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Uli Bornhauser

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A new driving force for innovation: The CSP Digitalization Team

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A new team within the Center Strategic Projects (CSP) is tasked with driving Deutsche Telekom’s strategic digitalization initiatives. The team, which is currently being set up, is looking for digital experts who are passionate about their field.

I recently watched one of the countless talk shows on the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and during that debate many guests voiced their criticism. Compared to the possibilities of today's digital world, the reality is depressing: data is still exchanged via tally sheets and faxes, addresses are recorded on actual paper spreadsheets, contacts are traced by phone or snail mail. The fight against the pandemic has starkly showcased Germany's deficits when it comes to digitalization.

The crucial question is: How can businesses, politicians and civil servants close the digital gap? In some companies, the pandemic has already led to major changes. In a matter of only a few days, employees at my brother's company were given the tools to work fully remote – enabled by the cloud. This is a good first step, but all in all only a drop in the ocean – not sustainable digital transformation.

The counter-strategy is called innovation

In companies, it is important to recognize opportunities to digitalize processes and business models early on and to incorporate them into ongoing change management processes as soon as possible – or to initiate them oneself. This is no different at Deutsche Telekom. At CSP we are often involved in transformation issues, therefore this is an important task for us. For this reason, we started to build a digitalization team at the beginning of this year: it consists of consultants who have strong digital backgrounds, a lot of practical experience and a hands-on mentality. Its purpose is to help accelerate the digital transformation of Deutsche Telekom AG by generating ideas, providing input and driving innovations.

As Germany's largest telecommunications company, Deutsche Telekom must become digital through and through. Our CEO Tim Höttges has therefore issued the guiding principle: "Digitalize, Digitalize, Digitalize". In this context, the expectations of CSP are also changing. While we previously used to primarily manage and drive processes, today our input on content-related issues is also expected. What does this mean in practice? Let's take an example: If an existing product such as MagentaTV needs to be adapted to current standards, it is also important for us to include the perspective of a modern TV service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime – and to also think beyond that. Why not make it possible for customers to book sports packages in real time for the weekend? Or enable them to watch synchronized streams together and message each other via the TV set. Why not offer a TV that automatically pauses a programme when the phone rings? This is the way to go forward!

Our new task as drivers of innovation

CSP digitalization team

The CSP digitalization team, which is currently being set up, is looking for digital experts who are passionate about their field.

As a team with an average age of around 30, we are also seen as digital natives, which raises the expectation for us to drive innovations. We are involved in projects very early on, where ideas can still easily flow into and shape products, processes and innovations. Our aims are to make customer touchpoints and journeys simple and intuitive, and to transform products and processes into fully interconnected ecosystems. This will make them more efficient, customer-friendly and truly engaging.

Initial projects show: Digital natives, with their technical understanding and digital experience, provide a different point of view. Our digital perspective allows us to ensure, for example, that technical platforms are accessible via APIs. This enables Deutsche Telekom to better connect them with each other and gradually build a new customer experience across services, find new partners and open up new business models.

Standardization, modularization and the provision and reuse of APIs make the development of new products faster and more efficient. An example: A voice assistant as a closed functionality has proven to be an exciting product. But if it becomes a reusable, widely applicable function via APIs, it can create a completely new customer experience – for example by making remote controls and light switches redundant or by allowing you to book cinema tickets directly while being on the phone with your friends.

A strong team is looking for new team members

The CSP Digitalization Team helps Deutsche Telekom AG to make its strategic digitalization initiatives successful. Its strength is the digital expertise of its members. They have in-depth technical expertise and relevant skills, for example in data analytics, process automation, artificial intelligence and many other areas.

The young and motivated CSP Digitalization Team is still looking for experts with a clearly sharpened profile. Those who want to work on the front lines of the digital transformation should be passionate about digital topics, enthusiastically strive for new goals and be committed to driving innovations.