Deutsche Telekom Pilots Virtual Office

Aurea Software Inc. announced Deutsche Telekom is piloting a virtual office using Sococo software from Aurea.

Used to connect its distributed workforce and increase culture and collaboration across the company’s customer service teams, the pilot will run until March.

Deutsche Telekom customer service teams — comprised of 30,000 employees across Germany — are distributed throughout the country. Despite using a geographically distributed and hybrid work setting, team members need to be able to “work as one” to deliver optimal customer experiences.

Using Aurea’s Sococo solution, Deutsche Telekom is at the forefront of solving this problem of connection and culture in the geographically distributed and hybrid workplace by launching a virtual office that allows workers to enjoy the same level of connection and presence online they once enjoyed in person.

“Hybrid work is here to stay. The pandemic started it, but workers embraced it, and there is no going back to a 100 percent in-person work world. And while research supports that working from home has many benefits, it also creates unique challenges,” said Scott Brighton, CEO of Aurea. “Workers can’t connect in the hallways the way they once did. They don’t meet new people on campus or when visiting other offices around the world. Common virtual meeting communication tools have made their work world smaller — encouraging them to stay in regular communication with people they already know, but not empowering them to discover new people or new ideas. This has led to a lack of experiencing a vibrant culture of diversity that was more prominent when workers came into a physical office.”

Brighton added, “With the creation of its virtual office, Deutsche Telekom is leading the industry by creating a hybrid-work environment that offers employees more ways to connect, collaborate, and build culture no matter where they are in the world.”

Deutsche Telekom’s virtual office looks and feels like an actual office — however, it’s online instead of in a physical building. There are gathering spaces, meeting and conference rooms, and even break areas, giving every employee the ability to see where colleagues are and what they are doing. This creates a rich sense of presence that is missing from basic communication tools that only show a generic status color next to a list of colleagues. Employees can meet and connect with new people using virtual meeting experiences specifically designed to create the casual connections present in in-office settings. For example, Deutsche Telekom’s virtual office has a coffee roulette room where employees are randomly connected to another co-worker they may not already know. They can spend a few minutes getting to know each other — sharing details about their roles, how they can help each other, and even what inspires them.

Aurea’s Sococo solution is centered around going beyond the basic communication aspects that traditional virtual meeting platforms provide to build true culture and connection.

“Like many large enterprises, Deutsche Telekom thrives, in part, due to the diverse backgrounds and skills of our workforce coming together to share knowledge and collaborate to solve customer issues more efficiently,” said Gereon Hammel, vice president of business development at Deutsche Telekom. “Many of the methods we’ve traditionally relied on to forge this collaboration are lost when functions are shrunk to closed and niche calls with immediate team members. By partnering with Aurea to launch this Virtual Office, we can enable important components of an in-person work environment within our hybrid work setting. This allows us to leverage our scale and diverse workforce, without requiring everyone to be in the same physical office space. The ease at which we can implement the Sococo solution across our team means our Virtual Office can be implemented in a matter of minutes.”

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