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 25 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.