On May 9th and 10th, more than 5,000 of professionals gathered at the European Convention Center Luxembourg to discuss the latest tech, space, FinTech and digital trends. During two days, the ICT Spring 2017 speakers’ wondered how the digital technologies could change and improve our way of life through four conferences: Entertainment superpowers, Blockchain cross industry, Digital transformation and The Future of mobility.
Entertainment superpowers: “There are no more traditional media”
The first conference called “Entertainment superpowers” was presented by Keith Hopper, the Chief Financial Officer of Docler Holding. He dealt with the ways to use “superpower” to improve customer experience and make product or service more attractive. Among the different tools, data management, employee’s creativity, storytelling, virtual and augmented reality and digital transformation are the most usual and efficient. In his introduction, Keith Hopper remind how entertainment becomes complex. Today, there is no more traditional media, entertainment, in all its forms, makes any companies able to respond at the customer’s demand quickly.
Emmanuel Vivier, Co-founder of the HUB Institute and one of the world top “digital advertising & social media marketing” experts answered the following question: “Entertainment is changing, are you?”. New digital players are reinventing entertainment. Through the Netflix Vista example, Emmanuel Vivier showed that video is everywhere among us. But he explained that TV has to fight back by trying to find new forms, new topics, and new way to interest the millennials because “ephemeral content is the new mainstream”. Thanks to Instastory on Instagram, stories on Snapchat and Facebook’s stories, users generate content and anyone can create his own video and generate a massive audience. Emmanuel Vivier added:” Those platforms are really innovating. We need to be much more innovating to be in the fight. We need to use this data to make this experience much more interesting.”
Then, Oliver Schaack, the Creative Director of the famous French private channel CANAL+, presented: “Creative Happiness Therapy”. With different videos illustrating emotions, Olivier Schaack showed the importance of TV to create new experiences and moments of happiness and grace. According to him, the perfect TV spot has to make you laugh and dancing because “Music is essential to a great spot and we have to laugh everyday”. It took as an illustration Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen, the most feel-good music of all of time.
To continue this session, the next question was "How digital technologies could help marketers and companies to sell their product?". To start, the Former studio marketing manager of the Walt Disney Company, Anne-Claire Le Conte recounted “The story behind our storytelling”. The famous samples mentioned were the “Once upon a time…” and the legend of Steve Jobs’ garage and the beginnings of Apple. If we all love stories, it’s because that connects us with our humanity. Indeed, in marketing, a good story precisely adapted to the public is the first rule to keep its attention. Anne-Claire Le Conte explained that the most interesting in the storytelling is the story behind the legend.
And what could be better than new digital technologies to tell stories by offering new experiences to customers? That is what M. Bernard Michaux, associate at SAMS Film in Luxembourg, explained through the examples of virtual reality and augmented reality, the two burning and trending topics of the moment. According to him, ”if you have a good idea, technique won’t kill it”. Today, augmented and virtual reality disturb all content. If they still use traditional media, companies need to adapt their advertising to be the most competitive. Companies have to be creative and over-reacting all the time and, of course, “create a true story to make difference”.
M. Thomas Petersen, Brand Development Director at Ubisoft, can only agree. The development of virtual reality in video games is part of their digital strategy. The improvement of this technology is then necessary to innovate and evolve. That is what Julie Demarigny, Vice President International of Warner Bros, explained during her speech about “How data transforms our business”. From 2010 till present, she retraced the evolution of our data’s behavior and its impact on the movie market. For example, we began using data by sending emails and newsletters because it was cheaper and easier. Then, with social networks, the movies websites were slowly transformed into Facebook pages. In 2016, 74% of our emails are not opened. As she said: “more and more we realize that our traditional way of buying digital media is not efficient”. So they moved from traditional media buying to targeted buying. Instead of buying the audience of publisher that is in line with their target, they target different audience targets at market value.
At least, the first conference was concluding by a round table. Speakers share their ideas of their today’s superheroes.
Blockchain cross the industry
To continue this Digital summit, the second conference was entitled “Blockchain cross the industry”. Participants discussed how the blockchain, which wasfirst associated with the financial sector, is now impacting numerous industries.
David Dalton, Partner, Consulting, Deloitte Ireland, started the conference by introducing their global blockchain operating model. They focus on four things: innovation and ideation, the strategy development, the product development, and the prototyping. Exponential technologies are driving digital transformation in financial services. The main features of exponential technologies are: accelerating rate of improvement, rapid advance in innovation, great disruptive potential, cross industry initiatives and continuous cost-performance growth. Then, M. Dalton explained the blockchain trends, its capacities and its potential overall impact on financial services. To conclude his speech, David Dalton talked the misconceptions about the blockchain: “it’s not bitcoin, it’s not the real-time, traditional technology is not obsolete and you still need to integrate other data systems”.
Michael Terpin, the Founder and CEO of Transform Group, then addressed the topic: “Behold the ICO: Great equalizer or money-sucking bubble?” He started his presentation by introducing differences between blockchain and digital assets. Then he presented the history of blockchain and defined BitCoin, LiteCoin and Ripple. He then discussed the evolution of public tokens and the advantages of payment tokens: how are tokens born and sunk during the economic crisis, to finally reborn? And now, out of crisis, how tokens appear as an opportunity? Bitcoin’s scaling woes led to diversification among crypto investors, with Dash, Ripple, Litecoin, Ethereum & Monero soaring.
Kristof Van de Reck, Co-founder and council member, NEM.io Foundation, also thinks that Blockchain is an opportunity for many reasons. During his speech, he told how NEM blockchain technology can be used for secure storage and access of privacy sensitive data in a broad sense, including how this can be applied to some use cases. NEM is a holistic blockchain platform, built from scratch in March 29th 2015. The NEM blockchain works with an HD colored accounts, encrypting data with combination of these accounts, authentication using mosaics with structured message to act as certificates, authorization access by signing structured requests and identification by signing from master account. Through some examples, Kristof Van de Reck showed how NEM blockchain technology could be changing our storage access.
