T-Systems Company

In The Boardroom With...

Mr. Ryan Skipp
T-Systems International GMBH
Portfolio & Solution Design - IT

Applications & Portfolio Architecture

SecurityStockWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Ryan.  Please give us an overview of your background and your role at T-Systems.

Ryan Skipp :  Thank you!  Well I have been with T-Systems for over 10 years now, and working between T-Systems and ODCA for over 2 years.  In my T-Systems role, I am responsible for Cloud Product development and Architecture globally, and in my Open Data Centre Alliance (ODCA) parallel role, I chair the Management and Services workgroup, which focuses on creating Usage Models for the delivery, deployment and operation of Cloud Services.  Prior to T-Systems, (which is an Outsourcing and Service Provider, and part of Deutsche Telekom, of which T-Mobile is also a family member), I worked in the IT Services arena, as well as in the Reselling arena, and prior to that, for a Telco company, all operating across multiple industry sectors.  That accounts for the last 25 years!

SecurityStockWatch.com: T-Systems brand recognition as an industry leader is second to none. May we have a “thumbnail” overview of T-Systems solutions? Are there any “new” services, solutions or innovations you would like to talk about?

Ryan Skipp : T-Systems as an Outsourcer has to provide base infrastructure services which meet the cost and quality expectations that a company transitioning to outsourced services would expect – better than they as an end-user could produce, with better quality, and lower cost!  In order to achieve that, T-Systems was one of the first Outsourcers to produce a “Cloud” platform, based on highly shared leveraged infrastructure, and with a number of pre-defined applications on top of that.  Today we have enhanced that infrastructure, and wrapped the Cloud functionality into it, all the way up to self-service (to application level) for our Private Cloud clients.  We have also added an Application Store interface to that, and are beginning to package applications and related people based services for provisioning via that channel.  This is revolutionary in the outsourcing space, since typically an outsourcer defines and configures applications and services for their clients – via the AppStore and Cloud Portal, we are enabling clients to configure many of the parameters of these services themselves, as well as giving them the ability to stop, start and integrate services for themselves.  (i.e. returning the control they may have lost through initial Outsourcing, to them).  Functionality ranges from Desktop, Mobile and similar end-user services, through to the back-end data centre and enterprise core applications (CRM etc), along with productivity and industry enabling application services.  Regarding our ODCA participation – these match perfectly – we share our experiences with competitors and end-users, helping the industry to develop faster and to consolidate methodologies and thinking, and the participating Solution Providers are able to leverage this knowledge in their product development.

SecurityStockWatch.com: What about “wins” and success stories - are there perhaps 1 or 2 you would like to mention?

Ryan Skipp : We run private cloud services (ranging from Infrastructure to SaaS layers) in Africa, America, Asia and Europe, with tens of thousands of systems operational today.  The Gartner organization considers T-Systems as being strong and in the leadership quadrant in this respect.  In addition, T-Systems is the largest Private Cloud service provider in Europe.  Please understand that as a German company, under strict regulatory and confidentiality controls, we may not be specific about any specific client or success stories.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Congratulations on speaking at FORECAST 2013. May we have a preview of the key topics you’ll be discussing?

Ryan Skipp : The ODCA Usage Models which I lead include Service Orchestration, VM Interoperability, and Long Distance Migration (of Systems), amongst others (all within the Cloud context).  This aligns perfectly to the daily “bread and butter” work that T-Systems as an Outsourcer performs, consolidating and optimizing and provisioning systems!  My tracks that I will present at Forecast 2013, center on these two primary areas – 1) Service Orchestration and the important considerations around process/workflow, ownership, and responsibility within that, and 2) VM Interoperability, focusing on the considerations to be taken into account to prepare for Interoperability, packaging of systems, moving systems, and managing services through that transition.  I will also participate in some panel discussions relating to Proof of Concepts, and Usage Model applicability.

What is your perspective on what industry needs to do next to advance interoperability?

Ryan Skipp : For any system to be interoperable, there is an assumption that standards exist, and have been equally applied.  This has been proven recently to not exactly be the reality.  Some standards and specifications are already defined, but each ISV seems to still be interpreting them individually, and focusing on the establishment phase for functionality and products.  The most important things that we from both T-Systems and from ODCA would like to see, would be a clear set of applicable standards and specifications through the cloud stack (from VM through IaaS layers, into PaaS layers, and on to SaaS layers, and then on into Cloud Brokers, Service Catalogues, and Management Tools.  The next most important thing is a consistent licensing approach for software (currently the models vary between enterprises, vendors, and platforms, with really hard entitlement tracking and reporting).  The last really important thing in my top 3, is enabling legislation and compliance requirements for cloud – current legislation and compliance is rather disabling towards shared cloud systems, and disabling the cost benefits of a properly leveraged infrastructure.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Thanks again for joining us today, Ryan.  Are there any other subjects you would like to discuss?

Ryan Skipp : There are a number of other really important topics, such as Security (in all of its dimensions) in the Cloud, and how that can be consistently managed in context of Cloud Interoperability, during Service Bursting between Providers, during system and service Migrations, and from a Service Management perspective.  This starts with the responsibility – which is pretty easy to manage between a Consumer and a Cloud Service Provider, but suddenly becomes much more complex when a second Cloud Service Provider joins the overall Service Provision to the Consumer, with the effect that overall responsibility for Service Management and Security dimensions gravitate back to the Consumer.  Much attention and consideration is needed to pre-plan this aspect of Interoperability, and we need to get the industry together to talk on this, from Solution Provider, to Service Provider, to Consumer layers, and to clearly understand what is needed, and who must provide or develop and integrate what.  This is a part of what the Forecast Conference is about – starting these interactions.  See you there, and thank you again for the time today!