Reinventing Wholesale at Deutsche Telekom
Rapid technological transformations today affect a myriad of activities, including the wholesale telco business. To help our customers stay relevant in this new era of global connectivity, we have reinvented our international wholesale business – and with it, our name: We are now "Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier".
In the following short interview, Rolf Nafziger explains the reasoning behind the international wholesale unit's change of strategy and name, and describes the steps that have been taken to better cope with the challenges of today’s dynamic marketplace. Those include a move toward faster innovation, streamlined processes, greater collaboration, heightened flexibility and continual development and expansion of the organization’s portfolio.
As a leading global wholesaler, we have taken a close look at the direction the industry is moving towards. Although we can’t predict the unknown, the changes we’re implementing today will solidify our place as a driving force shaping the future of telecommunications.
Rolf Nafziger, Senior Vice President Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier
Transformed for the future – as Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier
Q1: What inspired you to focus more on innovation, to reinvent yourself and change your name - and what does the new name "Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier" stand for?
A1: As everyone in this business is aware, the wholesale telco landscape is in the midst of huge and ongoing transformation. We realize that it is not enough to react to these changes. We must have solutions in place before they occur, in order to better respond to the changing needs of the marketplace and to be in a position where we can help shape the future of the industry. That’s why we’re placing great store on innovation; and to be innovative we are digitizing our daily business operations, initiating collaborations and fostering a growth mindset within the company. In turn, those steps will simplify our processes, provide a clearer overview, and therefore create more agility to adapt to our customer’s needs faster and enable greater innovation. The new name better reflects the fact that we are an integral part of Deutsche Telekom, an internationally operating Tier 1 provider; it also highlights the changes that we are making to help our clients mobilize for the future.
Q2: Can you name some of the challenges you’ve seen on the path to become more agile, innovative and creative in responding to fast-changing requirements –the path that led to "Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier"?
A2: As I mentioned, we are moving our processes toward comprehensive digitalization, which involves taking advantage of big data and artificial intelligence. This is of course a massive undertaking, but one which will result in many benefits for ourselves as well as our clients in terms of cost reduction and greater efficiency. It will also bring us closer to our goal of further improving customer experience and technology by, for example, shortening lead times when it comes to ordering, delivery and implementation. The resulting gain in transparency will optimize flexibility, adaptability and simplicity. In addition, we’ve been working to instill a mindset within the organization that embraces change and growth, as this is the only way to achieve more creativity, even if there might be some disappointing failures in the short term. These are some of the challenges we’ve seen on the way to our new goals.
Q3: Where else do you hope to expand or enhance your offering, or to become more agile and innovative?
A3: Our new name and new strategy will lead to major enhancements of our portfolio –regarding both future-looking as well as existing services. We have already been gearing up for growing and upcoming technologies such as IoT, A2P, M2M and 5G, with over a decade of experience in the IoT and A2P areas. We will keep on with our work in these fields, as we already have done. One example is our continual adaptation of our IPX platform, including the building of a more specific IoT layer. Regarding current areas: one big issue is and will continue to be security. As cyber criminality becomes more and more prevalent, and as criminals continually find new ways to launch their attacks, we need to constantly stay on top of the topic by quickly providing new and/or expanded security solutions. We also plan to seek additional partnerships with leading providers within as well as outside of the telecom industry. As technologies overlap, we must be open to new markets outside of our traditional areas. The success of this collaborative thinking can be seen in the European Aviation Network, which will truly revolutionize connectivity in the skies above Europe. The changes that we are currently making to increase our agility will definitely help us in the future, when technological advancements might occur that we cannot even imagine today.
Q4: Does the new name also stand for a new way of working with customers, and what is in it for customers?
A4: The ideas and goals behind our new name will definitely help customers with their business objectives and optimize the way we work with each other. First of all, automating and digitizing our processes will result in a simpler, faster way of doing business with clients. Then, as we strengthen our entire international wholesale business and provide more innovative solutions, it will become even easier for companies to derive all their needs from our one-stop portfolio. This will accordingly simplify their processes by, for example, making it easier to keep track of SLAs and contractual agreements. In addition, we are building a comprehensive product and service range that will guard against the uncertainties of the technological advancements of tomorrow. That is something not many providers will be able to offer. But with the backing of Deutsche Telekom, we are in a prime position to deliver just that. Plus, customers can be sure that we will be able to supply their business needs, including any updates or upgrades, for many years to come.