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Christian Fischer

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Fledging enterprises and large corporations – the two can fit together

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It’s probably an ideal case: A software firm founded in 2017 comes up with a digital solution to an analog problem. And a large corporation finds the solution so good that it immediately starts looking into all the places the new solution could be tried out. It’s what you might call a really nifty win-win situation. That is to say a win-win-win situation … but let’s take a look at the details first. The company in question is Serinus, which is based in Hagen, Germany.

What an alarm button has to do with resilience

Hit it and get help - what works so easily in the analogue world should not suddenly become more complicated digitally. In this case, it becomes even more comfortable.

One of the ways in which Serinus helps its customers is by offering them digital solutions to cope with unexpected incidents. Such an incident might, for example, be a fire in a certain part of an office complex. In a situation like that it is crucial to be able to act quickly and provide many different interest groups with information. That starts with the emergency staff who help evacuate the building and ends with the employees, who must be guided safely out of the building and want to know what they have to do.

In the analog world, the easiest solution is to simply press the big red alarm button, triggering a signal that everyone understands immediately. And in the digital world? This is where the software developed by Serinus provides a similar kind of “alarm button.” Its modular configuration equips it to handle a whole range of different incidents. If the button is activated, a predefined information cascade is set in motion, providing everyone involved with information on the situation, their particular role, and what action they need to take next. But that’s not all: The system also helps document the incidents and manage the emergency contacts.

Deutsche Telekom relies on the young company not just to help its own business customers – it, too, requires assistance in more than one area. For instance, in order to digitalize its global emergency and crisis management system, the company scanned the market for corresponding solutions. But none of them fully met the defined specifications. A dead end then? No. The Hagen-based software maker got Deutsche Telekom to explain its requirements in detail and set about developing what it called an “incident board” together with the team from Deutsche Telekom’s Situation Center. The incident board, which is currently without parallel in the market, helps get a digital handle on incidents. What is more, Serinus’s systems are designed for intuitive operation from the word go, even in stress situations. That, too, offers its solutions advantages over the competition.

The Situation Center has been set up to keep a global watch on security both inside and outside the Group. Whether terrorist acts, pandemics, or accidents – when particularly critical incidents occur or overarching coordination is needed, a cool head is essential, along with the best possible support from reliable software. In the Group Situation Center, the Serinus cloud is currently being developed into a centralized emergency and crisis management tool.

Evacuation and service are also becoming more convenient

Another potential area of deployment is Telekom Security, whose responsibilities within the company include ensuring physical and human resources security, i.e., also preventing violence in the workplace. The hope, of course, that such cases will never arise. But the Group must nevertheless be prepared to deal with serious acts of violence. The processes and communication structures needed for this are coordinated with the relevant police departments. If an emergency arises in the future, the Alarm and Evacuation application will be there to assist employees. In such cases too, the objective is to ensure the best possible flow of information, even in stress situations. Corresponding pilot projects in Germany are already running Darmstadt, Leipzig, and Bonn.

Finally, Serinus is helping Telekom Service create an easy-to-operate information system for field staff. The Covid-19 pandemic underscored that cases may arise in which the company needs to issue instructions directly to employees in the field at the touch of a button. Given Germany’s federal structure, with different regulations applying in each state, and the fact that field staff are spread across the entire country, such a solution really does have to be highly versatile. The practice tests will show whether this is the case.

Through its projects, Deutsche Telekom has already gained a lot of experience, which it is now able to share with other companies. Throughout 2020, it has become apparent that resilience can be a vital factor for large, medium-sized, and small companies alike. Needs are correspondingly great in authorities. The following options are available to ensure business continuity in emergency situations.

Deutsche Telekom didn’t stumble over Serinus by accident; it became aware of the company through its TechBoost program. The Group uses this program to support fledging enterprises with innovative, cloud-based business models. The program participants receive a leg up in the shape of an attractive credit balance for the Open Telekom Cloud, discounted rates, and assistance with sales, marketing, and communications. As the example of Serinus demonstrates, the best outcome for the participants is a partnership between equals that quickly bears fruit for all concerned. More details are available here.

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