• Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.
  • 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report
2015 Corporate Responsibility Report

Business models through innovation

As a modern technology company, our aim is to assume a pioneering role and help shape future developments, which is why we develop smart solutions for more efficiency and convenience while keeping environmental impact to a minimum. Our focus here includes the growth areas machine-to-machine communication, e-health and smart home. In addition to developing innovative solutions, we also invest in extensive research, particularly at our central research facility, Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs img). We invested a total of 108.1 million euros in research and development throughout the Group in 2015. We also finance professorships, collaborate with universities and encourage innovative business concepts with our start-up incubator, hub:raum.

Machines and products are becoming smarter: cars communicating with repair shops, smartphones becoming the new wallet. The technology that makes this possible is called machine-to-machine communication, or M2M. By 2020 the number of M2M connections around the world is expected to increase to 2.5 billion. Machine-to-machine communication is an important area of growth for Deutsche Telekom, too. Our Connected Car business area reflects this trend and focuses on smart mobility solutions.

We offer our customers numerous benefits by connecting machines digitally. The technology optimally synchronizes the work processes of the various customer devices and cars or even entire industrial plants. This increases industrial productivity, makes transportation more reliable (and more accurate) and helps reduce energy consumption and conserve resources. Our networks serve as the basis for this, because mobile communications is a vital part of the transmission process in any M2M connection.

We also support the German federal government's Industry 4.0 img initiative through our involvement in machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. The initiative's objective is to maintain Germany's competitive edge in the technology sector.

M2M solutions for more efficient mobility
M2M communication holds strong potential in the transportation field. Our Connected Car business area is developing custom-fit solutions that tap this potential.

  • At the international automobile fair IAA in September 2015 we presented driver- and vehicle-oriented real-time services under the slogan "Secure Auto Cloud."  Deutsche Telekom also presented AutoApp at the trade fair. This mobile application allows drivers to receive position-related traffic information and situation-specific tips designed to enhance traffic safety or reduce fuel consumption.
  • Daimler has developed a retrofit telematics solution for Mercedes cars in cooperation with T-Systems. The pilot stage was successfully completed in 2015. The European launch of the Mercedes Connect Me adapter is scheduled for early 2016.  It allows customers to connect with their cars anywhere and anytime.  For example, they can access information such as fuel levels or the position of their vehicle on their smartphones.
  • Bicycle maker BULLS, e-bike system vendor Brose, and Deutsche Telekom presented a jointly developed, connected electric bicycle in 2015. People who own one of these bikes can use their smartphone to locate their bicycles at any time. Besides this, a motion sensor detects unusually fast braking activity and extreme tilting which could result in a fall. If the user stops for an unusually long time and does not react to a message on the display, the bike sends a text message with location data to a pre-defined contact person. In the event of an accident, this makes it easier to find the cyclist quickly and to provide assistance. BULLS is planning to launch the bike on the market as a special model in 2017.

The port of tomorrow
During the reporting period we continued our smartPORT Logistics (SPL) pilot project for the port of Hamburg and started to put it into commercial operation. The goal of the project is to improve HDV traffic flows at the Port of Hamburg and in its vicinity. All relevant traffic and infrastructure data is collected and analyzed in real time for this purpose. Results can be used to inform users about waiting times, alternative routes or parking.

In 2016 we defined data privacy guidelines for using data when working with the Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet. Among other things, the six rules define how Deutsche Telekom deals with personal data and how the persons concerned are involved.

Roughly 2 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions can be reduced and 250 billion liters of water saved annually in agriculture alone by the year 2030 through the use of ICT img. The SMARTer2030 study published by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative img (GeSI img) confirms these numbers. These amounts are equivalent to around 2.2 times Germany's carbon footprint and the water consumption of around 180 million people. The reduction could be made possible by pushing the digitization of farming, for example. Real-time solutions are already making their way into agriculture. Farming machines send their data to the cloud via satellite; the data is analyzed immediately and important information is sent to the farmer via text message for instance. This lets the farmer optimize their use of fertilizer, seed and machines, save time, reduce costs and conserve resources.

