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Adel Al-Saleh

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Sovereign Cloud as a building block of Gaia-X

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T-Systems and Google Cloud have announced the development of a Sovereign Cloud. Based on the global platform of Google Cloud, the solution offers security and sovereignty in data processing with the help of T-Systems: a cloud according to European standards – a view shared by T-Systems CEO Adel Al-Saleh. 

Adel Al-Saleh, CEO of T-Systems, live von stage at the Digital X.

Adel Al-Saleh, CEO of T-Systems, live von stage at the Digital X.

The reaction to our joint announcement was impressive. Together with our partner Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, I announced last week at Digital X that we were building a Sovereign Cloud for Germany. The traction in the media even competed with the appearance on stage of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator had dominated the Digital X stage the day before. But more important for me was the great interest that the Sovereign Cloud generated among our customers.

Of course, many customers asked for more details. I ask for your understanding that we unfortunately cannot answer all questions at this early stage. What is clear is that the Sovereign Cloud will be launched in mid-2022. Initially, the offering will focus on Germany, and going forward the entire DACH region and Europe. However, we can clearly answer one question that customers have repeatedly asked: What does this Sovereign Cloud from T-Systems and Google Cloud mean for Gaia-X?

As you know, Gaia-X is designed as a European network of cloud providers and cloud users. The aim is to secure Europe's sovereignty in data, operations and software. The Sovereign Cloud from T-Systems and Google Cloud will also ensure precisely this. But I would like to emphasize this once again at this point: Our offering will not replace Gaia-X. Rather, it will be an important building block of Gaia-X. An offering that provides the scalability and innovative power of Google's global cloud platform, supplemented by security and data protection in line with European requirements. "A cloud on Europe’s terms" is how Thomas Kurian put it in a nutshell. So together we will do everything we can to meet the requirements of Gaia-X.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that we as T-Systems and Deutsche Telekom are among the founding members of Gaia-X. I am very proud that our CTO Max Ahrens is one of the masterminds behind the initiative and now also chairs its Board of Directors. This Board of Directors, which by the way is composed exclusively of Europeans, takes the final decision on which standards and regulations will apply to Gaia-X. 

The final definitions are not yet fixed. But Google has already declared that it will respect these regulations. It is not for nothing that our partner is a so-called day-1 member. That means Google was one of the first non-European companies to join Gaia-X. At our joint announcement, Thomas stated: "We know that data privacy and security are core issues for German and European organizations as they digitize their operations." 

Our partners at Google Cloud understand how important these points are to Europe. In addition to this understanding, they bring something else to the table that is a great boost to the potential of Gaia-X: namely the power of innovation and forward-looking technologies. Because Gaia-X should and will enable entirely new business models for European companies: data-driven, with the help of artificial intelligence, for example. Together, we will support our customers in their digitalization. And, of course, we will do so in accordance with Gaia-X. 

Adel Al-Saleh

Adel Al-Saleh

Member of the Board of Management Deutsche Telekom AG for T-Systems

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