What’s Next Approach

Growth! This is how we started our consulting business when mobile communications and the internet popped up in the early 90s. Our sacred cow is the What’s Next approach, enabling our clients to get specific answers to their most crucial questions within 90 days. We developed the approach as a highly customizable and efficient project methodology. Having successfully applied our methodology in more than 4,000 What’s Next approaches, our clients have generated new business worth billions of US dollars in the digital markets from 1995 to date.

Case Studies


T-Mobile, German Set-up from Scratch and Global Rollout

When we ran our first project for T-Mobile, still called DeTeMobil back then, it was a small company of 40 employees exclusive to the German market. That was to change rapidly after privatization. Meanwhile, we’ve run more than 40 projects over a period of 20+ years, in which we’ve helped T-Mobile expand in Germany, internationalize throughout Europe and Asia, expand into MVNE-Service business, establish Congstar as a second brand, and set up a range of new businesses in various group areas and companies nationally and internationally, as well as M&A activity for select transactions. Now Deutsche Telekom has about 70,000 employees, the majority of them with T-Mobile.

Axel Springer

Axel Springer, Blueprint Digitization for a Leading Global Publishing House

From its first regional portal back in 1995 to its present activities in the corporate finance area, we’ve supported Axel Springer for decades of digital transformation through more than 30 select projects from business set-up to M&A transactions.


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What’s Next Assessment

How is your company performing? Applying our 10-point What’s Next Assessment program, we can tell our clients within 60 days how they can perform much better in the future and, potentially, how to improve their equity story. They’ll also understand how they can become a player that exceeds their peer group and what their realistic financial goals can be 5 years out.

We focus on the upsides and improvement potential. We don’t linger on the weaknesses and threats (although we identify them and address them very constructively). Rather, we work on answers and recommendations. We identify the beauty and improvement potential of our clients’ business models over the next 5 years, usually for a strategy update or to prepare a company sale, and the respective Q&A for interested parties.

Case Studies


Dolby Internationalization to China

Dolby, probably best known from the booming cinema next door, is also installed in most of our smartphones. When it updated its China strategy, it chose us to help ramp up the Chinese R&D resources. After assessing Dolby’s requirements, we helped it identify the sought after personnel and, over a period of time, also enabled and trained them to Dolby’s standards.

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What’s Next in Technology

Does your technology meet your future requirements? Knowing what’s next in business doesn’t essentially mean having the right technology in place. We act as the “adaptor” between strategy and technology and come up with technology road maps that meet the requirements of your planned corporate development. Related technology investments differ from USD 1 million to introduce new dedicated systems up to more than USD 100 million for global telcos. Always starting from the business case, its assumptions and underlying KPIs, we develop and tailor the technology roadmap to fit clients’ quantitative and qualitative needs over time. Technology-heavy players, as well as private equity clients, make use of our “adaptor” know-how and What’s Next in Technology knowledge to double check their technology investments.

Case Studies


Vodafone, Conceptual Design, Detail Concept, and Program Management for European Business Intelligence project

Vodafone Germany, the largest operational telephony company of Vodafone plc, contributes about 20% of the group’s revenues. The core system for business performance management and business intelligence is its data warehouse, which was the largest BI infrastructure in Europe when it was initially set up. Skillnet designed the concept that makes it possible to show the entire business homogeneously in one data model and migrated the client’s BI toward the new set-up. The client continues to benefit from this approach and the detailed insights into its business.


Deutsche Post/DHL: Program Management for Technical Realization of Customer Excellence Strategy

Deutsche Post restructured its customer excellence organization with more than 2,500 FTE service center staff, serving three B2B client clusters through different appropriate organizational set-ups. Skillnet designed the central CRM solution, integrating about 25 legacy systems and allowing service staff to get a full picture of the customers’ orders, services, bills and accounts. This project was also part of the client’s well promoted and advertised service excellence program.

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What’s Next Set Up

You want to start a new business from scratch? You, as a corporate or start-up, know your next business, but don’t have 100% of the required skills and team on board to make it reality successfully. That’s where we come in with our network of serial entrepreneurs and experienced specialists. These are seasoned experts and young talents whom we’ve built mutual relationships with over the years, special individuals who trust and believe in their cooperation with Skillnet. Be it on a fixed fee or purely success fee basis (why shouldn’t we do it together with you as joint shareholders?), we help you set up your next enterprise successfully. In addition, the main purpose of our specialized team at New Times X is to build your new venture successfully.

Case Studies


Arvato, setting up the leading global service provider for telcos and device manufacturers

Arvato, a multibillion US dollar Bertelsmann unit with more than 250 subsidiaries, started to offer all relevant additional services related to the mobile devices, preconfigured services, and after sale services along the value chain of mobile carriers, MVNOs and device manufacturers alike. Skillnet, due to its competence from the start in setting up carriers for T-Mobile and Telefonica in several countries in Europe and Asia, became the architect and program manager for the realization of a lot of these services in more than 30 projects over more than 15 years in various countries.


Creating the first European internet bank, Netbank

Netbank was founded by eight different conventional banks who wanted to set up the first pure internet player under their own brand in Europe. Skillnet’s task was to conceptualize all the relevant areas, design the highly automated processes and execute the program management until its successful realization in coordination with all relevant subcontractors for IT, marketing, legal and more.

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What’s Next Management

Your growing business is established but bigger problems turn up: key team members are jumping ship? We can offer immediate help from our strong network. We call it Skillnet Affairs. It’s very likely we can help on the spot – with experienced ex-CXOs open to challenging tasks, who usually work for a success fee or “virtual equity”-based compensation. For these guys, “big problems” are the order of the day. They love to tackle them and deploy their vast experience without the limitations of an employed executive.


Case Study


Intersystems, Setting up the Chinese Business for a US Software Vendor

Intersystems, headquartered in the US, is a leading software provider of object-oriented databases, especially in the healthcare industry. It wanted to enter the Chinese market. We helped the company grow from 0 to 1 and from 1 to 10, including market and competition analysis, partner programs, business development, winning customers, sales, team building, software localization, local PR, tendering and bidding, customer service, oversea payments. Five years later, the database and the related healthcare software had been sold to 5 of the top 10 Chinese hospitals. We handled the interim management, more than just the strategy but the implementation as well.