T-Systems: Zero outage principle to be industry standard

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A common design principle for zero-outage products is one of the quality criteria for the new industry standard that Dr. Ferri Abolhassan, Managing Director at T-Systems, called for when speaking to some 150 managers from 15 industries at the first Zero Outage Conference in Berlin. "Every industry is getting ready for the digital future, but a wide-scale quality basis for the required technological infrastructure has not yet become standard," said the Director of IT Division, who introduced the Zero Outage program at Telekom's Business Customer arm five years ago.

Since then, T-Systems has recruited, trained and certified more than 22,000 employees in the zero-outage principle. Each year, 315,000 change requests submitted by the company's customers are analyzed for their outage profiles. Each step currently runs on the basis of a standardized process able to exclude 280 pre-specified single risks. The experts use a type of flight simulator each year to simulate around 500 technical maneuvers. Thanks to these preventative measures, T-Systems has reduced the number of serious customer system outages by 95 percent since launching the program.

Optimum quality as the basis for innovation
The company wants to increase this level of quality with a new industry standard. "We've reached the digital break-even point," explained Mr. Abolhassan. "Now many companies are tackling issues that until now have been technologically unfeasible or very risky." Innovations such as self-driving cars and medical treatment with the help of robots are setting high quality standards. However, every third IT decision-maker at companies is still worried about performance problems just in the transition to cloud technologies.

For that reason, T-Systems is planning this year to begin creating an ecosystem in collaboration with partners, all of whom are committed to the zero-outage principle and will comply with shared quality management standards. "Today more than ever companies are working together across industries. More and more interfaces, more and more friction. The only way for this to work is by creating a common quality standard instead of everyone just focusing on their own sphere," Mr. Abolhassan said.

This will make it possible to specify error response times, make sure that only components with at least six-months maturity are installed in critical infrastructure, specify a minimum employee qualification level and set minimum security requirements. "At the beginning we are planning to work with ten key partners from the IT industry to create an association to define the industry standard and monitor compliance," explained Mr. Abolhassan, who has also been in charge of security throughout the Group since late 2015.

Premiere for the Zero Outage Conference
150 managers from the worlds of business, politics and science met on June 9, 2016, at Motorwerk Berlin for the first Zero Outage Conference worldwide. At the initiative of T-Systems, Deutsche Telekom's Business Customer arm, experts from different industries discussed the technological risks behind a connected, digital economy and how companies can prevent IT outages critical to business and to life by introducing a zero-outage strategy.

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 some 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 businesses and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom has a presence in more than 50 countries and employs about 225,200 people worldwide. The Group generated revenues of 69.2 billion euros in the 2015 financial year – roughly 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 solutions 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 Germany's strict data protection regulations in response to customer demand. 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 in digital transformation. Alongside traditional ICT services, T-Systems' portfolio also offers cloud access, custom infrastructure, and platforms and software from the cloud, as well as innovative projects in promising new business areas such as big data, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, and Industry 4.0.