Deutsch Telekom is working hard to encourage digitization in farming. Our goal in particular is to use smart technologies to help farmers become more sustainable and master the varied challenges they face every day. We develop solutions for this in numerous projects, as the following examples show:

  • At the 2015 Agritechnica trade show, we presented a solution that helps farmers to dispense seeds and fertilizer efficiently and to optimize fuel consumption. Precise location data is transferred to agricultural machine steering systems via the mobile communications network, which helps to minimize unnecessary trips when sowing, fertilizing and harvesting. This new technology can be upgraded at low cost and does not require farmers to set up their own base station. 
  • We developed a time clocking system especially for farmers in collaboration with our partner MobilZeit. The solution replaces traditional paper time cards. The system comes with a display and keyboard as well as an evaluation software. Farm employees are given a chip having the size of a coin – when they begin or stop work, they hold the chip near the recording device. Thanks to an integrated RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) transponder, the chip can be read without contact, and the employee's work hours are automatically recorded. The data are sent to a central computer, via Deutsche Telekom's mobile network, and provided directly to the farmer via the system's evaluation software. The system helps the farmer keep up with their documentation obligations in connection with minimum wage requirements and simplifies administrative processes. The number of hours worked, for example, are immediately assigned to a specific cost center. This, in turn, makes it possible to calculate labor costs and profits in relation to harvest units.

On November 2 and 3, 2015 Deutsche Telekom hosted the 8th CR Stakeholder Forum under the slogan "Enabling sustainability – Turning visions into reality." On the first day, Deutsche Telekom employees – in particular managers – were invited to intensively learn about sustainable products and services. The second day was used by our employees to share their ideas with suppliers, NGOs and other stakeholders. The presentations, discussions and workshops focused on the following questions: How can modern information and communication technologies like computers, the Internet, e-mail and cell phones help meet global challenges such as climate change? How can we make our supply chain more sustainable and transparent in cooperation with our suppliers and promote economic growth at the same time? Around 120 participants made clear recommendations for the future, e.g., greater consumer involvement and intensified cross-industry collaboration.

Raising internal awareness and fostering exchange
The goal of the first day was to show that every Deutsche Telekom business area makes a sustainable contribution for our customers and society. Deutsche Telekom employees presented products and solutions that help reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions among others: cloud services, Connected Car and e-mobility or Dynamic Workplace. Participants discussed these and other sustainability benefits of our current portfolio as part of subsequent round-table discussions and explored ways to expand their favorable effects.

Opportunities and challenges from the perspective of stakeholders
On the second day, employees and external stakeholders took a more in-depth look at issues in a workshop, including the topic of cloud services [LINK 8628]. The workshop focused on the Dynamic Workplace, a Deutsche Telekom offer that enables business customers to work regardless of their location. This means that employees can avoid a trip to work and reduce CO2 emissions. Participants considered protecting data from unauthorized access (information on data protection here) to be the greatest challenge when it comes to cloud services.

At the second workshop, participants discussed smart mobility solutions such as connected cars. An analysis we carried out together with external experts showed that use of connected cars can reduce annual CO2 emissions per vehicle by 15.9 percent (Connected Car). Participants at this workshop referred to data protection and security as important issues. They also considered large-scale development of infrastructure to be a significant basis for benefiting from these advantages.

Cities account for a large share of global CO2 emissions. At the same time they can also be the driving force behind and the origin of sustainable solutions. Deutsche Telekom is dedicated to innovative solutions that help reshape cities into smart urban spaces. One good example of this is intelligent street lighting: sensors control lighting times and save energy in the process.

We set up a one street lighting system with integrated motion, air pollution, temperature, and acoustic sensors as part of a pilot project in Dubrovnik in May 2015. In addition, the lighting solution that we installed in Budapest in November 2015 is equipped with a charging station for electric cars, a WiFi img router, a security camera, and an emergency button. Intelligent street lighting is a module within our Smart City concept and offers state-of-the-art communication infrastructures to support sustainable city development.

Telekom Romania also works towards the goal of transforming cities into smart urban spaces. Since 2015, the company runs several pilot projects in one Bucharest district that include smart parking, smart lightning, video surveillance and Managed Wi-Fi components. The first phase of the pilot projects is due to be completed in the spring of 2016 and it is planned to expand these activities to other districts as well.

