ICT providers like Deutsche Telekom enable customers to access their computer applications and other ICT solutions, including data storage services, from cloud-based data centers. Cloud services are based on the principle of cloud computing and have been offered by T-Systems worldwide since 2005. Data outsourcing involves many challenges regarding data privacy as well as IT and data security. T-Systems complies with strict German data privacy legislation and also internationally recognized standards.
Cloud computing is more resource and energy efficient than operating ICT processes outside the cloud. Customers can do away with almost all of their hardware and rely on cloud services provided by data centers. Data centers generally use computing capacity more efficiently than customers do. They need significantly less electricity for operation and cooling, for example. Cloud-based solutions can also eliminate emission-heavy activities. One example of this is using cloud-based video conferences instead of business trips.
Our consumers have long since moved into the cloud. Via the Media Center and MyPhonebook applications, they can store their own documents, videos, contact information and more in the cloud and can access these files anywhere at any time. And it all works with any Internet-enabled device, including smartphones, tablet computers, and PCs.
Three-pillar approach to protecting children and young people in the media
As an ICT company, Deutsche Telekom wants to ensure the protection of children and young people in the media. In Germany, the company's approach to protecting children and young people in the media is based on three pillars:
- Providing attractive, age-appropriate content for children: Age-appropriate websites, such as the fragFINN.de search engine or our kids portal, which was launched in 2004, offer minors attractive and secure online content.
- Promoting media skills: We promote competent, confident use of the Internet and mobile communications. This is the only way for children and young people to learn how to recognize risks and stay within boundaries. We offer a series of talks under the title "Safer Surfing on the internet."
- Offering customizable protection tools: We offer appropriate protection tools to users. For example, we offer our customers a free-of-charge child protection software that is recognized by the German Commission for the Protection of Minors from Unsuitable Media Content (KJM).
The Deutsche Telekom Design Principles
Deutsche Telekom introduced its mandatory Design Principles for product development in late 2009. These principles are in line with our Group strategy. They include not only design-related considerations but also sustainability aspects, which were put into more specific terms in our Sustainability Guideline for Product Design. The Design Principles help us to ensure that sustainability factors play a role in how our products are designed. They also form the basis for our Experience Style Guide and make sure that we offer a consistent, Telekom-specific product and service experience to our customers. Of course, they are also in line with Deutsche Telekom's sustainability strategy.
The Deutsche Telekom Design Principles at a glance
- Act responsibly. Think globally.
- Analyze and picture the future to design toward it.
- Create moments for sharing.
- Support throughout the day.
- Start with emotion.
- Focus on core benefit.
- Use learned recognition with a new interpretation.
- Be coherent.
- Design with passion and care for detail.
- Create desire at first glance.
Deutsche Telekom feels that it is the company's responsibility to offer disabled people the easiest possible access to Telekom's services. We set up a hotline in Germany for the deaf and hearing impaired as early as 2003. Customers can send an e-mail, fax or letter or use their video phone to talk to our specially trained employees about any problems or questions they may have. Not only are these employees fluent in sign language, they are also familiar with the problems that people with hearing impairments might have with technical equipment or settings on their cell phone.
What's more, in 2002 T-Mobile signed a master agreement with the German association for the deaf, Deutscher Gehörlosen-Bund e.V, regarding special conditions for the association's members. The agreement includes special plans for people who only use their cell phone to send messages.
Initiatives and cooperations for the protection of children and young people in the media
Close cooperation of all parties involved is crucial to pushing forward the protection of children and young people in the media. That is why Telekom collaborates closely in this area with partners from the worlds of business, politics and society and supports numerous initiatives on protecting children and young people in the media on its markets.
We have been an active participant in the federal and state administrations' multi-stakeholder dialog on developing a system for protecting children and young people since 2009 and have already conducted various projects within this context. The goal of the dialog is to establish uniform standards and policies for the protection of children and young people in the media as well as to initiate measures to communicate and raise people's awareness of the topic.
We are working toward improving the protection of children and young people both in Germany and abroad within the scope of numerous initiatives and partnerships:
At a glance:
|Deutschland sicher im Netz e. V. (Making Germany safe on the Net)|
|Jugend und Handy (Youth and cell phones)|
T-Mobile Czech Republic
“Contact reduction,” “Complaint management 2.0” and “K1 – Customer first”
By launching projects at different levels, Telekom has been improving complaint management processes for a couple of years in order to make lasting improvements in customer loyalty and satisfaction. In 2008, we launched the “Contact reduction” project. By systematically identifying complaints and reducing the causes of complaints, we managed to significantly lower the number of inquiries and complaints in the consumer, mobile communications and business customer segments - during the five years of the project, we were able to lower the number of complaints by around 20 percent on average. All organizational units dealing with product and process complaints were included in the project - from Sales and Marketing departments via Accounting, Product and Process Management to Technology.
