Start-up meets SME

How can SMEs and start-ups benefit from each other in digitization?

Cooperations between SMEs and startups can make an important contribution to the digital transformation of companies. SMEs can get support in developing innovative and digital products and services. Start-ups, in turn, can gain access to sales networks and capital through the collaborations. However, SMEs and startups differ in their respective corporate cultures as well as in how they deal with risks and expectations. In order to implement cooperations successfully, cultural factors in the companies are central. For example, a common understanding of business activities, open communication at eye level and, last but not least, commitment to and trust in the partner are required. Business and startup support institutions can provide crucial support as intermediaries with a central matchmaking platform and a wide range of digital and face-to-face networking opportunities.


Migration from copper to fibre networks: Phases and processes of copper migration

Specification and formulation of the details of the process chain for migration and switching-off

In its research activities, WIK supports the work and discussions of the “Gigabitforum” of the Federal Network Agency.

The paper “Specification and formulation of the details of the process chain for migration and switching-off” mainly focusses on a precise specification and formulation of the details of the process chain for migration and switching-off. For this purpose a previous phasing concept will be examined and further developed.

According to one major result of the study, the phase of voluntary migration (before an-nouncing a specific switch-off) of end-users and access seekers is decisive for an efficient and seamless process of forced migration and switch-off which also minimizes the potential conflicts inherent in such a process.

The study analyses the framework for switching-off and forced migration. Furthermore, it identifies altogether 16 topics which may cause potential bottlenecks for a speedy process of forced migration. The Federal Network Agency for instance, may give advice to market participants before they initiate a first formal procedure according to § 34 of the telecommunications act. Such advice may cover content and form of the switch-off plan. Such ex-ante advice may help to speed up the formal regulatory procedures. Significant advantages would also be associated with pilot projects which are common practice in countries characterized by advanced migration processes.


Sustainability reporting of postal operators

The environmentally sustainable transformation of postal services is a challenge for companies. In addition to the practical implementation of measures to increase sustainability, postal service providers are required to report on them transparently. What is the carbon footprint of a parcel? What exactly is a "CO2-free" shipment and how is it transported? Sustainability reporting is crucial for the comparability of the information provided by different service providers.

This study looks at reporting requirements and standards applied by postal operators in Germany and other European countries. It shows that the sustainability reporting of the selected service providers is hardly comparable so far. In the context of the European Green Deal, it is planned to extend reporting obligations for companies on environmental sustainability at the EU level. The study explains the proposals and discusses possible effects on the industry.


Secure digitization of small and medium-sized enterprises

Opportunities and challenges in ISMS implementation and certification

Increasing digitization also means that companies are confronted with new threats to their IT and information security. Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) are suitable for strategically deriving and implementing the necessary individual protective measures and developing a suitable strategy for protecting the company. So far, these have rarely been used in small and medium-sized enterprises. A survey of experts in the Mittelstand-Digital network shows why this is the case, what benefits companies can expect from an ISMS and what the current challenges are in this area. The findings from this survey are also explicitly intended to encourage companies to deal with the topic and support them in the (gradual) introduction of an ISMS. In this publication, we therefore present various free and vendor-neutral offerings that enable SMEs to achieve an appropriate level of protection for their information security.


Parcel delivery quality in Germany outperforms legal requirements

Federal Network Agency publishes results of a study by WIK-Consult and Spectos

The vast majority of parcels in Germany are delivered on the next working day or the day after and even exceed the legal requirements in Germany, as a new study by WIK-Consult and Spectos shows.

For the first time, the Federal Network Agency has systematically collected valid data on parcel transit times and delivery quality in Germany. For this purpose, the Agency commissioned Spectos and WIK-Consult with the conception, implementation and evaluation of a parcel transit time measurement and extensive recipient surveys. The data covers the period from July 2021 to June 2022. In addition to parcel transit times in the German parcel market, the study provides insights into recipient satisfaction with regard to various quality aspects of delivery.


Opportunities of Digital Maturity Models for SMEs

A Comparative Study of Measurement Criteria

The study investigates which digital maturity models are available specifically for SMEs in Germany and how they differ from one another. In addition, the similarities and differences to the digitalization indices of the Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWK) and the Federal Statistical Office were examined. On the basis of 19 maturity models, 9 thematic clusters were built that can be found in the models. These were defined on the basis of their focus as:

  • Employees,

  • Organization,

  • Processes,

  • Strategy,

  • Products and services,

  • Customers and suppliers,

  • IT security,

  • Technology and Infrastructure, and

  • Other / basic data

The maturity models examined use different clusters and thus combine different topics. It is clear that no two maturity models are alike and that there are differences between them and the digitization indices. SMEs should therefore use several models to assess their level of digitization.


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