Innovating with Europe's Largest Telecommunications Provider, Deutsche Telekom | Juniper Summit
An innovative spirit strengthens networks and partnerships.
Deutsche Telecom and Juniper have a long history of working together to develop and deploy innovative telecom networking solutions at the core, edge, data center, and telco cloud. Tune into this interview with Christoph Hilz, Head of Voice & Messaging at Deutsche Telecom to hear how the partnership has evolved over the years.
How the COVID pandemic demonstrated the importance of a high-availability, scalable, and robust network
How increased network automation provides more value to Deutsche Telecom’s customers
Lessons learned from Deutsche Telecom’s digital transformation
Who is this for?
00:07 Hello, everyone. My name is Mathias Kokot.
00:09 I'm the VP of PLM in the software team in Juniper,
00:13 and I'm responsible for the Telco Cloud Solution portfolio.
00:17 I'm joined today by Christoph Hilz, who leads the Voice & Messaging Organization
00:22 at Deutsche Telekom. Welcome, Christoph.
00:25 Hi, Mathias. Great to see you again.
00:28 Christoph, Deutsche Telekom and Juniper have partnered for many years,
00:34 and we have a long history of deploying and developing
00:37 innovative networking solutions at Core, at the Edge Data Center,
00:42 as well as at the Telco Cloud.
00:45 How have you seen
00:46 Deutsche Telekom's relationship with Juniper evolve over the years?
00:52 I've been working with Juniper for more than 10 years now,
00:56 and yes, I can confirm that we have continuously evolved the partnership,
01:01 and, of course, if you know each other for such a long time,
01:04 you have shared a lot of experiences that were ups and downs
01:08 but overall, more of the positive experiences,
01:12 otherwise, I would not be here today.
01:15 I like Juniper's spirit because it matches Allianz.
01:18 You are a very innovative company.
01:20 You're always hungry, and you're also customer-centric.
01:24 The Juniper and Deutsche Telekom have collaborated in many projects
01:28 like the BNG, IP-Core, data centers,
01:32 and nowadays, with NIMS also in the core service area.
01:36 With Telco Cloud NIMS, Juniper also demonstrated its capabilities
01:42 to grow new paths and develop its portfolio further.
01:49 Great. I can remember some of the projects like the BNG project really well.
01:54 Christoph, you have over 20 years of experience in the telecommunication industry
02:00 with positions in engineering, operations, and planning.
02:06 Tell us about your current role at Deutsche Telekom,
02:11 and your areas of ownership and responsibility.
02:16 You're right.
02:17 I have had the opportunity to collect experience in different fields,
02:21 starting as a network planner in the service platform area,
02:25 leading the data network planning, and later the IP network engineering team.
02:29 Today, I'm running the Voice & Messaging unit
02:32 at Telecom Germany with a DevOps structure.
02:35 There is engineering, planning, operation, and also validation
02:38 as part of my portfolio, all in one hand.
02:42 My ambition has always been to continuously develop the network,
02:47 not just keep it rolling but develop it further,
02:50 of course, Deutsche Telekom stands for high quality and best network experiences.
02:54 Whatever we do, we would not make any compromise towards this target,
03:00 providing the best service to our customer, and having this in mind,
03:05 we innovate and rebuild all voice and messaging platforms.
03:08 This means disaggregation, cloudification, and, of course, automation.
03:16 Christoph, last year was challenging with COVID accelerating
03:20 the world's online culture to work, learn,
03:24 as well as play, and everything, and all from home.
03:28 Did 2020 change or influence
03:31 Deutsche Telekom's strategic vision for the future?
03:37 I think the answer is no,
03:39 but you probably would like to know why I have that opinion.
03:43 I think that the pandemic demonstrated the importance
03:47 of a highly available, scalable, and robust telecommunication network.
03:51 In Germany alone, we have seen the two-digit million number of people
03:55 working from the home office,
03:56 the same with all the classic retail customers.
04:00 Instead of face-to-face talks, they have used their home,
04:03 cell phones or computers to keep in touch.
04:06 Deutsche Telekom and my team, as part of it,
04:08 have been keeping an important role and responsibility for Germany.
