Deutsche Telekom completed an about-turn over its T-Systems IT arm, placing the unit at the heart of a fresh digitalisation strategy a matter of weeks after reportedly abandoning plans to sell the division.

The German operator outlined an intention to rejig the cloud and digital services provided by T-Systems to boost efficiency and accelerate growth, with the division to be tasked with focusing more on partnerships moving forward.

Deutsche Telekom stated it aimed to remove “historical burdens” to deliver a more “entrepreneurial” T-Systems, giving it “more leeway for investments”.

The unit will also become a “preferred partner” for the parent group’s digitalisation efforts as it moves to create a related business area initially focusing on opportunities in its domestic market.

Deutsche Telekom explained the unit will target German industry with a range of core and edge connectivity platforms tackling the IoT and security, among other fields. It will also be concerned with providing the necessary software skills, all elements the operator believes will ultimately position the digital unit for expansion in other European countries and the US.

CEO Timotheus Hoettges explained it is no longer sufficient for operators to focus solely on connectivity, stating companies “that have not nurtured their digital skills have fallen behind in the B2B market”.

The dedicated digital subsidiary T-Systems MMS is to be transferred to the parent group’s control as part of Deutsche Telekom’s shake-up.

It noted the unit employs around 1,700 experts, which it will tap to help guide the broader strategy.