House of clouds: everything under one roof

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Software, platform, or infrastructure as a service? From the public, private, or hybrid cloud? Anything goes. At this year's CeBIT, Deutsche Telekom is premiering new additions to its extensive cloud portfolio with the Open Telekom Cloud and standardized identity and access management as a service. The result is a multi-cloud ecosystem capable of supporting companies of all sizes with the digital transformation.

In conjunction with connectivity and bandwidth, cloud computing forms the backbone of digitization – and this is one point on which the analysts agree. Together, these factors are helping to drive forward the fast-paced development of the Internet of Things. In just a few years, billions of machines, sensors and other components will all be networked with one another, and these networked devices will collect and transmit billions of data sets every day. This data needs to be gainfully analyzed, which in turn means companies require storage capacities along with analytics tools – and the cloud, because digital transformation is impossible without a scalable, affordable, simple, highly available and most of all secure cloud.

That is why Deutsche Telekom has built out its existing cloud portfolio into a multi-cloud ecosystem. From multinational corporations to small and medium-sized enterprises, companies across the spectrum can now cherry pick the cloud technology that is exactly suited to their needs. Key elements of this multi-cloud have come together over the last few months and little by little enhanced existing solutions such as vCloud: The InterCloud network with partner Cisco, the Open Telekom Cloud with Huawei, and the data trustee agreement on Microsoft's public cloud services. Completing the multi-cloud ecosystem portfolio are platform- and software-as-a-service offerings as well as cloud integration solutions.

Intercloud from Cisco
T-Systems introduced the Dynamic Services for Infrastructure Intercloud from Cisco (DSI Intercloud) into its product line at the beginning of 2016. Intercloud combines IaaS with platform as a service (PaaS), storage, network and security features in a single solution from the TelekomCloud. The Intercloud network provides the basis for a secure European Internet of Things. Whereas in the past public cloud services have been considered insecure – in particular in terms of the protection of data – Intercloud makes sure that customer data does not leave Germany, even though the solution offers access to a global hybrid cloud. The Intercloud infrastructure is also capable of linking up with all cloud solutions, which are currently dotted across companies' IT landscapes like solitary islands.

Open Telekom Cloud and Microsoft solutions
By contrast, the Open Telekom Cloud is a public cloud solution for infrastructure as a service (IaaS). The Open Telekom Cloud is a simple, secure and cost-effective way of sourcing IT services without having to invest in hardware, or in IT maintenance and operation. This solution comprises components such as computing, storage and network capacities. Via APIs, the Open Telekom Cloud services can be integrated in existing IT landscapes. Additional services for business are being added or cancelled within minutes.

In partnership with Microsoft, Telekom will offer additional services on the Azure platform, including cloud back-up (data back-up in the cloud), virtualization (application provisioning on virtual computers), web apps (website hosting and scaling), and the cloud-based workplace (dynamic workplace). Other services such as machine-to-machine solutions (M2M/Internet of Things) are in the pipeline. Telekom has Microsoft-certified experts on hand to help businesses with implementation and provide support on Azure products.

Platform as a service
According to Experton, the fresh, uncomplicated platform-as-a-service (PaaS) portfolio for cloud-based application development with its brand new offerings catapulted T-Systems into the leaders' quadrant in 2015. Telekom has also extended its PaaS portfolio in this cloud segment thanks to partners OpenShift, Redhat, Microsoft and Salesforce.
OpenShift is fast becoming one of the most interesting platforms for the integration and development of cloud applications.

Software as a service
Deutsche Telekom customers can access an unusually broad spectrum of software-as-a-service products. The software partners are clustered into five application fields: CRM, ERP/HCM, communication/collaboration, document management, and special solutions. The classic SAP portfolio for the ERP environment is joined by software-as-a-service providers such as SAP company successfactors, Unit4, Salesforce Microsoft, Cisco UC and Avaya, alongside specialists such as doculife, StoneOne, Covata, Ivalua, and WeSustain.

Integration of cloud solutions
Companies that use the cloud also see an increase in the complexity and demands involved in the integration of all cloud solutions. To overcome this, Telekom customers can turn to companies such as informatica and, or use the personalized cloud broker service and the Cloud Integration Center solution. T-Systems is now premiering a brand new identity and access management solution from the cloud at CeBIT. Based on the partner solution OneLogin, T-Systems will offer end users a single sign-on access portal available anywhere and on any device.

Telekom helps – with transitioning to the cloud, too
Two additional services provide the finishing touch to the comprehensive cloud portfolio from Telekom and T-Systems: the data network and the integration of existing IT landscapes into the cloud. Telekom is building a high-speed infrastructure in the form of the network of tomorrow, in which it will continue to invest billions through 2016. The integrated network strategy is based on fixed-mobile convergence, the development of 5G, and a pan-European network (Pan-Net). Advancements in the development of the 5G standard mean that Telekom has recently been able to reduce latency to under one millisecond, which is a requirement for real-time applications such as self-driving cars, remote invasive medical procedures, and even high-performance games for gamers.

Greenfield businesses will find cloud services easy to use. But what are the options for companies that use hundreds or even thousands of applications? Some two-thirds of applications can already be moved to the cloud. Yet, to date, only a handful of companies have developed methods and strategies for using cloud concepts to transform existing IT into a flexible and open IT ecosystem. In its role as cloudifier, T-Systems can untie the proverbial Gordian knot: With a toolbox of standardized transformation solutions, some 4,000 IT integration experts convert complex application landscapes into an integrated, future-proof IT system. This improves the stability and efficiency of the IT systems and reduces maintenance and operation costs. It also frees up resources for innovations, and the structure of business processes can be made better for users.

Portal for all public cloud solutions
The Telekom CLOUD brings together all public cloud solutions for companies of all sizes in one portal. It includes selected software, platform and infrastructure solutions from partners such as Salesforce, VMware, or Microsoft, which supplies Telekom with the partners it needs in order to provide consulting and support services. These include a free telephone support hotline, a premium service for running operations, needs assessments and the identification of suitable solutions, software installation, and the migration of existing data.

Data privacy for cloud services
Above all, the greatest emphasis is on data security and data privacy according to German law, which Experton says is a key competitive factor. Deutsche Telekom can offer end-to-end responsibility by combining its proprietary network with cloud services from German data centers. Strict data security and data privacy standards are an advantage on the cloud market. It is "so appealing that increasing numbers of U.S. IT service providers are joining in to profit from the trusted standards." One particular example is a new partnership with Microsoft. Telekom will act as data trustee for the Microsoft Cloud in Germany and take responsibility for protecting customer data. All data belonging to Microsoft customers using Office 365, Azure and Dynamics CRM Online will be processed exclusively in data centers in Germany.