In 2017, Deutsche Telekom AG decided to analyze the topic of blockchain in its research & development department and to develop a product for this market. Dr. Alexandra Mikityuk was assigned to found a blockchain group for this purpose. At its highest, the Blockchain Group comprised 80 R&D engineers who worked together for three years on the Staex platform, which originated from Alexandra's vision. Philip Toepffer joined Alexandra’s team as part of DT's executive trainee program and has since been primarily responsible for the commercial and financial tasks that arise within the team.
Together with the Staex team, they were able to take advantage of their position within Deutsche Telekom and use the industry connections to conduct in-depth discussions and interviews with Deutsche Telekom customers and partners such as Bosch, Daimler and Samsung about IoT systems today and the issues they face in the industry. In this research, a specific problem was identified: IoT services have a very long time to market because companies must do the complex and costly integrations with other companies or between millions of devices.
The new approach was to tackle the problem from scratch and solve it with infrastructure using distributed technologies. After 3.5 years of development, there is now the third version of the system with about 20,000 lines of code and 4 patents. Staex as the next generation distributed machine management is here. Staex simplifies the setup of IoT systems and creates innovative possibilities for the setup of existing and new types of IoT services.
In 2020, Deutsche Telekom made the decision to launch the product in the form of a spinoff. As Alexandra and Philip see their passion in the field of blockchain and distributed systems, they both decided to pursue this dream and successfully bring the product to market.