With the launch of the “K1 – Customer first” initiative in 2012, we took the concepts of our “Contact reduction” project and advanced them further. The goal of K1 is to permanently improve customer experience and continuously increase customer satisfaction. We use market research to assess how our customers perceive the methods and processes used by Telekom. Then, we come up with improvement measures based on the assessment results. Within the scope of the project, we also consistently monitor key business processes via process tracking. We use standardized performance indicators in order to evaluate process performance. For this purpose, we ask customers one to two weeks after completion of our internal processes to give us their opinion about service quality, their satisfaction with the service we provided and if they would recommend our service to others. We also conduct after call customer interviews (ACCIs) with representative customer groups, usually 36 hours after the customer was in contact with the service staff. Combining these two processes gives us a comprehensive picture of customer perception throughout the entire process chain.
For the fixed-line consumer segment, we launched the “Complaint management 2.0” project in 2012 within the scope of our “K1 – Customer first” initiative for customers who need extensive consulting, further improving our complaint processes. If customers make repeated calls within a certain period of time, a trained case manager takes over the service process. The case manager handles the case and provides the customer with regular progress updates, e.g., via a short phone call. “Complaint management 2.0” has already had tangible positive effects on the ACCI and process tracking results. For example, the number of complaints registered in 2012 was reduced by 30 percent compared to the previous year.
Used cell phone collection
More than 105 million used cell phones are stowed away in drawers in Germany. They no longer work or have been replaced with newer models. These cell phones contain hazardous substances, which should not be disposed of in your regular waste bin, and valuable metals. Up to 100 percent of the materials used in cell phones can be recycled. Valuable materials such as gold, silver and copper can be reused. Other materials can be used to generate energy.
Since 2003 Telekom Deutschland has been involved in the collection and reuse, or green recycling, of used cell phones in cooperation with the Deutsche Umwelthilfe environmental organization. Deutsche Telekom has reused and recycled more than 1.6 million used cell phones to save resources. The Used Cell Phone Collection CR KPI is used to evaluate the success of our initiatives and is published in the CR Report under KPIs.
The collection process
The used cell phone collection process was designed in cooperation with the Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V. environmental organization. All collected devices are transported safely to our Telekom recycling center. Each device is recorded and labeled for reuse or recycling. Around 10 percent of the devices collected are fully functional and can be reused. We make sure that all previous owner data is deleted from these cell phones or smartphones. They are then resold in Europe and Asia and reused. Most collected cell phones, however, are defective or data deletion would be too involved. We recycle these devices at our Telekom recycling center in Europe using state-of-the-art and environmentally sound recycling methods.
Telekom Deutschland donates the proceeds from the used cell phone collection initiative to Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.. We have been partnering with the environmental organization for over a decade now. Deutsche Umwelthilfe has used our donations to sponsor more than 770 environmental protection and nature conservation projects.
Child protection software
Telekom Deutschland's child protection software enables parents to control their children's use of the Internet, e.g., by limiting the time they can be online or setting age-appropriate filters for page content. Parents have control over which downloads and services, including chat programs and online market places, their children have access to.
Telekom Deutschland offers fixed-line customers (Telekom customers and non-Telekom customers alike) its child protection software as a free download. Since 2008 we have also been offering a service forum for this software, which can be found on our website under "Sicherheit im Netz" (security in the Internet). The site offers a discussion forum, moderated by the Telekom team, dealing with current issues and improvement measures. In 2012 Telekom's child protection software became one of the first two initiatives for the protection of minors in Germany to be recognized by the Commission for the Protection of Minors from Unsuitable Media Content (KJM). Similar tools that allow parents to control their children's use of the Internet are also offered by our national companies, including Magyar Telekom and Slovak Telekom.
The Privacy and Security Assessment (PSA) process is a core element in safeguarding technical security and data privacy at Deutsche Telekom. The process makes sure that development projects managed in Germany comply with the highest standards regarding technical security and data privacy. These include projects for developing new applications for both the mobile communications and fixed-line networks.
The objectives of the PSA process include:
- Guaranteeing a standardized, adequate level of security and data privacy for all products, systems and platforms.
- An integrated process for technical security and data privacy as a component of the product and system development processes
- Guaranteeing a level of support in line with project complexity and criticality. Each development project is classified accordingly.
Use of the PSA process has been mandatory for all Deutsche Telekom projects managed in Germany since 2011 - a total of more than 2,000 projects a year. The PSA process has already been adopted or is being introduced at a number of national companies.
Our "Telekom hilft" (Telekom helps) channels give customers the opportunity to get their service questions answered online and to chat with each other about questions and problems. Telekom's consultants are available to help out as well. Telekom hosts also actively encourage and manage comments on our products and services outside our online communities, for example in our service forums. We added the Feedback Community to our online service in 2012. The portal brings together all of the tips and problem solutions from our different service channels and makes them available based on category. This offer supports our "Customers helping customers" approach.
The Mobile Communications Customer Center
With its Mobile Communications Customer Center, Deutsche Telekom has been providing its mobile customers an online platform for over ten years where they can manage all their contract and billing issues conveniently online. Customers can visit the center, for example, to look at their latest billing information (updated daily) or make changes to their personal billing data online. The Mobile Communications Customer Center does away with the need for printed bills, which reduces paper consumption. Customer service is also improved thanks to increased transparency of plan conditions and billing processes.
