Open Telekom Cloud for Business Customers

With data analyses to the city of the future

Ansicht einer Stadt bei Nacht mit digitalen Knotenpunkten
Shape the future of your municipality efficiently and sustainably via strategic data usage made possible with the open urban platform of the Data Competence Center for Cities and Regions (DKSR).

In this article you will read about,

  • how the Data Competence Center for Cities and Regions (DKSR) implemented its business model,
  • how cities and municipalities benefit from data-based analyses and applications
  • and what role the Open Telekom Cloud plays for the DKSR.

Urbanization is a huge trend: in 2010, already half of the world’s population lived in cities. For 2050, the UN predicts that two-thirds of all the world's inhabitants will live in urban regions. In Germany, three out of four citizens already live in cities.

That brings with it various challenges: housing is becoming scarce, new land needs to be developed, the tense traffic situation needs new mobility solutions, people are suffering from noise and air pollution – cities need new ideas for how to go on.

Reliable information sought for urban development

However, urban developers often disagree on how to assess the current situation or where the root of problems lie. A solid database is an essential basis for decision-making. This is where the Data Competence Center for Cities and Regions DKSR comes in. "We are convinced that cities, municipalities and regions can benefit massively from data analyses. They offer decision-makers in public administration completely new insights and valid bases for decision-making. Smart cities can be created in which life becomes more sustainable," explains Tim Cleffmann, Chief Business Development Officer at DKSR.

Thinking cities new and smart

To this end, DKSR has bundled various competencies under its roof. Data experts, developers, consultants with expertise in urbanism, and communicators who accompany processes of change – DKSR is an interdisciplinary team with diverse talents, perspectives, and competencies. This comprehensive expertise makes the company a partner that can provide cities and municipalities with comprehensive advice and develop suitable solutions.

This is also the case for Mainzer Stadtwerke, a wholly municipal company of Mainz, the capital of the state Rhineland-Palatinate. To promote electromobility, Mainzer Stadtwerke operates over one hundred public charging points in public parking lots throughout the city. Sales of charging electricity are to be further increased in the coming years. To this end, the Stadtwerke took a data-based approach to obtain evidence on the use of the charging points and, in particular, the parking spaces in front of the charging points as a first step. For this purpose, Stadtwerke Mainz involved the consultants from DKSR.The parking spaces at the Innogy charging columns were equipped with ground sensors from a third-party supplier. DKSR linked the data from the charging columns with that from the ground sensors: Within a few weeks, the intersection generated new, previously unavailable data and provided knowledge about charging and parking behavior. Among other things, information is now available on the number and duration of parking violations and thus the unavailability for electric vehicles. Based on this, the Mainzer Stadtwerke can address measures for active management of the charging stations and increase sales of charging power on the basis of data.

Titelbild Referenzflyer DKSR

DKSR and the Open Telekom Cloud

Learn how DKSR supports cities and municipalities in implementing smart digital solutions based on the Open Telekom Cloud.


DKSR offers data-based solutions for efficient infrastructure developments

The DKSR was founded in 2021 as a joint initiative of Fraunhofer, the [ui!] Urban Software Institute, axxessio and Deutsche Telekom. "Previously, we had mostly done pilot projects at Deutsche Telekom and the Fraunhofer institutes. Even though such one-off projects were quite successful, the decisive advantages for cities only emerge when they collect and evaluate data over a longer period of time," Cleffmann knows. Artificial intelligence, for example, can only be trained on the basis of such a comprehensive database.

The DKSR's business idea: With an Open Urban Data Platform (OUP), a basis was to be created so that municipalities can permanently use the instrument of data analysis for infrastructure development and control. It offers its users a central hub for data, data analysis and data-based applications. To do this, it collects data from various sources and puts it into a standardized format. It includes more than 160 standard connectors for connecting sources and various third-party analysis and presentation tools, such as Power BI, Jupyter Hub or Grafana. If special tools are to be used, the DKSR team also designs a suitable interface for them.

The team not only advises on the introduction and develops concrete use cases, but also ensures that third-party applications and apps can access the data and data analyses. "From the very beginning, it was clear to us that we wanted to focus on our original value creation with OUP. The operation of sensor technology or applications that build upon it is not part of that," Cleffmann elaborates.

Scalable platform for increasing data volumes

Since the business model envisages continuously increasing data volumes and the services offered are to be developed just as agilely, DKSR needed an infrastructure that could keep up with this dynamic: a high-performance cloud. This is where Deutsche Telekom's Open Telekom Cloud came into play. The team decided to become a Circle Partner and thus benefited from partner support for its business.

"A lot of data can be collected and processed in any cloud. But to be taken seriously as a partner for public sector clients, our services must also meet the requirements of the administration -- across the entire IT stack," explains Cleffmann. DKSR therefore decided to put its business model on a solid footing with a comprehensively certified European cloud in order to avoid complications from the outset. At the same time, the European cloud should also enable the company to grow sustainably. 

The Open Telekom Cloud meets both requirements: it ensures data compliance and offers all the features of a public cloud.

– Tim Cleffman, Head of Business Innovation

"Since our platform is open source, our customers have full freedom of choice in terms of the operating platform." But in competition with the available infrastructures of the established municipal providers, the Open Telekom Cloud can score points with its scalability. "We have already been able to prove this live to skeptical customers. The advantages are hard to deny," Cleffmann says. Users – both at DKSR, which produces analyses on their behalf, and at its customers, who access the OUP directly – benefit from the platform's consistently high performance.

With access to cloud storage and computing resources, the Open Urban Data Platform can grow with the demands of its customers at any time; there are no limits on data volumes, and new connectors and analysis options continually enrich the platform's capabilities.

Basis for the digitization of municipalities

The DKSR is a success story made in Germany: The company has already implemented over 30 projects – the platform has now collected 3.5 TB of data. Its customers are cities, municipal utilities and mobility providers such as TIER. They all bring a great affinity for open source and a willingness to share data to foster new business models. Most recently (in May 2023), DKSR helped implement the Open Data platform for the state of Bavaria.

With the Open Urban Data Platform, the DKSR is making a crucial contribution to the digitization of municipalities and the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The municipalities served can now exploit digitization potential, make data-based decisions, and develop their urban environment for citizens in a targeted manner supported by data – while fully complying with all data protection and data security requirements. The Circle partnership and the usage-based billing model as well as the scalability of the Open Telekom Cloud have sustainably promoted the development of the new business model.

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