and ultra-high bandwidth. Fourthly, the Intent-Driven Network is always open and can be interconnected with various third-party platforms to build an open industry ecosystem. Finally, the core of the Intent-Driven Network is security. By identifying security threats in advance, the Intent-Driven Network implements proactive defense to ensure network intelligence and automation. The Intent-Driven Network will be integrated into various service scenarios and help carriers build solutions for future business scenarios. In 2018, Huawei has launched a series of innovative solutions for agile private lines, 5G transport, premium broadband, and enterprise campuses. These new options will help carriers reshape their business models.

www.huawei.com


“Digitisation is inevitable. It will happen anyways, so it’s better to take it in your own hands rather than let it happen to you. Any market player out there will tell you that digitisation is mission critical” — Kai-Ulrich Deissner Chief Financial Officer Technology

team because while it’s still doing the

financial logic isn’t just driving results in

practical things of providing clear num-

the company’s finance department but

bers and proper accounting, it’s also

has impact on further operations within

about establishing financial logic to

the company.

measure our return on investment and productivity.” Deissner adds that it’s been quite a

“By bundling all our activities, it is also helping us use our resources to tackle some of the more challenging

challenge to lead traditional finance

number work as well. This means we

people to look more into the business

can spend less time producing reports

and acting as collaborative business

and more time on interpreting the

partners focusing on market and cus-

meaning of numbers, which enables us

tomer needs.

to support the business by providing a

As Chief Financial Officer for the

broad end-to-end thinking, combining

Technology & Innovation board area,

financial, commercial and operative

Deissner is aware that this sense of

concerns for our business partners.” w w w. t e l e k o m . c o m


Whilst cost efficiency is a vital

“You cannot reap all the benefits

aspect of this transformation story,

of digitisation if you are only focus-

it seems that, at the crux of it,

ing on costs,” Deissner explains.

Deutsche Telekom is focused on

“We think of technology as neces-

innovation and market impact.

sary not just for enabling

As a result, digitisation is not just

efficiencies, but for enabling innova-

changing the back-end functions,

tion that provides new products and

it’s also transforming the customer

sources of revenue.

experience and providing new avenues of revenue.

“Let me give you a few examples for efficiencies. One is the way you


Deutsche Telekom is represented in more than 50 countries worldwide

build fibre: Traditionally you manu-

“Another one comes from our call

ally plan the roll out of your network

centres, where we are using artificial

in many detailed process steps. It

intelligent voice agents to answer

takes a long time, before you actu-

customer complaints. In most of our

ally see something on the street.

internal processes we’re using

Now, with new technologies we can

those technologies to be more effi-

accelerate this planning process

cient while the key driver remains to

immensely, which is something that

be successful on the market.�

makes us more efficient and will help us being on the market quicker.

By all accounts, this has been a mammoth transformation for w w w. t e l e k o m . c o m


Deutsche Telekom which has

transformation and we’re satisfied

stretched across all departments

with the results so far. However, we

but none of this would be possible

need further steps to progress even

without the right culture to foster

more,” Deissner explains.

ingenuity. Today’s movers and shakers must

“One of the things that we’ve seen is that if we want to differentiate in

be agile and innovative. The right cul-

the market, there needs to be a cul-

ture is necessary to determine a

tural transformation underlying all of

successful digital transformation.

this,” notes Deissner. “In previous

Deutsche Telekom is promoting new

years, we have seen siloed thinking,

ways of thinking to foster this culture.

whereby people have thought only

“We’ve developed what you could

within the confines of their organisa-

call a ‘truly’ balanced scorecard

tional units rather than thinking about

where we’re looking at the financial

the benefit of the whole company. It

results, the delivery of new technol-

leads to more internal progress but

ogies, the operations, and the

less external progress, and so cul-


Deutsche Telekom has a revenue of €74.9bn work flexibly in projects, less hierarchical. In IT, we started a programme called ‘IT@Motion’, which is a bottom-up program for the reorganisation of our IT division.” “The motivation behind the restructuring is to give more power to employees and the creators throughout the company. Innovation is not limited to the board; it’s not limited tural transformation will be key.” “To make this cultural transformation real at Technology &

to any department. It’s a mindset rather than an organisation.” Innovation runs deep at Deutsche

Innovation, we massively invest in

Telekom and with savvy financial think-

enabling our employees to work

ing to back it up, it seems the German

in a more agile and cross-func-

telecom is ready for any hurdle that

tional way where suitable. This

comes its way.

includes structural adjustments, trainings and new working methods and tools,” he explains. “In the area of innovation for instance, we start into a pool organisation, the so-called Innovation Hub, where people can w w w. t e l e k o m . c o m


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Deutsche Telekom - Brochure 2018  
Deutsche Telekom - Brochure 2018