There are many ways in which a smart home can make life easier. It lets residents conveniently control and monitor a large number of building and security technology devices, including home entertainment. If in the past customers bought a smart-home solution offered by one particular provider, they could only use those functions and devices and not those offered by other providers. The challenge therefore was to come up with a multi-vendor smart home solution. Deutsche Telekom and other key players together created the QIVICON platform on which any company, regardless of their industry or size, can offer their own solutions. This platform gives consumers the option to customize their own combination of different offers. More than 40 partner companies and brands currently offer their solutions on the platform. New partners, including Assa Abloy, Bosch Junkers, DOM, and Logitech, joined the platform during the reporting period. In the energy sector, for example, consumers have had access to smart home offers from green energy provider ENTEGA since October 2015, where they can optimize their energy costs with solutions like smart heating thermostats. Other offers include security and convenience products, with the range of QIVCION-based offerings and compatible devices from different partners, growing constantly.

End-to-end solutions for an easy start in the smart home market
Businesses in Germany and abroad can use the QIVICON-based smart home platform combined with a Deutsche Telekom white label app as part of an end-to-end solution. The app can be customized to meet company needs and can be offered under the company's own brand. In summer 2015 the Austrian-based eww Group became the first international partner to take advantage of this opportunity and is now offering its own smart home offer to its end customers. This is a good example of how easy it is for companies to quickly get started in the market with an end-to-end home automation solution for addressing topics such as energy management, security and convenience. In addition to platform hosting, training and customer care (3rd level), Deutsche Telekom also offers hardware sourcing.

We support the Eclipse Foundation, one of the world's largest independent open source communities. We also actively pursue intensified collaboration with open source project partners and relevant bodies as a way of encouraging compatibility and standardization. Deutsche Telekom is planning to gradually make the programming interfaces for the smart home platform accessible so that developers can create their own applications and control devices in smart homes.

All communication via the QIVICON Home Base, which is connected to the Internet via servers, is encrypted. Any user data related to QIVICON is stored exclusively on Deutsche Telekom servers in Germany. All devices made by brands managed via QIVICON employ wireless technology based on state-of-the art security functions.

Connecting healthcare services has many advantages. Telemedical assistance systems help patients and their families in their everyday lives, make work easier for medical personnel and reduce costs. Deutsche Telekom helps shape the digital healthcare system with numerous pilot projects. The primary goal is to enable the fast, secure exchange of information between doctors, patients and health insurers.

Data collection at the patient's bedside
In 2015, Deutsche Telekom installed a digital information system with 200 iPad minis at Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus Bonn hospital. Around 150 physicians and 450 nurses use the tablets when dealing with medical findings, diagnoses and X-ray images. They can access the information and medical records they need at all times and from anywhere within the hospital; they can even modify this data from the patient's bedside. Patients benefit as well. Digital documentation is more precise and there are no errors because a colleague's handwriting is illegible. Doctors can also carry out online medicine safety checks on the tablets to exclude reactions to other medicines.

Smart home img emergency call system
We presented a new smart home emergency call system at the geriatric care trade fair in Hanover in 2016. The system works using sensors installed in the home, which are in turn connected to the intelligent software of the emergency call system. The software is able to tell the difference between, say, a person bending down to pick something up and someone who has fallen and requires help. Upon identifying a real emergency situation, the system automatically uses a secure network to alert the control center staffed by an emergency home care service around the clock. The control center establishes contact with the resident via the hands-free function. The system also gives the staff an overview of the situation on-site by creating an image made impersonal and indistinct for reasons of data privacy.

Entertain for Hospitals: entertainment and information for patients
With Entertain for Hospitals, hospitals can offer patients a comprehensive range of entertainment formats and information directly at their bedside. The vendor-independent solution can be integrated into the respective hospital information system. This allows patients to read the information brochures made accessible to them, see their appointments or order meals. Depending on the hospital's offer, patients can also watch TV programs in the time-shift mode, download series, movies and documentaries, surf the Internet, make phone calls and play games. Around 3,000 beds had already been equipped with Entertain for Hospitals throughout Germany by the end of 2015.

