“On board” since January of this year, I am still new to the team. As a member of the Deutsche Telekom board of directors, and as the CEO of T-Systems, I am responsible for T-Systems business across the globe. And? – Did I find what I expected? The answer is: Absolutely! As an ICT service provider, the Telekom subsidiary is the undisputed number 1 in Germany and one of the leading companies in Europe. When it comes to our clients and the trust and long-term relationships we have built with them, T-Systems is one-of-a-kind. What do our people bring to the table that has allowed us to reach this position, and to not just maintain, but also expand it?
For me, it is the fact that we are the only one in the market that is capable of producing, managing, and developing both components required in ICT (IT and Telecommunications). What makes us different is our ability to deal with the complexities and scale of the ICT landscape with deep technical expertise and talents. These are the things that make digitization even possible in the first place. Facilitating the best possible client experience for private customers on their smartphones and personal computers is already quite a benchmark. However, establishing new processes in the digital world for business clients calls for a completely different level of reliability, responsibility, and expertise. Being smart on one hand – at the front end – is a must. Our focus is on providing end-to-end solutions that are simple, innovative, and reliable. That is exactly what we are. How we deal with our clients’ business-critical issues is what distinguishes us – for example, developing an agile software solution for one of the world’s largest automakers using a mainframe, so they can introduce new solutions to their clients within a few days or even hours in a reliable and scalable way – now that is smart!
Of course, everyone thinks of autonomous driving when we talk about cars and digitization. But digitization is a lot more. We are focusing on: connected driving as well as helping auto manufacturers run their businesses more efficiently. The auto industry is just one example. We are also developing solutions and competencies in other industries. The way we guide companies on their digital journey is our unique selling proposition. These are the same companies that entrust us with their “mission critical topics”. This is the recurring message I have heard from our clients I have visited since I joined the company: “If anyone can do it, it’s you!” This, I believe, is what distinguishes T-Systems, and I am very proud of that.
German companies have the reputation of being too detailed at times, over-engineered perhaps, and always wanting 100 percent. This is where I would like to start. We want to become more agile and faster in innovations, to free up key functions from complexity, to shorten decision-making paths, to become fast in executing our decisions, and to create lean and agile structures. Measured only in terms of its sheer size – keyword “on board” – the Telekom is of course one big flagship in the Telecom industry. By comparison, T-Systems should function more like a speed boat. Can we fill this role? – I say: Yes.
One thing is certain: Jumping head-first into challenges is part of our DNA. We are motivated, curious, and eager to be the speed boat of digitization for our clients. T-Systems celebrates its 18th anniversary as a company this year! We have accomplished a lot over these 18 years, but have lots more to look forward to. We are starting on a new journey that will put us back in the leadership position, where we belong! To be successful in our new journey, we must optimize all processes and systems along the value chain with a clear focus on our client’s success and leadership in the market. My promise is to lead us on this new and exciting journey.