DIGITAL X 2019: Together for the digital future

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Yesterday, DIGITAL X already offered a fantastic program. But the second day is in no way inferior. So don't miss any of today's highlights and #takepart here.

Adel Al-Saleh gives the first talk of the day.

Adel Al-Saleh gives the first talk of the day.

Adel Al-Saleh: Let's power higher performance

“This is my first Digital X. And I'm impressed. It's great to see 20,000 people coming together to digitize their businesses and make a difference.” With these words, T-Systems CEO Adel Al-Saleh opened the second day of the event. Al-Saleh's presentation – entitled ‘Let's power higher performance’ – focused on the four pillars of T-Systems' business - connectivity, cloud, security and digitization. 

The motto of his presentation: ‘Let's power higher performance’. “At T-Systems, we ask ourselves: How can we make our own business even more successful with digitization? How do you get everything out of a campus network with Edge Computing? And why is data sovereignty in the cloud becoming the new driver of future cloud infrastructures?” Al-Saleh also addressed the topic of blockchain networks and the new platform for blockchain-as-a-service. He also announced a new partnership for the Industrial Internet of Things - together with Siemens. But that's not the only reason why today is a big day, according to the T-Systems CEO. “I'm presenting the new positioning of our company to all of you today for the first time:  A company that combines connectivity, IT and digital solutions with security in order to optimize and improve the performance of the digital economy.”

Telekom Deutschland CEO Dirk Wössner

Telekom Deutschland CEO Dirk Wössner tidied up myths about the 5G communications standard.

Dirk Wössner: – 5G : Myth or reality?

Wössner started by discussing the development of mobile radio standards from UMTS to 5G. "The decisive difference between LTE and 5G is not the speed", says Wössner. "It's about security. The ability to do things in real time with a very small delay. And a much larger capacity: data consumption is increasing exponentially. In the future there will be millions of devices in the network. All this can only be achieved with 5G."

The accusation "finish LTE before you start 5G" is one he often encounters. "Behind this is the justified desire to have a network everywhere. But LTE and 5G are not mutually exclusive, on the contrary: the 5G expansion is based on LTE; we are expanding both simultaneously."
A major effort is needed to ensure that Germany has as much coverage as possible. "Deutsche Telekom alone is building up to 2,000 additional mobile communications sites each year. In the 30 years or so that we have expanded our network, we have set up 30,000 locations. This shows you the major challenges we face in Germany," says Wössner. 

The German CEO also pleaded for a comprehensive look at digitization. "Every year we connect dozens of schools directly to our fibre optic network. But a gigabit connection is only valuable given the right environment. Learning content must be prepared digitally. Students need to use suitable end devices. Data must be transmitted securely. And teachers themselves must have digital competence". Addressing company representatives, Wössner promoted the understanding that 5G requires a comprehensive ecosystem. "It's best to start right away. Digitize your process chain today. 5G can be integrated on top of your digital business model, connectivity is an important piece of the puzzle. That's what we as Telekom are responsible for." 

Jakob Hager, managing director and founder of Masterpages.

Jakob Hager, managing director and founder of Masterpages.

Jakob Hager: Digital Marketing Innovation: The 72-Hour Startup

How do you set up an online startup that makes money in just 72 hours? Good question! The answer was presented today by Jakob Hager, entrepreneur from Austria. He and one of his friends managed the 72-hour trick a few years ago. What sounds like a good portion of luck has method for Hager. "We wanted to try out all the things you can do when you focus on one topic for 72 hours. When he sat down at a table with his business partner at the time, neither of them even knew what kind of company they wanted to set up, the Austrian said. "We chose a niche and conducted some market research - all on the first day." The result: video coaching for people who want to learn how to read trading charts. They then compiled a marketing campaign on Facebook. "We placed ads for potential customers." With one click, they would end up on our homepage. "Once there, they could then book our video coaching. In this way, the founders managed to generate a turnover of more than 200 euros on just the third day. Hager’s number-one success factor: Find a fast, digital alternative to your dream product. That, according to Hager, makes it easier to sell this product later on. In addition, to closely define a clear target group, and focus on revenue. And: "Better an imperfect start than a perfect wait."

from left: Markus Keller, Julia Engenholf, Dr. Gerd Landsberg, Henriette Reker, Dirk Wössner

from left: Markus Keller, Julia Engenholf, Dr. Gerd Landsberg, Henriette Reker, Dirk Wössner

Tomorrow's digital city: Telekom and city mayors in dialogue

How can the challenge of digitization be met by local administrations? How will the expansion of the network continue? And what will the digital city of the future look like? Deutsche Telekom discussed these questions with around one hundred mayors and municipal decision-makers as part of Digital X. 

