2018 Integrated Report – On track towards a better Railway

Customer and quality

Digitalization and innovation as focal areas of action

We intend to harness the potential of digitalization and play a decisive role in shaping tomorrow’s mobility and logistics. Digital technologies not only make it possible to further develop our existing business, but also pave the way for new business models. Our goal is to provide our customers with the best possible, digitally supported experiences and processes. Digitalization and innovation are therefore among our focal areas of action, which we are driv­­­ing forward across all business units. In doing so, we are aligning with the digitalization strategy, which defines our strategic direction and frames our activities in the three key areas of core business digitalization, new digital business and digital transformation. The Digitalization Competence Center is responsible for operationalizing the digitalization strategy. This committee regularly brings together digitalization decision makers from different business units and Group functions to propel digitalization within DB Group.

Digital Base

At the end of 2018, DB Group gained a new location for its digital business in Berlin with DB Digital Base. The site has 360 available workspaces on nine floors. Digital Base is an event venue, network and platform for exchange. It aims to create syn­er­­gies between different digital projects and to promote a lively ex­­change of knowledge. With this in mind, the space is open plan so that all internal and external partners can work together to imple­ment digital transformation projects and experience new working methods.

In the year under review, we implemented digital initiatives, achieved adaptable structures and supported the digital transformation.

  • Digitalization of core business: A decisive cus­­tomer benefit could be achieved, for example, through comfort check-in. With MyRailPor­­tal by DB Cargo, the customer interface was digitalized further. We are working with partners in the railway sector to automate and digitalize our infrastruc­ture and production as part of the Digital Rail for Germany program.
  • New digital business: It is very important to us to build up new digital business models in our target markets. Particularly noteworthy examples include Mobimeo and ioki. In the year under review, DB Group was also involved with verimi. DB Schenker, together with MAN, piloted the platooning project and in the process achieved important milestones in autonomous driving.
  • Digital transformation: For us, this term means achiev­­ing the necessary conditions in DB Group. The central focus areas are building a data-driven innovation ecosystem and most importantly bringing in executives and employees and giving them the skills they need. Our Digital Basecamp event series reached about 1,200 executives, conveying digital expertise and promoting networking in DB Group. The launch of DB Lernwelt in April 2018 has provided Group-wide online and offline learning content. The DataOps program is establishing binding principles that will optimize data preparation, generation and use in DB Group on a technical and op­­er­­ational level.

We have further professionalized our cooperation with start-ups.

  • In particular, we have achieved this through beyond­­1435, our open innovation platform launched in the previous year to promote mobility innovations. We are working with our partners Siemens, Swiss Federal Railways (Schweizerische Bundesbahnen; SBB) and Bombardier with the aim of identifying new technol­ogies and evaluating them for our own business devel­opment. We intend to develop and scale disruptive business models together with the start-ups and with the help of the in­­novation platform.

Das Wirtschaftsmagazin Capital hat 2018 zum zweiten Mal Digitallabore deutscher Unternehmen in drei Kategorien ausgezeichnet. Der DBKonzern war gleich mehrfach vertreten: Skydeck, amspire und d.lab sind in der Kategorie Beste-Innovation-Labs unter den besten 24, die DB mindbox erreichte den dritten Platz in der Kategorie Beste Acceleratoren und das IntrapreneurshipProgramm schafft es in die Bestenliste der Kategorie Beste CompanyBuilder.

  • DB mindbox is a co­­working space and a cen­­­tral location where DB employees can ex­­change knowledge and cooperate with start-­­ups. The central fund­­ing program, DB Start­­­up­­­Xpress, identifies prom­­ising start-ups and tests their ideas to­­gether with DB Group’s business units. The start-­­ups should be able to implement their digital solutions quickly in co­­op­er­ation with the busi­­ness units. Since 2015, well over 1,000 start-­­ups from around 30 countries have ap­plied for the DB mind­box pro­­gram. With more than 30 start-ups, we are now working on concrete improvements to the integrated rail system.
  • At DB Digital Ventures we have been able to realize five further investments.
  • We are responding to developments within digitalization and new technologies, as well as to the changing markets, with the ecosystem approach we defined in late 2018. We will be founding a central ecosystem holding company to enable effective ecosystem management in DB Group alongside DB Digital Ventures.