Norbert Riepl

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Collaborate and communicate - don't collapse

In times of Corona, many companies have realised how important digitalisation has become for business. The demand for digital infrastructures and solutions has risen sharply. Peter Arbitter explains in an interview why competent and reliable partners are the be-all and end-all. He is responsible for the portfolio and product marketing at Telekom Deutschland GmbH. 

What requirements do companies have today?

Peter Arbitter

Peter Arbitter is responsible for the portfolio and product marketing at Telekom Deutschland GmbH.

Peter Arbitter: Indeed, many companies were caught unprepared by the pandemic. Not only our employees were in their home offices overnight, but also our customers as well as their customers. But the existing IT infrastructures in the companies were not designed for this. They had to be converted and expanded at high speed. This was, and still is, accompanied by the adaptation of business processes to the new requirements. The focus is always on agility, resilience and cost savings. Agility, in order to be able to start up systems very quickly and flexibly, but also to shut them down again, thus adapting to the very dynamic framework conditions. Business Resilience, so that the systems run stably even under heavy loads. And cost savings, because the turnover of entire sectors has collapsed abruptly, so costs had to be reduced immediately. 

Do you have an example for us?

Peter Arbitter: This can be observed very well in the example of communication and collaboration. Companies could no longer reach their customers as usual and had to look for new ways. This can be illustrated very well by the example of fitness studios. They very quickly offered virtual visual courses. This meant that customers could still see their trainers in front of them, were kept in line and continued to generate sales. In most cases, this was made possible by quickly scalable collaboration solutions. Ideally, without having to invest in their own hardware or licences. This was especially important when studios were able to reopen. But even if a solution was free of charge, it should always run stably so as not to destroy the "live feeling". We have experienced all this in the last two years. 

As these services increased extremely, we needed competent and reliable partners.

How has Deutsche Telekom mastered these challenges?

Peter Arbitter: For us, our very good, stable network and the best service based on it paid off. This enabled us to meet the rapidly increasing demand. But we also experienced how the markets changed in a very short time. The demand for classic telephone systems went down to zero, because in many cases the employees were no longer even sitting in the office. On the other hand, the demand for "over the top" (OTT) services rose steeply. OTT means that, for example, audio, messaging or video content is transmitted via internet access. As these services increased dramatically, we needed competent and reliable partners. We found them with Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, Zoom and RingCentral

Are there more partnerships to come?

Peter Arbitter:

In the area of collaboration solutions, Cisco, Microsoft and Zoom are our partners, according to the analyst firm Gartner, three of the best meeting solution providers. In the field of communication solutions, they are the four best: RingCentral is added here. So I think we are well positioned here. Where I expect many changes is in the basic network. The trend is moving towards software-based networks. Partnerships with technology leaders are needed here. We have already realised the first projects with some providers such as Cisco, Juniper, Silverpeak, VMWare, Fortinet and Versa. However, product development is not yet as advanced as in the collaboration business.

With so many changes, you realise how relevant partnerships are. No company can bear the billions for product development alone, so everyone will benefit from the synergy effects from the partnerships.

Priorities are changing. Much of what was once a choice is now a duty.

Smart business

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