Roger That! Deutsche Telekom’s Wheel of Fortune
Roger Gosine, VP Commercial Partnering and Business Development at Deutsche Telekom, came to the eZ Unconference in Cologne this week and shared with the 120+ global delegates what, how and why the forthcoming (24 October) release of the new SaaS edition of eZ Publish Web Content Management Systems - eZ Publish International - on the Deutsche Telekom cloud is a great fit for DT's cloud application marketplace for SMB's.
In his presentation he reminded us that DT is a €59bn turnover company, employing nearly quarter of a million people in 50 countries and they were ranked at 75 in the Fortune 500 in 2011. Their business? Phones of course - about 130 million of them apparently! But also 17 million broadband customers and they are well on their way to 5 million households on their IPTV network. For businesses they provide a full range of ICT services including running intelligent networks in the health, automotive, energy and public sectors backed by the 90 data centers they own and run around the world.
Their aim? To ensure the world is well prepared and running at full steam in the Gigabit Society they are helping create.
Roger shared with us how his organization is geared to take on the opportunity the Cloud brings. The numbers are staggering - globally they estimate that Cloud computing was a €27bn industry in 2011. By 2016 it will be a €114bn market (b2b). That's 33% growth which for an infrastructural development is significant. A genuine paradigm shift then.
Deutsche Telekom see that the Cloud offers different customers at different levels best-fit opportunities tailored to their scale of operations. As a result they have created an SMB-targeted cloud-based application online store called the Business Marketplace. The emphasis is to provide where possible all those applications SMB businesses need to run well in the digital age but on self-service, low cost and flexible contractual terms. Cloud advantages are many - convenience, security, privacy, compliance, patches, updates, and more, as well as the sharing and community self help benefits for those 3.6 million small to medium businesses that DT already serves in Germany alone.
Roger talked to me after his presentation and noted that it's early days since they first announced the SMB Business Marketplace at CeBIT in March 2012 to great acclaim from commentators (Forbes article). He emphasized the importance of partnerships in their strategy - accepting that DT cannot produce all the software itself but aims to lend their brand and infrastructure to this new ecosystem.
Roger's "Wheel of Fortune" (that's my phrase not his!) is now starting to take shape and the first few Partner logos are appearing on his chart as they go live. The plan is to launch new applications weekly going forward. There will be small players and majors joining in to ensure that cloud services for the large majority of business needs are catered for. To ensure start up innovation gets the leg up it needs DT have funding structures such as www.hubraum.com and www.t-venture.de as well as a development incubator channel www.developergarden.com.
On their growth strategy going forward Roger shared that the selection of which or what applications to roll out was split roughly 70:30 at this time.
70% of the new partners or applications are focused on delivering to current common business needs (Figure 1) - i.e. offering a cloud version of solutions currently usually maintained on premise or by other cloud vendors.
30% of new applications will challenge the status quo and create new opportunities through disruptive applications and new business models.
So how is eZ Publish International going to fit in here? The Business Marketplace is now ready to offer SMB's a simple-to-create and maintain website building tool for non-technical users. It's responsive design enabled, so is PC, tablet and mobile-ready and also comes with the ability to publish in multiple languages. The aim is to recognize that in a market such as Germany hundreds of thousands of SMBs are in part export-driven and so need to communicate beyond borders or to foreign nationals residing or visiting Germany. A dual or triple language website would therefore certainly be a benefit.
The Business Marketplace offers an eZ Publish International zone where the solution can be purchased e.g. by credit card (€39.95 per month) along with plenty of instructional material to help the users build and improve their site or sites as they grow.