We live in a time of hyper disruption. Digital disruptors are turning entire industries upside down at a speed like we have never seen before. There is not a single day where new business models aren’t being introduced. Digital disruption simply changes everything: industries, markets, and every company—large, mid-size or small—must deal with the challenges digitization brings.
I just attended the Digital X conference in Cologne, Germany, and together with more than 20,000 people, I listened to Richard Branson's engaging keynote entitled, “Digitalization is changing German SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) like hardly any other technical development before.”
A man with a fascinating outlook on business, Sir Richard also has solid advice when it comes to forging partnerships, stating, “Seek out strategic alliances; they are essential to growth and provide resistance to bigger competition.” In fact, at Teradata, we have specifically focused on building out a robust partner ecosystem as a key component of our strategy. Through this focus, we have begun to create new strategic partnerships that open up new channels and expand our offerings into new markets.
Teradata has been at the center of digital transformation for some time now, and I agree with Sir Richard that digitalization is disrupting all companies—large and small. Germany has a strong SME landscape. These companies are often called Germany’s “hidden champions,” because they make up 90% of all companies in the country and more than 50% of the GDP. This is a huge market with tremendous potential for data analytics. I too had the honor of keynoting at Digital X alongside Hagen Rickmann of Telekom Deutschland, and together we announced a strategic partnership to help support German SMEs on their digital transformation journey.
This partnership will bring Teradata’s leading technology and expertise to a market segment where we normally don’t operate. Teradata has historically been focused on large enterprises due to the massive volume of data they produce and how they use data analytics to get the business answers they need. However, in this era of pervasive digitization, the need to manage data is not determined by the size of the company—every company must become a data company to survive. And we are very pleased to partner with Deutsche Telekom to bring market-leading data analytics to the German SME market.