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Issue 13

ICT SPRING EUROPE 2013 (I)

Ovidiu Mățan
Founder @ Today Software Magazine
OTHERS

The first TSM delegation abroad took part in the ICT SPRING EUROPE 2013, event that took place in Luxembourg and lasted for two days. The public was numerous and, as partners, we had the opportunity to share our magazine within the event. The stars of the event were Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Trip Hawkins, founder of Electronic Arts.

Let us begin with the story of the event. From Cluj, Luxembourg is not very far away, a flight to Charloi (Belgium), and from here, a shuttle directly to our final destination. Luxembourg has about 500.000 inhabitants and the city itself, about 300.000. A great part of those who work here come from the neighbor countries: France, Germany and Belgium. Traditionally, the country"s economy is based on the banking area, its ace up sleeve being the bank privacy. However, this right will be lost in 2014, but the current focus is on the IT area, especially communications, data centers, as well as the development of bank software. This is achieved through the political involvement in sustaining the local business, promoting and facilitating it. We would like to mention the possibility of deducting 80% of the Intellectual Property costs from tax contribution or the support of up to 50% of the costs involved by the participation of companies to events abroad. Taking all these into consideration, no wonder we find here the highest income per inhabitant in Europe.

Coming back to ICT Spring, the event was organized in four areas:

  • The exhibitors" stands, which gathered technical products, start-ups and organizations,
  • The conference room, where the keynotes took place,
  • The start-ups" corner, where during the two days we saw the pitches of start-ups,
  • The experts" corner, where we saw a series of technical presentations, approaching some restricted areas.

The presentations were interesting, focusing on innovation.

Oliver Royant, chief editor in Paris Match, explained the importance of the message in the media, the reporters" passion for their work and its significance in our lives. Each media platform: print, web, mobile requires experience and specific content.

Peter Sondergaard - Senior VicePresident Research, Gartner. We select some of the opinions he expressed:

• In the next few years, all the budgets will be only IT budgets.

• Enterprise is represented by Facebook, since they are in control of the data, not the corporations.

• Paradoxically, technology will decrease the car sales, since more and more people will prefer the virtual environment instead of the direct contact.

• Recession remains a problem, but technology is not slowed down. More and more business leaders orient towards the digital. According to the Gartner chart, only 2% of the 391 CEO and Senior Business Executives have a digital strategy as a business strategy. However, 49% have it as a plan, but 14% do not take it into consideration at all.

• While the traditional positions of CEO or IT executive remain at the same level or decline, the role of innovation increases and the position of Head of Innovation becomes more and more important.

• The data and the clients represent the key investments in IT, but the sales and marketing leaders will no longer have absolute control.

• Business analytics, enterprise mobility and business process outsourcing are the first three positions in the top of investment priorities.

Nexus of forces -represent the way people will interact with each other in the future and will deal with their information. The choice will be made at four levels: mobile, social, Cloud and information. The end of the presentation was unedited, as the following incentive was uttered: Start a marketing program digitization. May the IT force be with you!!!

Next, we attended the Kidoria startup presentation. They drew an application which allows adding all data on children, beginning with their pictures and continuing with their medical information or grades received in school. The application is based on a monthly pass and there is the possibility to create photo albums from the stored photos. Until now, they have received a financing of 180.000 euro, most of the amount being used for application development and the programmers" salaries.

Dan Siroker - Co-founder & CEO of Optimizely - former analytics manager in the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. He shared with us some of his experience from the last presidential campaign and he presented a few of the actions taken in order to increase the impact of the messages presented on the site.

In order to increase the impact of an application or a web page, reduce the number of options: less is more. Among the examples given was the online sales page of Sim City, where, by giving up an online banner, sales increased by 43.8%. During the campaign for presidential elections, the donations were increased by 15.2% when the text was changed from "Donate now" to "Donate and get a gift" for those who hadn"t registered before on the site. But the same option reduced the donations by 24.6% for those who were already registered and who no longer donated. For them, the best choice was "Please donate", which increased the donations by 27.8%. Learnt lesson: explore in order to find the best option, instead of refining the existent solution (http://insideintercom.io/criticism-and-two-way-streets/).

The conclusion of the discourse offered us a revision of the presented rules:

  • Define successful metrics that can be measured.
  • Less is more. Reduce the options.
  • Words count. Focus on the action.
  • Try to reach the global maximum.
  • Start today.

Bart Vercammen - Product Manager, Technicolor, told us about the interconnected devices and applications: Services of Things. "Technicolor" is synonym with the special manner of processing color movies, but the company is also a leader in the home gateway production. The main challenges from a connected home of our days are the multitude of protocols used by the different devices, the number of devices, App"ification of the connected home. Their control represents a challenge and the solution suggested by Technicolor is Qeo. This is a communication framework based on a Publish-Subscriber architecture which uses limited hardware resources, having extensible data patterns and a coded data transfer. This is open-source and can be downloaded for free. At the same time, the Qeopedia standard was created for the interconnection of different ecosystems.

The first day of the event ended at 17:30 and afterwards there was the special socialization event: the Networking Cocktail, where I met Oana Casapu and Alexandru Rotaru from Altom Consulting. We were surprised to meet there. TSM did not pass unnoticed, thanked to the great number of tweets displayed in the conference room and the exhibition area, enabling thus the connection. Also, they used the participation code made available in the former issue of the magazine and in the TSM Facebook community.

We continued with the official dinner, European ICT Awards Gala Dinner, event opened by Xavier Bettel, mayor of Luxembourg city. During it, the winners of this year"s European ICT awards were announced. These awards are a reward for ICT good practices.

European CIO of the Year

Lance Fisher, CIO of SThree company, specialized in human resources in London. The award was given as a result of his global strategy and implemented projects, technical choices and management knowledge.

European ICT Innovation of the Year

Applidget, a web development company from Paris, specialized in software solutions for organizing events. The award was given for its innovative products and the contribution brought to this domain.

European Startup of the Year

The award was received by Uplike, an application that turns bookmarks into "real" things, by the possibility to share by a simple click.

In the next issue we will tell you about the second day of the event, when guest stars Jimmy Walles, founder of Wikipedia and Trip Hawkins, founder of Electronic Arts, made their appearance.

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