Heinz Egeler (Photo: T-Systems)

Heinz Egeler has been in charge of the Connected Car business of T-Systems since June 2015. In written answers to questions, Egeler explains the strategic priorities of the German IT service provider and discusses some of the characteristics of the changing personal-mobility industry.

automotiveIT: Mr. Egeler, you've been in your new position for just a few months. Please describe the state of the business.

Egeler: When you're entering a new market, the right way to sustainable business models isn't always immediately clear. We too have had to find our way. We have found, for example, that small companies can develop customer apps more cost-efficiently and that automakers prefer to operate their infotainment platforms themselves rather than outsource this. The industry is changing and we support the companies in their digitalization strategies.

Can you give us some examples?

We decide on a case-by-case basis whether we do something ourselves, make an acquisition or work with a partner. For example, we operate the backend of Daimler's Comand Online system, which has 1 million connected Mercedes vehicles worldwide. For BMW we are bringing new entertainment apps into the car and are networking car and home. And in the port of Hamburg we are streamllining truck traffic together with SAP. In China, we have a joint venture with China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile operator. Our Connected Car business area is well on its way and I'm sure that we will be able to pick up the pace even more.

What is the top priority in the area of connected cars?

Our core product is the connected-car platform that connects vehicles to the backend systems of carmakers and service providers. That way, cars can quickly and securely get services such as real-time traffic information, public-service messages or news on their in-car displays through our mobile network. We'll have our own stand at the Frankfurt auto show for the first time and we'll show real-time connected-car solutions in the "New Mobility World" there. Our IAA presence shows how close the the IT and telecommunications sector and the auto industry have become.

Next to your connected car responsibilities, you will continue to serve as head of the Automotive Global Supplier business area of T-Systems. Do you see any synergies there?

We established the Connected Car business area in 2010 to help shape future digital business models in the car industry. In realizing this goal, we benefit tremendously from the knowhow T-Systems has available along the entire automotive value chain.