Managed Document Services
Managed Document Services refer to a number of services provided by the Telekom subsidiary T-Systems. These services enable our customers to fully or partially digitalize their work processes while significantly saving on energy and paper. With its Managed Document Services, T-Systems handles its customers' document processes from digitalizing documents and audit-proof document archiving to sending them on as an e-mail, letter or webpage. Managed Document Services use digital personnel records for audit-proof archiving. We comply with all relevant legal regulations and apply further security measures.
The term "smart meter" refers to intelligent meters installed on the consumers' premises to gauge the consumption of electricity, water, gas and heat. In combination with a smart meter gateway, smart meters make it possible to measure and store consumption data for a specified consumption period and to communicate this information to the utilities company and its customers in almost real time.
The 2011 amendment to the German Energy Industry Act (Energiewirtschaftsgesetz) specifies that customers must install a smart meter if consumption levels exceed 6,000 kWh a year. Around 12 million smart meter systems are to be installed in Germany by 2022 in accordance with a cost-benefit analysis commissioned by the German federal government. By viewing current consumption data, customers will be able to more effectively control and reduce their consumption of electricity. Take the following example: A consumer checks their smart meter online and discovers that their energy consumption is currently much higher than usual. This could indicate that their refrigerator is not closed all the way or that a window near the heater is open.
Smart metering systems also provide energy providers with valuable consumption data that helps them adjust mains supply to actual consumption and activate local energy sources as needed. That makes smart meters a key component of secure energy supply.
Telekom prepares the data from the meters and then transfers it to the relevant energy provider via a smart metering platform in compliance with high data security and data privacy requirements. Automatically measuring and communicating consumption data via smart metering significantly reduces potential errors compared to manual meter reading. It also involves less work and is considerably faster. Connecting more than 100 types of meters from around 20 different manufacturers, Telekom's smart metering platform is highly developed as well as efficient in terms of time and cost.
We Care app
Telekom uses various communication channels to report on its ecological and social commitment. One key tool is our free app, We Care, which we launched in 2012. The app provides information on topics such as climate protection, social commitment, connected life and work and Telekom as an employer. With the app, we also address target groups that have had little exposure to the topic of corporate responsibility to date. The app provides answers to questions such as: How many trees have to be planted to compensate for a 1,000 kilometer-long flight? What more environmentally friendly options do I have?
We Care takes a playful approach to informing people about the areas in which Telekom is active, gives people insight into the company's philosophy and shows how each individual can do their part to promote sustainable development. Hosts Katrin Bauerfeind and Christian Mürau guide users through the content and discuss critical topics and offer different points of view as well.
Complex topics are explained using multimedia and interactive content. The app uses 3D animation to explain how the greenhouse effect works, for example. This makes it possible to illustrate the factors involved in global warming in a way that is simple and easy to understand. The basic approach of the app is for users to have fun as they learn about CR topics. That's why the app primarily features simple illustrations complemented with games and intuitive navigation. The app also enables the user to view excerpts from the latest CR report.
Voluntary commitments and codes of conduct on consumer protection
Telekom guarantees consumer protection at the highest level for its customers through a number of national and international voluntary commitments and internal codes of conduct often times exceeding national legislation. We have made a number of voluntary commitments, particularly in the area of protecting minors.
At a glance:
Data privacy code for geodata services with Bitkom
Specific price controls in the General Terms and Conditions, § 13 (3)
General Recommendations for the Provisioning of Audiotex Services
T-Mobile Czech Republic
General Rules of Provision of Premium Services (Premium SMS, Premium MMS)
T-Mobile Czech Republic
Code of conduct for premium SMS/mobile services and web-based services
GSMA Mobile Privacy Initiative
Code of Conduct for Value Added Services Provided through Mobile Phones and for the Protection of Minor Users
Bill Limit Service
T-HT Hrvatski Telekom
Code of Conduct – Mobile Premium Services
Code of Ethics for Premium Rate Services
SMS Service Provision Code of Conduct
General Rules for Providing SMS Services for Not-branded Projects
Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association’s (CTIA) Wireless Consumer Checklist
Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association’s (CTIA) Consumer Code for Wireless Service
Protection of children and young people integrated into product development
Protecting children and young people from damaging influences presented by the media is an important aspect of product development at Deutsche Telekom. Our design principles, which are mandatory throughout the Group, have been in effect since 2009. They are based on the "Be responsible" principle and specify that criteria for protecting children and young people have to be taken into consideration even as early as in the product development phase.
The standards and labels of self-regulation institutions such as Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft (FSK), the German movie rating organization, and Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK), the entertainment software self-regulation body, are becoming increasingly important. These give guidance to children, young people and adults. That is why Deutsche Telekom makes sure that all of its distribution channels and Internet pages comply with the age recommendations published by the self-monitoring organizations.
In accordance with the legal requirements and standards published by Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Multimedia-Diensteanbieter (FSM), the German association for the voluntary self-monitoring of multimedia service providers, we began labeling web offers according to age-appropriate content in 2012 (self-classification, e.g., on Videload.de). These labels in combination with our child protection software make it possible for parents to block content that could be harmful to children.