Heading for success – with our ideas management

Our employees come up with creative ideas for ways to improve our processes, products, and services – and thereby strengthen Deutsche Telekom’s competitiveness. We promote a corporate culture in which we encourage our employees to take an active role. We trust in the competency and will of every individual to move our company forward. Our Idea Management unit develops concepts and measures for making the most of our employees’ potential.

Also, in Germany, we maintain an “ideas portal,” and invite any and all of our employees to submit ideas through it – acting either alone or as part of a team. And to ensure that no ideas, no matter how nascent, are ever lost, our Idea Management unit offers all employees an “ideas garden” – a dedicated platform for their creativity. On this platform, employees have the opportunity to play with and refine their emerging ideas and bring them to full maturity. The submitted ideas are reviewed by Idea Management based on a variety of criteria. New ideas are also assessed by the responsible functional unit and implemented when approved. The process, which is extensive overall, ensures that each and every idea can be individually considered and promoted. Our employees are paid a reward for each submitted idea that is pursued.

In 2022, we received a total of016 submissions from our employees in Germany (2021:420). These ideas led to savings and new business potential worth about 82.7 million euros (2021: 169.3 million euros). This achievement also shows that we value and implement ideas from our employees.

In the 2022 Deutscher Ideenmanagement Preis (German Idea Management Awards), Deutsche Telekom came first in the category for the best idea in administration and service. The winning idea is a survey tool called “Vote,” which was developed and programmed by Andre Artmann and Adreas Steffl on their own initiative. An external tool was previously used for in-house surveys, but this was associated with high license costs, which can now be avoided. The innovative “Vote” survey tool is now used throughout the Group, in over 24 countries.

Better and better – thanks also to some ideas from outside the company
Via our Ideenschmiede (think tank; only available in German), which has been in place since 2018, we invite persons from outside the company, including both customers and non-customers, to actively help us design our products, services, and processes. Around 18 000 users have registered for the site in order to contribute ideas and impetus. Users also have the opportunity to take part in surveys, polls, and discussions, and to place suggestions in our digital suggestion box. Workshops, both online and in person, also give them an opportunity to exchange information with one another and with Deutsche Telekom experts, contribute ideas, and develop suggestions further. The Ideenschmiede has conducted 550 surveys on 280 different topics since January 2018. The results are impressive: customer feedback on 177 different topics has resulted in the implementation of a product or measurable improvements.

How customers are changing Deutsche Telekom
The Ideenschmiede primarily serves to solicit requests and requirements from customers, elaborate them further, and structure and document them. All the same, we sometimes let users vote on alternative solutions, too. One example involved finding a name for the “MagentaTV MegaStream” rate plan, which was decided by a majority vote among users.

Another example of the influence of user feedback involves the help website for the new topic Cell Broadcast. A targeted survey on the Ideenschmiede platform helped us make the texts more understandable and answer open questions.

In addition, the Ideenschmiede regularly provides suggestions regarding activities and service offerings specifically for older people. To make it easier for them to participate in the digital world, we developed the initial content for a “Tablet for beginners” seminar there, which we now offer regularly in the Telekom Seniors’ Academy framework.

Portfolio of Intellectual Property Rights KPI

By the end of 2022, we owned around200 intellectual property rights (IPRs). We take a targeted approach to managing these IPRs in consideration of cost-benefit aspects. We regularly take stock of our IPRs and eliminate those that are no longer relevant.

Patents are gaining more and more significance in the telecommunications industry. Market players and their areas of activity are changing, with a knock-on effect on our IPR (intellectual property rights) agenda. On the one hand, our Group’s scope for action must be maintained. On the other hand and alongside our own research and development activities, we want to pave the way to open innovation through collaboration projects and partnerships. National and international IPRs are vital for these types of activity. We are strongly dedicated to generating our own property rights. Industrial property rights include inventions, patent applications, patents, utility models and design patents.

Thanks to our intense efforts to develop and structure our IPR portfolio, the rights we hold are highly valuable and firmly in line with our Group’s strategic objectives. We have put in place a professional patent law management process to keep our IPR assets safe. Additionally, we are represented on various standardization bodies in our industry. We manage our IPRs on the basis of cost/benefit aspects, filing only selected applications and de-registering patents systematically.

Reporting against standards


European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS)

  • V04-05 (Number of patents registered within last 12 month)
  • V04-06 (Percentage of patents registered within last 12 month in relation to total number of patents)
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