04:13 It's on us to ensure that our voice and messaging services
04:17 perform best in class, are flexible and scale
04:21 even if traffic really explodes from one week to another as we experienced,
04:27 and that's absolutely important, while the majority of my DevOps team
04:31 was sitting at home, in home office,
04:34 and thus, the pandemic did not change the DT's strategy
04:38 and also the vision, but it confirmed it
04:41 because it was and it's still our ambition of being the leading European Telco.
04:47 We constantly digitalize, we simplify, and we accelerate our operations,
04:54 and this includes a truly radical network automation.
05:00 It's actually a good segue.
05:04 In the previous keynote, we heard Brendan Gibbs talked about
05:09 Experience-First Networking as a true north for Juniper strategy
05:14 with automation as the key enabler for our network operators.
05:19 What is your view?
05:21 Is automation in the critical path for Deutsche Telekom?
05:27 Yes. As I said, radical automation.
05:31 Automation to ensure best quality for our customers,
05:36 always as it should, no failures by manual actions.
05:40 Automation to be more efficient, because we have less involved units.
05:45 Automation to be faster, software operates within minutes,
05:49 new features for our customers in weeks.
05:52 The more automation, the more value for our customer.
05:55 This is just possible with real end-to-end automation,
05:59 not limited to certain parts of the production chain,
06:02 instead of focusing on the complete software life cycle process,
06:06 check-in in the lab, roll out of the software in a live network,
06:10 automated operations.
06:12 Of course, it sounds logical, and it also sounds easy,
06:17 but it needs a proper vision. It needs a proper target architecture.
06:21 It needs a good team, mindset, technology,
06:25 and also fitting vendors and partners to make it happen.
06:30 That's good.
06:31 Christoph, digital transformation and cloudification
06:35 are not new to the industry,
06:38 but the past to deploying network clouds has seen mixed results.
06:44 Given Deutsche Telekom's success, can you share some of the lessons learned?
06:50 I think we have some larger communication on it soon,
06:55 but I don't want to say too much now, but let me share some of my thoughts.
07:00 In my opinion, we need to act urgently due to four key reasons.
07:05 First, dependency on our vendors and the vendor lock-in is too high.
07:11 Secondly, the current delivery time for features is definitely too long.
07:16 Third, the automation degree is by far too low,
07:20 and fourth, the production in silos is absolutely inefficient.
07:25 Disaggregation and cloudification will help us there.
07:29 My key lessons learned so far, you need to understand the problem.
07:37 You need to define the challenging vision.
07:40 You need to ensure having the right team around you,
07:44 believing in you, believing in the vision, and also, believing in their own skills,
07:50 have respect, but no fear.
07:53 Don't wait until everything is perfectly defined.
07:57 Look for hungry and forward-looking and forward-thinking suppliers,
08:03 and just start doing it.
08:06 I have to say, Christoph, it has been a great journey with Deutsche Telekom
08:12 from a Juniper's perspective.
08:13 Thanks for giving us the opportunity to be one of these hungry vendors and suppliers.
08:22 Christoph, the pace of change is accelerating,
08:26 and this is true for all areas of the telecommunication industry,
08:33 what is the next big challenge or opportunity
08:36 that is facing service providers like Deutsche Telekom?
08:40 It's definitely an opportunity, and it's also a challenge together.
08:46 It's all about disaggregation; disaggregation everywhere.
08:50 It's disaggregation in the core, how we're doing it with NIMS.
08:53 Is disaggregation in the aggregation network
08:56 and in the access network, like in radio was our O-RAN initiative.
09:01 This requires an architecture based on cloud technology
09:05 and a full end-to-end automation.
09:08 In some years, this will be the new normal
09:11 instead of today's Windows silos.
09:13 In Telecom, we'll lead this architectural model.
09:17 With our ambition, we will succeed.
09:20 I hope Juniper will continue to be a strong supporter on that way.
09:25 As our CEO said, we will not stop until everyone is connected.
09:31 That is great.
09:32 I assure you, Juniper will be a great supporter on your journey there.
09:38 Thank you, Christoph. It was great having you here.
09:43 Great discussion. Thank you.
09:46 I look forward to seeing you face to face. Thank you.
09:51 Thank you very much, Mathias. Thanks for having me.