Accenture’s ongoing research on High Performance Businesses reveals that high performance telecommunication companies need to be able to quickly deploy innovative new technology platforms and shift their market focus to new value-adding services. In the past the market moved from traditional domestic voice services, to wireless, broadband and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). As a leader in its industry, Deutsche Telekom early set its sights on “the next big thing”, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), a service that allows consumers to receive TV and other multimedia services over broadband networks using Internet technology. The commercial bundling of IPTV, telephone services and Internet access delivered via a single broadband connection is referred to as “triple play”. By offering new value added entertainment services around IPTV, Deutsche Telekom’s key objective was to offset declining voice revenues and limited growth perspectives in an increasingly competitive marketplace, where Fixed-Mobile Substitution, VoIP and aggressive communications offerings from cable TV operators force telecommunications carriers to protect their core business and seek for new sources of revenue and customer growth. Deutsche Telekom’s decision to move toward an IPTV service is also supported by research from Accenture and the Economist Intelligence Unit, which finds that more than 60 percent of surveyed executives in the communications, high-tech and media sectors are confident that IPTV will generate significant revenues in the next three years. The Deutsche Telekom triple play offering’s aim was to provide a convenient, one-stop service with a wide range of home entertainment services such as standard (SD) and high definition (HD) public and premium content channels, interactive TV features, a large video-on-demand library and TV archive, Electronic Program Guide, Personal Video Recorder, Time shifting, home media sharing, plus high-speed internet access and telephony service. To technically enable the ambitious launch of IPTV, Deutsche Telekom is rolling out a Very High Speed Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL) network to all major cities across Germany – a significant investment in a new network infrastructure that will support the much higher bandwidth requirements of IPTV entertainment services. For the IPTV middleware Deutsche Telekom selected the Microsoft® Mediaroom™ multimedia software platform. For the IPTV service launch, Deutsche Telekom faced a highly challenging situation: to architect, integrate, roll out and get operational a complex IP Television service platform for a demanding, real-time, 24x7hours, high bandwidth, mass-market service in a very short time frame.
Accenture and Avanade provided an innovative and pragmatic approach to solution design and delivery as well as the required systems integration expertise and bringing in expert knowledge with personnel highly skilled on media infrastructure systems and operations. Therefore, Accenture and Avanade were the logical choice for Deutsche Telekom. The Accenture-led team also included members from Avanade, a joint venture company of Accenture and Microsoft, who brought additional deep technical expertise for Microsoft technology. Accenture initially supported Deutsche Telekom in a strategic study regarding next generation television and potential market entries. Subsequently Accenture and Avanade helped Deutsche Telekom to define and manage the functional and technical architecture requirements of the new IPTV Media Infrastructure. During the systems integration phase, Accenture and Avanade supported Deutsche Telekom in a broad range of areas, covering the IPTV platform implementation from end to end. The support included project management, technical architecture definition, design and system configuration, production and test environment sizing, infrastructure rollout and technical third level support. Together with Deutsche Telekom, Accenture and Avanade also developed and implemented a robust organizational structure for IPTV platform management. This structure – organization and development processes – was finally used as the blueprint for a new department within Deutsche Telekom and is seen as “Best Practice” within the Deutsche Telekom technology organization.In the IT Operations area, Accenture and Avanade were responsible for the setup and optimization of the service support management area, as well as setup and ongoing management of the operations program office, which coordinates all IPTV operations work streams. Since the successful launch in October 2006, Accenture and Avanade have been providing continuing support to evolve, scale and operate the IPTV service platform.
Accenture and Avanade helped Deutsche Telekom leverage new, leading-edge technology, build the necessary skills and establish robust processes to deliver, maintain and operate an innovative IPTV service. Dieter Engel, Senior VP Media Product Development, sums up Accenture’s and Avanade’s contribution as follows: “Our partnership with Accenture means that we have access to a unique combination of end-to-end capabilities in IPTV. Their experience in broadband, video-on-demand, cable and other IPTV roll-outs is a valuable resource for the Deutsche Telekom project and an important contribution which helped to ensure that this launch was a success.” In less than one year, the Accenture-led team enabled Deutsche Telekom to successfully launch the IPTV service Germany’s ten largest cities. By the end of 2008, Deutsche Telekom had extended its infrastructure to more than 750 German cities and some 500,000 customers ordered the triple-play offer. The new IPTV platform enables Deutsche Telekom to attract new customers, reduce customer churn and generate incremental revenues. Most important, the IPTV offering has helped position Deutsche Telekom for high performance in one of the most competitive telecommunications markets in Europe. The product is marketed under the T-Home Entertain brand (see www.t-home.de).