1.4 Main focus areas for products and innovations

The disclosures made in the subsection “1.4 Main focus areas for products and innovations” are “non-audited management report disclosures”, as the content of “non-management report-related disclosures” is not audited.

As an internet service provider, the United Internet Group does not engage in research and development (R&D) on a scale comparable with manufacturing companies. Also within the context of its own sector, research and development expenditures play a fairly subordinate role. Against this backdrop, United Internet does not disclose key figures for R&D.

At the same time, the United Internet brands stand for high-performance internet access, solutions, and innovative web-based products and applications which are mostly developed in-house. The success of United Internet is rooted in an ability to develop, combine, or adapt innovative products and services, and launch them on major markets.

Thanks to its high-performance development teams, United Internet is able to react swiftly and flexibly to new ideas and trends, and to continuously enhance its established products by adapting them to changing market needs – a key success factor in the fast-moving internet market. The Company’s expertise in product development, enhancement, and rollout minimizes its reliance on third party development work and supplies in many areas, and thus ensures decisive competitive and time-to-market advantages.

At United Internet’s own development centers (especially in Karlsruhe, Berlin, and Bucharest), around 3,700 programmers, product managers, and technical administrators (corresponding to around 34% of all employees) use mainly open source code in clearly defined and modeled development environments. Third-party programming services are also used to swiftly and efficiently implement specific projects. This enables the Company to quickly develop products and adapt them to changing customer needs. United Internet also procures solutions from partners, which are then modified according to needs and integrated into its systems. With the aid of its self-developed applications, United Internet has a set of modules which can be easily combined and provided with product-specific or country-specific user interfaces in order to create a variety of powerful and integrated applications – a huge benefit when tailoring products to varying target groups, or for international rollouts.

Due to the steady growth in customer figures, the demands placed on reliability and availability are constantly rising. In addition to the further development of existing products and continuous optimization of back-end operations, the Company also focuses on continuously enhancing existing processes in order to raise system reliability, and thus also customer satisfaction.

Focus areas 2022

Consumer Access

  • Launch of own fiber-optic offerings (FTTH) using regional networks of Deutsche Telekom
  • Operational launch of the 1&1 mobile network with “1&1 5G at home” – a product that replaces conventional DSL, cable Internet or fiber-optic home connections
  • Extension of FTTH customer processes to include additional use cases (direct connection of FTTH and processing of owner data)
  • Overhaul of the 1&1 fixed-network platform and reconstruction of all customer processes for customer migration
  • Introduction of an error assistant for mobile network customers

Business Access

  • Launch of Cloud PBX product “RingCentral with 1&1 Connected Calls” in cooperation with RingCentral
  • Introduction of “1&1 Office Fast & Secure” product, an internet/telephony bundle with integrated security solution for SOHO customers
  • Launch of 1&1 DDoS Protect, offering DDoS protection with Myra technology for all company sizes – with the highest level of BSI certification and platforms in Germany
  • Launch of 1&1 Connected Calls for Microsoft Teams, a telephony service for Microsoft Teams with number porting and emergency call handling
  • Introduction of Office Fast&Secure, a fiber-optic internet access product with VoIP telephony and security package for SOHO and small business customers

Consumer Applications

  • Launch of AI-based system to detect and block spam emails
  • Expansion of SMART Inbox platform
  • Expansion of AI-based SMART Assistant
  • “Letter notification” and “digital copy” services complemented by launch of a “Hybrid Mail” solution for printing and sending digitally delivered letters via Deutsche Post
  • Launch of a desktop-based cloud synchronization tool for Windows and Mac

Business Applications

  • Extension of “Deploy Now” to include “Multi-Deployments”, enabling multiple production instances of an application to be managed centrally from a GitHub repository
  • IONOS and codecentric launch Gitlab-as-a-Service – a first jointly developed offering to use DevOps application for software development and versioning
  • Launch of high-capacity storage server models for high storage needs in professional environments
  • Launch of “Presence-Suite” – a new management interface for new customers of MyWebsite Now with integration of online marketing and e-commerce use cases
  • Launch of Database-as-a-Service with Managed PostgreSQL as an SQL-based database and with MongoDB as a document-based NoSQL database
  • Launch of Managed Container Registry as a service for integrating customer CI/CD pipelines, including combined use of the IONOS Managed Kubernetes Service
  • Launch of the first IONOS data center (co-location) in Paris with the IONOS Cloud product portfolio
  • IONOS and Stackable launch Managed Stackable, a first managed big data product in early access (commercial launch to follow in 2023) that allows customers to define their preferred setup from a catalog of big data-relevant applications, deployed and operated by IONOS and Stackable
  • IONOS receives IT basic protection certification
  • Development of IT platforms optimized for IONOS on new processor architectures, e.g., Intel Xeon 4th Generation, AMD Xen3 or ARM-based processors
  • Ongoing development work to reduce energy losses, improve cooling efficiency and effectively recover heat
  • IT basic protection certification of STRATO Acronis & Dedicated Webhosting Management platform
  • Introduction of Backup as a Service (Acronis) for the STRATO Virtuozzo platform
  • In-product upsell for STRATO HiDrive
  • Collabora-Office integration in mobile STRATO HiDrive applications