Role model project for comprehensive healthcare
We are building an open, accessible, interdisciplinary IT platform for medical care for people living in Eastern Saxony in cooperation with Carus Consilium Sachsen GmbH, a subsidiary of the Dresden University Hospital. The CCS Telehealth Ostsachsen project is expected to help guarantee comprehensive, local medical care in rural regions for patients in the comfort of their own homes. Cardiac patients, for example, can use their tablets to send their vital data to the Dresdner Herzzentrum cardiology center for review. The data is processed by "telenurses" who monitor vital signs and immediately inform a physician in case of any doubt.

The pilot phase was started in 2015 after two years of development work. Initial applications, such as at-home care for congestive heart failure patients and outpatient follow-up care for stroke patients, were launched in July 2015. Introducing CCS Telehealth Ostsachsen involved creating telemedicine workstations, providing patients with tablets and IP img telephones and installing high-performing servers, scanners and a central database. This approach makes the project a role model throughout Europe. The EU and the Free State of Saxony support the project, for example, by funding it with almost EUR 10 million.

In November 2015, OTE and CISCO completed the transformation of the Papageorgiou General Hospital in Thessaloniki into a smart digital hospital. Thanks to the innovative COSMOTE Business IT solutions and the use of CISCO products nursing services were upgraded, patient satisfaction improved, operative costs reduced and productivity increased. They installed wireless voice and data transmission systems that allow staff authorized access to the hospital's information systems via tablets or smartphones. CISCO's wireless infrastructure supports all the security, quality and high performing characteristics in data transmission, thus facilitating the staff's workload while offering Internet access to both patients and visitors.
The two companies also proceeded with the installation of a new IP img phone center in the hospital and connected it up to the existing one. This unified infrastructure for Internet-based data and telephony also improves the hospital's internal communication effectiveness as staff can now accept internal calls to their smartphones, while drastically reducing telecommunication costs as well. Furthermore, location base services for the hospital's significant assets were offered via RFID tags, which allow real-time monitoring with 1-meter location accuracy, thus minimizing the cost of consumables and mobile asset monitoring. Last but not least, every hospital bed now has a touch-screen bedside terminal that serves as an entertainment, information and support device for patients and visitors, as well as a work tool for the hospital's nursing, medical, and administrative staff.

We have been running our own start-up incubator in Berlin since 2012 under the name hub:raum. At hub:raum, start-up teams can develop their ideas in an "incubator" environment and then introduce them to the market. Experienced start-up entrepreneurs work with the teams as mentors. We also provide teams with a maximum of 300,000 euros in seed funding.

Interested start-ups can go to the hub:raum website and apply for acceptance to the program. Investments were made in three start-ups in 2015:

  • M2MGO offers web portal building blocks for the Internet of Things
  • Teraki develops data-reduction software for the Internet of Things
  • CiValue, the first investment in Israel, offers retailers a cloud-based big data platform to optimize their customer retention strategies.

hub:raum currently hosts a total of eleven start-ups: Blinkist, Stylemarks, Salonmeister, Reputami, Frestyl, Vigour.io, Contiamo, qLearning and Flexperto. hub:raum also offers an ongoing accelerator program, ChallengeUp. Start-up teams whose ideas complement Deutsche Telekom's business policy can join the program to turn these ideas into business models that qualify for funding. We provide them with the hub:raum campus infrastructure at no charge as well as hub:raum program offers, which vary from week to week (e.g., mentor and expert consultations, workshops, and events). More than 160 start-up teams have already taken advantage of this offer in Berlin and Cracow.

In 2015, hub:raum initiated a new program. The start-up incubator launched the Internet of Things Accelerator in collaboration with Intel, Cisco and hub:raum Cracow. The program paired 12 European start-ups with mentors from the M2M sector. The start-ups worked with their mentors to develop use cases from July to November 2015. The teams were specially flown in to Cracow, Berlin, Dublin and London so that they could work closely on the cases with their mentors. The goal was to support the start-ups with the companies' sales expertise and expert know-how as well as to enable the companies to access new technologies through the partnerships.

hub:raum introduced a new, topic-based event format referred to as boot camps in 2014. At these events, start-ups are given the chance to "boot" themselves (like booting an operating system), i.e., get noticed. We also use these events to present the start-ups as Deutsche Telekom partners and put them in touch with investors. Teams from all over the world are invited to present their solutions to us in Berlin and/or Bonn. The Cloud Boot Camp was held in Berlin in November 2015. More than 12 start-ups participated, presenting their most innovative ideas and solutions.

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