"Nobody can digitize communities by themselves," said Henriette Reker, Lord Mayor of the City of Cologne. Dirk Wössner ensured his support: "The foundation of a digital city is a fast, secure network. Every year we invest more than five billion euros in digital infrastructure in Germany so that industry and local authorities have the best opportunities. Deutsche Telekom is a reliable partner." The panel discussion revealed the greatest challenges: civic participation increases the complexity of digitization projects, IoT projects are too seldom carried out, and local authorities lack specialists for digital topics. As part of the "CoCreation" initiative, Deutsche Telekom has set itself the task of finding solutions. Digitization opens up new potential, especially in the areas of transportation, waste disposal, sustainability and security. Going forward, Deutsche Telekom will intensify dialogue with local authorities.

Jimmy Wales, Co-Founder Wikipedia

Jimmy Wales, Co-Founder Wikipedia.

Jimmy Wales: “What's next in tech? Thrive in a ‘Wiki’ Future”

Wikipedia went online in 2001. It is now the fifth most important website in the world. Its contents are available in 288 languages. Virtually everyone uses the portal for research, or else uses it to share their own knowledge. The exciting thing: Wikipedia has a completely different business model to almost all other companies. It is free of charge for users and does not earn any money through advertisements. “We convince users with credibility and our large knowledge community”, explains co-founder Jimmy Wales, describing the company's success. But how do you come up with such a brilliant idea? His answer: “Try and fail, a few times”. But it is important to learn from it and to recognise the failure faster each time. He concluded: “The next billion users will go online in the next 10 years. It’s a super exciting time, but no one can predict whether today’s top companies, such as Facebook, will still exist. One little thing can change everything”. Therefore he advises: “Do not bind your ego to a certain business”.

Claudia Nemat on a panel discussing the digital state of Germany and Europe

Claudia Nemat on a panel discussing the digital state of Germany and Europe

Re-Invent Europe: Moving towards a self-determined digital future

What about the digital state of Germany? "All in all, we could use more digital ‘oomph’", summed up Claudia Nemat in the panel discussion. In order to remain fit for the future, careful handling of data is particularly important. "Data sovereignty" was the key phrase.
Astrid Meier, editor-in-chief of Xing News, led the discussion. She also asked about the role that Europe could play between the growing digital powers of China and the USA.  Politician Alexander Graf Lambsdorff was convinced: "We need a digital European single market". Even national concerns should not stand in the way of the common, pan-European benefit, for example with regard to sales law. Marc Hansen, Digital Minister in Luxembourg, added: "We don't have to hide. We have to not always just talk about crises, but also need to point out the many opportunities ". Hansen cited a pilot project for cross-border, autonomous driving in the three-country triangle as an example of successful European cooperation. StartUp founder Henrik Büning supported the thesis of appearing more self-confident. The constant comparison with the economically highly valued "Unicorns" from the USA and China is also not helpful. "First and foremost, we need sustainable business models," he demanded.
In her closing remarks, Claudia Nemat advocated a passionate approach to digitization and called for more optimism: "We need a new digital Sputnik moment". The discussion participants agreed with her. Digitization should not be accompanied by surveillance, as in China, but should take place "the European way" and be based on values of freedom.

Aya Jaff, programmer and founder

Aya Jaff, programmer and founder

Aya Jaff: How to become a digital pioneer

Aya Jaff is a programmer and founder. Her first book will be published next year. She has worked in Silicon Valley, Dublin and Madrid. She also studies sinology and economics and has gained professional experience outside the tech industry. She has nurtured an employment history common among her generational peers – a zigzag CV. She is also a strong advocate of climate protection. "After all, our generation is also the one that’s fighting for the planet," says Jaff. She explained in her presentation that the tech sector in particular consumes a great deal of energy. By 2030, data centres could account for around eight percent of global energy consumption. "These are problems that we have to talk about. Aya Jaff is convinced that this is not only possible with approaches from the tech sector. More and more apps are not the solution. Rather, ideas from different industries would have to be combined. "My life path is an advantage for this. I can look at different industries, talk to scientists and ultimately combine different solutions." She recently heard about the idea of using DNA material as a storage medium. This idea shows: "We need closer cooperation between industry and science". 

Sumi Chumpuree-Reyntjes, Sales Director D-A-CH, twitch

Sumi Chumpuree-Reyntjes, Sales Director D-A-CH, twitch

Sumi Chumpuree-Reyntjes: Twitch - the new television?

"How many of you actually know twitch?" asked Sumi Chumpuree-Reyntjes at the beginning of her talk. Only a few raised their hands. The live streaming service, launched in 2007, became known primarily through gaming videos – so-called Let's Plays. twitch is "the future of television," says Chumpuree-Reyntjes. And not really new at all. Because the heart of the game is the media experience moderated by a "streamer" – as the content creators are called on twitch. "It's just like what Bob Ross used to do. He painted and talked to his audience," explains the twitch employee. The only difference was that there was no feedback channel at the time. On twitch, giving feedback is easy and happens via the chat function. "Watching twitch has campfire character," explained Chumpuree-Reyntjes of the live streaming service. Now it’s not only games, but also television programmes and sporting events which are being broadcast.

Telekom has also acquired twitch as a partner for StreamOn.
 


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