Driving progress: Telekom forms alliances for the IoT

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  • Telekom and Huawei partner on IoT hardware and sensors
  • Expansion of partnership with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)
  • Telekom uses GE Digital's Predix cloud platform for industrial data and analytics; expected start: summer 2016
  • Own Cloud of Things Starter Kit counts down to launch

Deutsche Telekom drives the progress of the industrial Internet: The partnerships announced at the Hannover Messe trade fair are already starting to bear fruit. The company's Cloud of Things Starter Kit, developed in-house for the SME sector, is counting down to market launch with the first pilot projects due to start in July.

Developed to make getting started in the Internet of Things (IoT) environment easy, the kit contains hardware, standard data collection sensors, a SIM card with a data rate plan, and access to Telekom's Cloud of Things. Its ready-to-use design means customers can, for example, monitor machine temperatures or track the movements of a vehicle in real time with no need for time-consuming installation work. The Cloud of Things is part of Deutsche Telekom's in-house multi-IoT service platform. This open platform uses stacks to connect to other platforms and partner solutions. It processes incoming data from sensors and makes the information available to customers via an Internet portal. Deutsche Telekom's IoT strategy pursues the same overall vision as its multi-cloud strategy, both of which focus on using partner ecosystems with the Telekom network as the basis for all applications. "Digitization isn't a solo venture; that's why we don't build standalone platforms. Instead, we take strong in-house products and integrate them with strong partner solutions," says Anette Bronder, Director of the Digital Division at T-Systems. "We work hand-in-hand with partners to develop both solutions and business models for our customers. Our goal is to offer complete packages of user-friendly, secure products from a single source."

Deutsche Telekom follows a best-of-breed approach when selecting its partners and forms alliances with companies that offer market-leading expertise and solutions. As a result, the Group already works closely with Cisco and GE on its IoT platforms. Telekom is also partnering with Huawei on IoT hardware. Together, the partners aim to tap into the IoT mass market for hardware and sensors.

Direct line to research
Deutsche Telekom is expanding its longstanding collaboration with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), in which it is also a shareholder, to incorporate the latest scientific and research findings into its in-house product development processes. With immediate effect, an employee from the Digital Division at T-Systems will work directly at the research center's headquarters in Saarbrücken to assist on various DFKI projects. In particular, Deutsche Telekom is interested in exchanging knowledge in the fields of connected mobility, smart cities, and virtual and augmented reality in the production industry. In a factory that has gone virtual, every part and every device reports its status to a central memory, which in turn uses this data to calculate the ideal degree of capacity utilization for the factory. "Exchanging knowledge and ideas goes both ways – so application-oriented research also benefits from the proximity to commercial enterprises. Our shared goal is to drive forward innovative progress in Germany and convert innovations into successful products and services faster," says DFKI spokesman Reinhard Karger.

New alliance with GE Digital
Deutsche Telekom would like to use the Predix cloud platform from GE Digital, a subsidiary of U.S. industrial group General Electric (GE), for industrial data analytics. Both partners want to combine GE's industrial expertise and Deutsche Telekom's performance capabilities in the fields of connectivity, IT operations, and security to offer digital innovations from a single source in industries including production, transport, energy, and health care. The new alliance is expected to begin in summer 2016.

About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with more than 156 million mobile customers, 29 million fixed-network lines and around 18 million broadband lines (as of December 31, 2015). The Group provides fixed-network/broadband, mobile communications, Internet and Internet-based TV products and services for consumers, and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in more than 50 countries and has around 225,200 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenues of 69.2 billion euros in the 2015 financial year – around 64 percent of it outside Germany.

About T-Systems
As one of the leading global ICT service providers, T-Systems supplies integrated solutions for business customers. These are based on global offerings in fixed-network and mobile communications, highly secure data centers, a unique cloud infrastructure built around standardized platforms and global partnerships, and top security in line with the strictest German data protection regulations, as demanded by our customers. With a footprint in more than 20 countries, 46,000 employees, and external revenue of 7.1 billion euros (2015), T-Systems is the ideal partner for digital transformation. Alongside traditional ICT services, T-Systems' portfolio also offers cloud access, custom infrastructure, and platforms and software from the cloud, alongside innovation projects in future business areas such as big data, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, and Industry 4.0.