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Deutsche Telekom


Deutsche Telekom with revenue at 73.1 billion euros, is one of the world's largest integrated telecommunications companies. Once a classic infrastructure management company, they are on a mission to become a pioneer of digitalization. The driving force? Design. They have elevated the role of design from shaping products and services to being an integral part of the company strategy.

“Design Thinking. Doing. Being.“ is how Deutsche Telekom describes their holistic approach. The organization uses design as a cultural change agent, inspiring all employees to think creatively and disruptively. Change does not succeed without processes and governance, they recognize that their agile work culture and standardized processes help them to embrace the approach.

Design has been established as the key tool to understanding customer needs, rethinking development processes, and ultimately offering the best possible products and services. The Telekom Design unit, founded in 2008, has grown from 3 to more than 100 employees and has taken on substantive initiatives:


  • Deutsche Telekom’s Design Academy trains staff in Design Thinking tools and methods. More than 7,000 employees have already taken part in training.
  • With 250 events and 7,000 visitors per year, the Telekom Design Gallery illustrates the role of design as a vehicle for innovation and change.
  • The Toolbox, available in print and online to all 225,000 Telekom employees, guides them through design processes, methods and the Telekom personas. The idea of design as a driving force for innovation is being embedded throughout the company – and even extends to customers, who are actively involved in the product development.

As a result, the Telekom Design Unit has become the only corporate division in Germany to be ranked among the top 30 most creative digital agencies. Deutsche Telekom has achieved the highest brand value in its history, at 36.4 billion US dollars. And in 2016, their products and services won 62 design awards.

Deutsche Telekom's successful new approach to innovation is centered on human needs – not technological possibilities and is proving the real value of design.



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