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T-Systems executive Spreitzer says social media need to be integrated in CRM (Photo: Claus Dick)

HANOVER - Companies have no option but to embrace new digital technologies, a senior T-Systems executive said at the automotiveIT Congress on Thursday.

"Transform or Die" was the title of a presentation by Thomas Spreitzer, senior vice president marketing at the German telecommunications service provider.

Spreitzer said that companies failing to adopt 21st century business practices will sooner or later face negative economic consequences. He said many industries, including the automotive industry, digital business models are leading to improved customer experience.

The T-Systems executive told the automotiveIT Congress here that carmakers and dealers need to integrate different communication channels based on more efficient CRM solutions. That's the best way to establish a strong connection to the customer, he said.

With regard to in-car technology, Spreitzer said automakers need to make sure cars are equipped with a range of smart devices. Customers will expect this, he said.

Companies also need to integrate social media strategies in their CRM, so they can evaluate customer feedback and include it in their development, marketing and sales operations, Spreitzer said.