Deutsche Telekom and its business customer arm, T-Systems, are building out the public cloud on a massive scale. T-Systems is already European market leader in the private cloud segment, particularly in secured cloud services for corporate customers. IT services that are easily accessible through the public Internet, so from the public cloud, promise further growth. Frank Strecker, who is in charge of the cloud business, explains how Deutsche Telekom plans to shake up the cloud market in 2016.
Frank Strecker: The Internet of Things gives rise to more and more data, or so-called big data. This can only be processed effectively with computing power from the cloud. Although we should really be clear that the cloud doesn't exist. The cloud world is hybrid, and so will the Internet of Things be. If everything is to be connected to everything else, this means that we need to integrate many different data formats, many different technical platforms. That is why, at Deutsche Telekom, we are taking a hybrid approach, the same as with our cloud strategy: From multi-cloud comes multi-IoT. This means we are building an ecosystem of IoT partners and, with our IT and network expertise, we are ensuring that the resulting overall system works.
Can this interaction between widely different players really work?
Frank Strecker: If you think in terms of traditional silos, you are going to fail in the Internet of Things. Stand-alone platforms will never solve customers' problems. Their IT landscapes are already highly complex. We need to think in terms of ecosystems, we need to create standardized interfaces and share or integrate platforms. In the end, it's about understanding the challenges facing customers and making things as simple as possible for them in the growing Internet of Things. That is why we offer complete packages with partner solutions from Cisco, Huawei and SAP. All of which, by the way, are also important partners for our House of Clouds in the Biere data center. I.e., we already have everything under one roof, plus the required network expertise. No other provider can offer this in this form, and we make the solutions accessible to our customers via a central portal. We are making it as simple as possible for them. Others can do complicated.
Then I'm sure you'll have an example of a simple IoT product from the cloud?
Frank Strecker: Take our starter kit, "Cloud of Things." The package includes hardware and selected sensors for collecting data, a SIM card with a special data rate for data transmission and access to a special Telekom cloud platform for data processing. This allows users, for example, to monitor the temperature of a machine or the motion area of a construction machine in real time. The service is ready for immediate use without costly installation. It is billed at a basic charge plus use-based costs.
And how is all this safeguarded against missuse?
Frank Strecker: The different objectives have to be reconciled: On the one hand, we want to share data and have access to as much data as possible, that is the principle of the new business models in the Internet of Things. On the other hand, I want to protect my data against unauthorized access. As a German company, we have the advantage of being subject to Germany's strict data protection regulations. And security has long been part of Deutsche Telekom's DNA. Not for nothing do we now have an entire business unit dedicated to security.