Annual Report 2020 Accelerating digitalization of the Netherlands

Access to the available free beds at the touch of a button

Case: Security - Safety regions
Case Veiligheid Header2
Case Veiligheid Header2
Tijs van Lieshout Safety regions

Tijs van Lieshout Chairman of the safety regions

“If we'd come up with this pandemic as a scenario for an exercise, no one would have believed it. A pandemic from China, the production of protective equipment coming to a standstill, and all at the same time as the winter sports season and carnival? Come on - that’s too far-fetched!

We, the safety regions, are at the heart of the Netherlands' crisis management. The COVID-19 pandemic has required unified action by the 25 safety regions, along with the national government, and we've never felt more united. Fortunately, we have been able to save a lot of time by holding most of the meetings digitally. We have people in Maastricht, Groningen, Middelburg and other places, so if you have weekly meetings, it's more efficient if you don't have to get together physically.

At a national level, we have established an operations center where, among other things, we collect information from hospitals, police and the Ministry of Health, Welfare & Sport. We process that data into integrated reports for the state and the Netherlands' public health service (GGD). We only want access to that information; we do not store it. But when we want access, the data must be available within a few seconds. This can give you an understanding of the risks at an early stage to adjust the policy.

“We dreamt of such a platform for years”

We'd been dreaming of a platform like this for years and now we've achieved it in double-quick time. We were all on the same page: the resources were within easy reach and attention was focused on them. Without the pandemic, we would never have achieved this so quickly. Whether it's food, water or something else, there will be another crisis - and this platform will ensure we're better prepared. In my view, KPN will be a strategic partner in this, helping with further developments and advising on our information position.”

Eric Lakenman - Chairman BOA Bond
“The measures changed rapidly at the start of the pandemic and they also differed from region to region. That made enforcement difficult. Fortunately, law enforcement officers are accustomed to employing non-adversarial interaction: they engaged with people first and only issued a fine only if nothing else worked. This approach ensures that no more than 5% of the people deliberately break the rules.“

Anja KPN

Anja de Vos-Biemans KPN Regional Director, Southern Netherlands

“A safety region is characterized by the close cooperation between emergency services, authorities, companies and citizens. In 2020, that cooperation was thoroughly put to the test and the situation proved once again that a robust ICT network plays an essential role in this cooperation. As such, our customers and the 25 safety regions therefore count on us and trust us.

The pandemic increased the pressure on everyone to speed up digitalization. We also received lots of questions from the safety regions as a result. We needed to act fast - which is thankfully something we're very capable of doing. Not only do we have a technical network but we also have a human network that focuses on solving problems.

“Digital security is conditional”

In times of crisis, KPN’s regional directors generally perform a ‘gateway’ function. Last year, we were frequently contacted directly by top Dutch companies and authorities to help them fight fires. For example, there was an increase in the number of hacks. Short lines of communication are especially important then because in times of crisis you often have to go that extra mile, beyond existing procedures and solutions.

The COVID-19 crisis has really helped raise awareness about the vulnerability of digitalization. With so many people now working from home in the Netherlands, we have all experienced the importance of digitalization - and how vulnerable it can be - first hand. The next step is for all of us to also work from home in the most efficient manner. Digital security is an absolute prerequisite for this.

There's so much more that can be achieved, especially in SMEs that have 10-50 employees. This has been one of the hardest hit sectors and many SMEs are struggling to keep their heads above water. For these companies, safety is often not yet the top priority. With KPN EEN, our service for SMEs, we can provide a solution. KPN EEN MKB provides connections that are not only good and fast but, most importantly, are totally secure.“

Download the full report

Integrated Annual Report 2020 Spread navigation / 12 MB Download
Integrated Annual Report 2020 Single navigation / 13 MB Download
KPN Verkort Jaarverslag 2020 / 1 MB Download
Consolidated Financial Statements / 44 KB Download
Social figures / 113 KB Download
Environmental figures / 316 KB Download
GRI index / 1 MB Download

Select the chapters and files to download