Klaus Werner


Home games for SMEs

An article by Klaus Werner, Director Business Customers Telekom Deutschland GmbH.

A "home game for Europe" - that is what the 2024 European Football Championship in Germany is set to be. From June 14, UEFA will welcome up to 2.7 million fans in the ten European Championship stadiums and over five billion people on TV screens worldwide. To ensure that the broadcast runs smoothly, Deutsche Telekom is connecting the venues with fiber optics. The high-speed networks transmit the images from 40 cameras in each stadium in real time. By comparison, there are only ten cameras for a Bundesliga match. The media stands will also be much busier. Fast, stable connectivity is key here. In addition to soccer fans in the stadium and during broadcasts in public places, team hotels and training facilities also want to be supplied with high-speed fiber optic and 5G. Many good reasons for new technical equipment in the networks. And the question: What do soccer and German SMEs have in common? 

Portrait of Klaus Werner, Director Business Customers, Telekom Deutschland.

Klaus Werner, Director Business Customers Telekom Deutschland GmbH. © Deutsche Telekom

It's the same in the business world as in soccer: the home game offers a decisive advantage. The soccer team feels the support of its fans in its own stadium. The physical proximity of the fans pushes the performance of the players. Business customers benefit from the home advantage in the same way. When a service company operates close to its customers, it can better understand their mood and needs and respond accordingly. The team's service is more personal because it is playing on familiar territory. This leads to stronger loyalty and greater satisfaction. Similarly, the enthusiastic support of the home fans helps the team to play better and win more often. 

SMEs are our home team

This also applies to the German SME sector. They represent over 99 percent of companies in Germany. Well over half of all employees work here. This is our home team. It is currently competing against a strong opposing team consisting of economic challenges such as a weakening economy, climate change, the shortage of skilled workers and adapting to new technologies. 

However, Germans are currently acting like concerned fans. They believe in the importance of SMEs. However, they have doubts about its ability to overcome the challenges. This is confirmed by the current image barometer for SMEs: although more than two thirds (68 percent) consider German SMEs to be an important driver of prosperity in Germany, only 23 percent see them as future-oriented. 

Digitization only works as a team

We want to change that. As Telekom's business customer division, we want to help the German economy win its home games. With digitalization. SMEs in Germany have a long tradition and play a crucial role in the country's economy. Just like soccer. We understand that. That's why our motto is: Digitalization. Together. Making. 

Current figures from the new KfW Digitalization Report show a positive development in terms of digitalization in Germany: the proportion of SMEs with completed digitalization projects has risen to 33%. At 29.3 billion euros, digitalization expenditure remains high. 

The shortage of skilled workers could once again act as a brake. Many companies simply do not have the staff for digitization projects. This is where partnerships can help to close the gap. And to strengthen the innovation ecosystem in SMEs with digital expertise. At Deutsche Telekom, we are determined to continue digitizing Germany. We are at the side of entrepreneurs. We help them to realize their new ideas and drive technological progress. Because one thing is crystal clear: innovation is the key to growth and prosperity throughout the country. 

Your business is my business

We focus on digitalization "Made in Germany". We grow together with our customers by offering connectivity, security, cyber security, the Internet of Things and digitalization solutions through to artificial intelligence. From a single source and close at hand. With genuine interpersonal communication, direct and authentic from around 11,500 people. They treat their customers' business like their own, because Your business is my business.

One example: the digital corner stores from myenso, Tante Enso for short. The company has made home games in retail its mission. Especially where there is a lack of local supply. With mini supermarkets that form a supply base in rural areas. Open around the clock, leanly organized, digitally managed. Simply open the door at any time with a membership card, select goods and pay at the self-checkout. To do this, the store must always be online. We ensure this with network infrastructure and IT services for myenso.

AI can't just win away from home

Even artificial intelligence (AI) can become a home game through personal service. Even if many fear that Germany and Europe are not competing away from home when it comes to AI. Only one in six medium-sized companies and only one in ten small companies use AI. This is confirmed by figures from the Federal Statistical Office. However, German SMEs can be competitive if they specifically promote its use. Microsoft's Copilot, for example, is a powerful assistant for small and medium-sized companies. Copilot combines the performance of large language models such as ChatGPT with a company's data. To achieve this, the tool must be seamlessly and effectively integrated into the existing infrastructure. Through customization and personal service, Telekom makes even the most advanced technology accessible and useful for companies of all sizes. It's a home game.

Klaus Werner

Klaus Werner

Director Business Customers Telekom Deutschland GmbH

Laptop, mobile phone and coffee cup on the table

Management unplugged

Deutsche Telekom's top management on current topics.