In this article you will read
- why twenty20 opted for the Open Telekom Cloud,
- which advantages this has for the software company and
- why sustainability played an important role in their choice.
In this article you will read
twenty20 from Langenfeld in the Rhineland is not an IT service provider like any other. The software experts use an entire portfolio of modern agile methods: DevOps, containers, cloud-native development, Infrastructure as Code, ... and thus offer their customers up-to-date services for application development. But so do many others. Stephan Weck, the product owner of Good Applications, describes what makes twenty20 different: "As a company, we have made a commitment to the common good. We want to reflect this in all aspects of our business dealings – with customers, partners and employees.
For years, the company has been managed holocratically: all employees have a say in deciding the direction of the company. twenty20 has been following this course for almost ten years now. The team is currently planning to transfer this approach to the company's corporate structure. The conversion of the GmbH & Co. KG into a cooperative is imminent.
"We are simply trying to consistently think sustainability through to the end in all its components within the scope of our possibilities" says Weck. "Our goal is to offer our customers digitalization in a sustainable way." But even a sustainable company must think in business terms and have a clear strategy for the future that combines both a focus on the common good and business success. Here's a brief look at the company's past, which can also be read in detail on the software company's website.
twenty20 has been in existence since 2007, starting as a classic SAP consultancy. SAP was joined by other applications from partners and other services along the software lifecycle. In addition to development services for customized applications and their further development, twenty20 also offers the operation and hosting of applications as a managed service. Standard software is provided as SaaS (Software as a Service) under the "Good Applications" label. This includes IT management tools such as JetBrains' YouTrack, an alternative to Atlassian's Jira, and Gitlab as a DevSecOps platform.
One of the company's own developments is the Enterprise Management Platform for Deutsche Telekom. It offers its users access to numerous Telekom business applications. Since its development in 2015, twenty20 has hosted and operated this business-critical application. "The Enterprise Management Platform exemplifies the full range of our services. We can accompany our customers throughout the entire application lifecycle."
In 2018, the company set up its own cloud hosting platform for its standard applications with a colocation provider in Germany. Its basis: OpenStack. Despite their distinctive hosting expertise, the Langenfeld-based company decided to outsource the infrastructure operations in 2022. "The management of the infrastructures generated relatively high expenses and we wanted to focus more on application development and operations."
What followed was a detailed analysis of the cloud provider market. Relevant platforms serving the German market were shortlisted and assessed for suitability. "As consultants, we knew the cloud provider market inside and out, and we knew that the professional platforms offered quite a bit of functionality. But we wanted more than just technical capabilities. The platform should also meet our requirements as a provider of sustainable software services and support our corporate philosophy," says Weck.
A long list of criteria and technical requirements emerged. "Particularly important to us: a data center located in Germany, German-language support and data protection in accordance with GDPR." In the end, twenty20 opted for the Open Telekom Cloud. "From our point of view, the Open Telekom Cloud not only offers remarkable functionality that is barely behind the US hyperscalers, but it is a European cloud with which we meet external and internal compliance requirements."
Within a few months, the software experts migrated their entire application landscape to Deutsche Telekom's cloud. The application landscape comprised a wide range of different applications. These included applications for twenty20's own needs, such as YouTrack, which is used to manage the company's own development projects. The second category was the "Good Applications", standard applications that are operated as SaaS for customers. Thirdly, customer-specific applications such as the Enterprise Management Platform also moved to the Open Telekom Cloud. Until then, they had been run on traditional virtual machines.
With the Open Telekom Cloud, we achieve a clear efficiency gain. Not only does it bring remarkable functionality, but it also significantly relieves us on the operational side.
– Stephan Weck, Product Owner “Good Applications”, twenty20
"We were able to count on the support of our contacts at the Open Telekom Cloud, even at short notice," recalls Weck, "and at the same time we discovered the value of the community for us. Here we found many a helpful tip for the migration."
Since then, the Open Telekom Cloud has been part of the basic equipment at twenty20. Development still takes place on local computers, but project management, version management, collaboration and the CI/CD pipeline for development come from the cloud.
Open Telekom Cloud infrastructure resources are rarely used directly from the Open Telekom Cloud console. "Only for a smaller part, such as jumphosts or speedtest servers, do we use the Elastic Cloud Server (ECS). Much more often, we access the infrastructure resources via API and automated, because most of our services run as containers in Kubernetes. That's why the Cloud Container Engine (CCE) is relevant for us on the one hand, and the availability of Terraform on the other," explains Weck.
In addition to the basic infrastructure services and access to containers, the software developers particularly value the database service RDS (Relational Database Service). Almost every application needs a database. Deploying from the cloud makes rolling out databases easier than ever.
More than almost any other user, twenty20 exploits the potential of the Open Telekom Cloud for its business. From the user's perspective, who runs internal applications in the cloud, twenty20 receives a stable operating platform that is fully managed. This significantly reduces the company's own expenses. "We gain free capacities that we can invest in development projects". As a SaaS provider, twenty20 also benefits from the platform thanks to reduced operating efforts. The highly available and fail-safe platform protects against data loss and is 100 percent GDPR-compliant. On top of that comes the scalability and simplified onboarding of new customers. With the acquired know-how about the Open Telekom Cloud and direct access to a powerful platform, twenty20 can act as a "one-stop store" towards its customers. "The traditional division into the "development" and "operation" lots is no longer up to date anyway. With the Open Telekom Cloud behind us, we can offer an integrated offering for both lots – in keeping with DevOps. Customers who receive the complete service from a single source benefit massively from this".
A listing as a Circle Partner rounds off the picture. Customers who are thinking about migrating and/or operating their applications in the Open Telekom Cloud will find in twenty20 an experienced partner who can advise from a unique perspective. Namely, that of a company that has itself migrated a wide variety of applications and operates them in the Open Telekom Cloud – a partner who knows all the tricks of the trade to ensure a smooth migration. As a Circle Partner, twenty20 also has access to the support services of the Open Telekom Cloud team in addition to its own know-how. Last but not least, with the Open Telekom Cloud, twenty20 has found a cloud platform that is a good fit for the company. "With its focus on OpenStack and sustainability, the Open Telekom Cloud corresponds exactly to our corporate philosophy. It thus becomes a building block so that we can continue to realize our vision of sustainable digitization."
Sustainable digitalization for your business – thanks to green data centers with carbon-neutral IT resources from the Open Telekom Cloud.
We offer start-ups, cloud providers, IT consultancies and system houses an EU alternative to US hyperscalers. Get to know our partner program!
Good Applications – We operate for good reason
Learn even more about twenty20's range of services and its sustainable initiatives on the partner page.