The CeBit preview let journalists from around the world get a taste of what the real thing would be like in March. Clearly the main event will have a huge amount to offer, but the companies were keeping their cards close to their chests at the preview.
CBR attended the CeBit press preview in Hannover, provided is a list of things you need to know from the event.
Sino-German IT partnership at an all time high
The opening speeches from the press preview of CeBit 2015 revolved around the relationship between Germany and China in the tech industry, alongside the upcoming speeches from the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and one of the Chinese Deputy Prime Ministers.
China’s Ambassador, Shi Mingde, spoke of China’s power and potential in the tech industry, citing statistics of 520 million 3G and 4G users in 2013.
Shi Mingde, said: "No longer will products be just made in China, but created in China." China, perhaps with some of the tech expertise from Germany, want companies like Alibaba and Huawei to each become a powerhouse in the tech industry. Mr. Joerg Karpinski, Sales Director, Huawei Enterprise Germany, gave a lengthy speech on the company’s goals going forward – simply they want to be either number 1 or number 2 in every area in which they operate.
Shi Mingde spoke of how big China’s participation will be at CeBit, announcing that 600 Chinese companies would be present. Additionally Mr Mingde spoke of relations being very good with Germany: "There is a lively exchange between our two countries, both governments have decided that an innovate co operation should be developed that benefits both countries."
Let us tell you why CeBit is so great
As CeBit re-affirms itself as a B2B tech show, a large proportion of the morning’s speeches was taken up by CeBit selling itself as the best place for the tech industry to showcase itself. There was a massive focus on the importance of CeBit, the huge scale of the show and its ability to provide an holisitic overview of what is available on the market.
Every speaker informed those present of how many square metres of space they will have, sounding like a game of one up-man-ship or a game of mine’s bigger than yours. An emphasis was clearly being placed on the importance of the size and location of the booths that they would be operating.
Oliver Frese of the Deutsche Messe Board, spoke of the size and scale of CeBit, taking clear swipes at any competitor conventions that may consider themselves capable of offering a wider scope of powerful tech players.
A whole host of big names will be giving presentations at CeBit, including Jeremy Rifkin and Glenn Greenwald, undoubtedly a key topic will be data security.
IBM looking forward
Fresh off the back of reports that Big Blue are set to lay off 100,000+ staff, the company were keen to put out a positive message about the company. A slick presentation and plenty of talk about future announcements at CeBit made sure that the focus on IBM was on the company’s z13 mainframe.
Peter Beuke, VP Marketing and Communications, had a lot to say about the implementations of IBM Watson and the capabilities of cognitive, self learning systems. Watson is being used in health care, particularly cancer research, and will soon be used in the food industry – Chef Watson. Chef Watson will take your ingredients and give you ideas to put them together in new ways.
IBM were keen to stress that they are looking forward and Peter Beuke gave us a few suggestions of where they are heading. The plan is to target these key groups: cloud, analytics, mobile, social business, security, industry4.0, Watson and IT infrastructure.
Saving the announcements for March
A key element of the event was the general lack of announcements, yes we heard a lot of figures on how well each company is doing, but these figures are easily available through financial results. So the companies opted to focus on teasing the audience with potential future announcements and informing us how they will showcase the company at the main event.
ESET were one of the few to announce a product, an app. The app is designed to provide an encrypted messaging service to both public consumers and Government, with a free or premium option.
In the aftermath of NSA’s monitoring of German communications, including the Chancellor Angela Merkel, the current environment in Germany may well suit an app with highly encrypted communications. However, on the back of PM David Cameron’s recent comments regarding encrypted message solutions, WhatsApp and iMessage, such an app may not be greeted as positively in the UK.
The new buzzword for CeBit 2015, referring to the rapid digital transformation or digitisation of business created by the IT industry. The theme will provide a backbone for CeBit participants to focus on how they are individually and co-operatively shaping business and everyday life.
Most recently it is the Internet of Things and all-encompassing networking that are driving the development of business models, manufacturing processes and products – in every economic sector.
Mentioned on a few occasions was the autonomous potential for manufacturing, however, a key issue that will need to be discussed will be the workforce factor. If the car manufacturing industry for example were fully autonomised, then the majority of the workforce will no longer be required.
The D!conomy may be a driving force for innovation, but it must also become more secure, cybersecurity which is costing billions must be tackled, therefore, new cybersecurity measures are likely to be on display at CeBit.