Zero Outage: outstanding IT quality for your business
As a pioneer in the cloud, T-Systems is pursuing a zero-error strategy and has already implemented a comprehensive quality assurance program with Zero Outage in 2011. The goal: as little downtime as possible for maximum business capability. The zero outage program includes measures at all levels - from state-of-the-art platforms to smooth, globally standardized processes with short disruption times and specially trained personnel – as only an optimal interaction of people and technology enables a stable and secure ICT. In addition to over 600 quality representatives worldwide, over 21,000 employees are quality certified every year in the company's own Quality Academy.
Systematic risk management
A key first step within the Zero Outage program was to identify approximately 300 risks, to group them into 40 clusters, and to define a plan of action for each. This resulted in guides and instructions for a variety of scenarios, for example for defective system components, for network, power and VoIP outages, and for incidents during planned changes. These resources form the basis for T-Systems’ robust IT quality management: each risk category is precisely monitored, and any action taken is reviewed and procedures refined. As a result, T-Systems has achieved exceptional IT uptime (99.999 percent). And this is reflected in the company‘s customer satisfaction rating, as recorded by the annual TRI*M survey conducted by TNS Infratest: T-Systems continuously secures exceptionally high scores for customer satisfaction.
"Zero Outage focuses sustainably on eliminating downtime, giving the customer peace of mind.“
Michael Weppler, Executive Vice President of Systems at TÜV Rheinland
At the heart of quality assurance is prevention. With this in mind, Deutsche Telekom employs more than 1,200 security experts, operates cyber emergency response teams (CERTs) for the identification and assessment of potential threats, and deploys state-of-the-art technologies. Together, these elements help realize the Zero Outage vision by avoiding downtime and thwarting cyber attacks. T-Systems’ twin-core data centers are amongst the most advanced of their kind anywhere in Germany, comprising two facilities of identical design – reinforced by redundant network connections and encrypted data transmission via VPN. Further security mechanisms include identity and access management, intrusion detection and prevention, firewalls, anti-malware and secure point-to-point connections within an MPLS network. Moreover, there are robust physical safeguards – such as strict access control and surveillance equipment. In other words, T-Systems customers can be sure of excellent, truly end-to-end security.
Manager-on-duty concept for 24/7 responsiveness
Despite all preventive efforts, there is no such thing as completely failsafe ICT. And when a component or system goes offline, responsiveness is essential. Consequently, effective incident management is an inherent part of Zero Outage. This includes a seamless chain of communication, clearly defined escalation levels, and a global 24/7 manager-on-duty service. This ensures that a representative of the company’s senior management, together with a dedicated team of experts, is always on standby for critical incidents. He is directly involved in problem resolution, coordinating and overseeing all activities. Worldwide, some 140 executives participate in the rolling manager-on-duty program, ensuring that any crisis will receive the immediate attention of a senior decision maker.
To safeguard quality and reliability at all levels, T-Systems collaborates with carefully selected suppliers and partners who share the same high quality standards – as they are key elements of the value chain in terms of service and solution delivery, and incident resolution. In fact, the direct involvement of the corresponding supplier or vendor is vital to rapid remediation, effective root cause analysis, and permanent eradication of the underlying problem. For this reason, T-System extended Zero Outage to partners and suppliers in 2013. Around 30 top global suppliers and more than 60 access providers are already certified to the program. Every year, more than 500 unannounced fire drills take place – to verify compliance with the agreed quality of service at T-Systems and at partner organizations, under real-world conditions.