Open Telekom Cloud for Business Customers

Swiss cloud for Swiss customers

by Editorial team
Mountain panorama in Switzerland.
T-Systems is now providing a community cloud from Swiss data centers.

In this article you will read about,

  • how customers can benefit from the advantages of the cloud while meeting data protection and regulatory requirements,
  • how the Swiss community cloud supports customers in their cloud transformation,
  • and what the T-Systems solution also offers in terms of security, service, and sovereignty.

Maximum flexibility, high availability, open standards, and the best possible security – the public cloud offers its users plenty of advantages. However, companies and organizations from highly regulated industries such as banking and insurance often decide against outsourcing their applications and information to public resources for data protection and regulatory reasons. In Switzerland, for example, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) stipulates that in some regulated sectors, data may only be stored and processed in the company's home country. Large international hyperscalers that do not have a data center in the Alpine country are thus not an option for companies in these sectors.

To enable Swiss customers to benefit from the advantages of a public solution and also meet the FINMA requirements, T-Systems has developed a community cloud offering. In other words, T-Systems provides cloud resources from two data centers in Bern and Zollikofen. As with a public cloud offering, users share the capacities – but only with selected other companies and organizations in the same industries. Thus, the same requirements and guidelines apply to all the participants.

Maximillian Ahrens, CTO at T-Systems and Chairman of the Gaia-X initiative, emphasizes: "As a founding partner of the European Gaia-X initiative, T-Systems can understand how Switzerland and the Swiss economy require national data sovereignty. With the Swiss Open Telekom Cloud, Swiss companies can meet their need for scalable IT resources while retaining data sovereignty and full control over governance."

Data protection, in accordance with the DPA and GDPR

The Swiss Open Telekom Cloud spans three availability zones and with its availability of 99.95 percent offers a high level of business resilience. In addition to guaranteed data storage in Switzerland, applications and information are secure and legally compliant at all times in the T-Systems community cloud: It meets the requirements of both the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Swiss Data Protection Act (DPA), making it particularly suitable for regulated sectors. The cloud experts also implement additional customer-specific security and compliance requirements. "With our proven expertise in the areas of information security, business continuity, and IT service management, we competently support our customers from the banking and insurance environment in complying with specific regulatory requirements of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority," says Thomas Reitze, Managing Director of T-Systems Switzerland.

With the Cloud Migration Framework (CMF), T-Systems supports new customers as they move to the Swiss Open Telekom Cloud: from the planning and joint development of a future-proof cloud strategy to the migration and operation of all products as Managed Cloud Services. "With our comprehensive solution portfolio and individual service level agreements, Swiss customers receive an offer from us on a par with large international hyperscalers. At the same time, however, we cater to local needs," explains Steven Henzen, Head of Innovation and Technology at T-Systems Switzerland. For example, service and support are provided in Switzerland's three national languages, depending on the customer.     

Open standards provide additional sovereignty

With OpenStack, the Swiss Open Telekom Cloud relies on proven open standards. The technological basis allows the infrastructure to be tailored to individual needs. In addition, OpenStack prevents vendor lock-in. "Our customers can migrate applications from our community cloud to other public cloud solutions at any time if required," says Henzen. Likewise, they can seamlessly move services where data storage in Switzerland is not mandatory to the European Open Telekom Cloud. Here, too, information and applications are subject to the strict requirements of the GDPR. Users increase their flexibility and benefit from additional offerings such as artificial-intelligence or machine-learning-as-a-service applications. In the Swiss community cloud, as in the European public cloud solution from T-Systems, billing is based on the reserved or pay-as-you-go model. Each user only pays for the services, server, storage, and network or database services that they actually use.

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