Mona El Isa, former star-trader at Goldman Sachs, CEO and Co-Founder of Melonport, a Blockchain software for asset management, presented “The Blockchain Promise”. The idea is to take the Bitcoin concept and embedded an entire coding language in it called Solidity. According to Mona El Isa, Melonport is the premier investment management infrastructure for crypto. The Melon Protocol enables to set up a decentralized fund structure, manage your fund within the fund structure you have selected, build a track record and invest in other funds or allow others to invest in yours. Moreover, the Melon Protocol is cheap, efficient, easy to use and transparent.
After a round table, Pavlo Tanasyuk, CEO and Founder of Blockverify, answered the question: When blockchain will rebuild the entire industry? He compared the future of blockchain as a mountain. At the moment, only few people already try to buy bitcoin but many people still talk about it. According to him “if you’re a consumer, you have to be able to use the technology”. Problem is, apart from programmers and developers, few people can read, understand and use code language. One other problem is the identity. M. Tanasuykexplained: «We have to find a way to secure and developing solutions/. It is new type of transaction”. To fix the issue, he built his answer around four points: identity, standards, user interface and scalability. Finally, Pavlo Tanasuyk concluded with this question: Is the blockchain the web 3.0?
Then Marco Houwen, Project leader at Infrachain in Luxembourg, addressed: “Infrachain from proof of concept to operations”. Infrachain aims at leapfrogging the adoption curve of blockchain by creating a compliant-ready community/permissioned node blockchain infrastructure. Based on the fact that it exists in the public chain trust and responsibility in nodes, sustainable operating environment, regulatory security and interoperability, Infrachain proposes a program based on cross-industry effort aiming to provide disintermediation services to all aspects of the economy (Fintech, Healthcare, Public services, Supply chain management...).
The next topic covered is “Trusted Identities & Governance in InfraChain” presented by Robert Bielecki, Executive Consultant at Luxtrust. Luxtrust has created a protocol improved to provide by design identity management and to enter to the real world the blockchain applications should integrate the identity related to the addresses.
Dinis Guarda, the Founder and CEO of Humaniq, decentralized banking for unbanked people, answered the question: How Can Blockchain Tech Tackle the Global Problem of Financial Inclusion and told us why they created Humaniq? Starting from that 2 billion people in the world do not have access to banking, are excluded from the global economy and are ignored by traditional banks, Dinis Guarda created Humaniq to offer them “a basic key to identity”. Humaniq is a cloud-based global bank built on the blockchain that combines distributed ownership, mobility, visual simplicity and biometric ID to deliver financial services to the developing world. This digital eco-system combines blockchain with biometrics and a simple mobile application. Humaniq is creating the clearest, most minimalistic, and most intuitive tools that will enable simple access for the 2 billion unbanked. Beyond the economic project, Humaniq supports a humanitarian project by giving the poorest the financing tools that will enable them to accelerate economic growth and fuel new opportunities in their economies.
To close this first day, Jonathan Hope, CEO & Co-Founder of the startup Keychain, presented “The Far-reaching Applications of the Authentication Blockchain”. Keychain is an authentication blockchain solution against the lack of information about authenticity and provenance of data. Keychain offers authenticated FIX Messaging, secure IoT communication and encrypted email. Moreover, it creates authentication blockchain is cheaper and more secure, and enable new and more profitable business partners.
Digital transformation: “Content is key, people is king”
The second day began with Digital transformation topic. Experts explored the digital transformation that is impacting several sectors such as telecoms, press or marketing among others. They also explored the marketing aspect of digital transformation, in particular the customer experience.
Edwin Madou, Vice president of sales at NGDATA started with a presentation entitled “Using data to deliver relevant customer experiences – Anytime, Anywhere”. The foundation of their work: all about connectivity. The customers’ life is about building uninterrupted experience. They want to have same experiences using their smartphone, their computer or their tablet. The worst thing that can happen to them? Feeling disconnected. But, as Edwin Madou explained: “We do not dispose of solutions to have ability data in real time. Whereas connected experience is about getting that real time by digital channels to produced real content”. Also, consumers seek connected experiences while enterprises seek advocacy. Companies need to meet and exceed increasing customer expectations, as known individual content connected complete in a real time due. By an effectively management, analysis and deployment of multi-source data to power connected experiences, NGDATA puts the customer at the heart of business.
David Foy, International Business Development manager at POST Telecom for Business, presented: “Digital Transformation: Getting into Top Gear”. The main idea of his speech is that digital transformation is cultural, no technical. Technology is all around us. As he said, if we take a look on our work environment, our home environment, at the ecosystem, all attitudes change and it is not about to learn. David Foy called it the “culture of adoption”. In fact, we use technologies for simplify our life. Because it is easier to click on our smartphone, call an Uber, pay and take the ride. Also because we share and use data at every moment of our life, processes and security need to be challenged. All people have synchronizing objects but it’s very important to know: connecting to whom? There are current subjects such as "who is making data", about the right to be forgotten, about information we get when we order a pizza on internet, etc. We need to avoid overkill. To conclude, David Foy reminded that we have to embrace change.
This digital summit continued with Jean Rognetta, editorial director for Forbes France and contributor for Les Echos and Capital Finance. His conference talked about the key threats to journalism, which are digital transformation, audience fragmentation and horizontality, and displaced value. According to M. Rognetta, between fake news, displaced values and crisis of the newspaper, the media have to give a journalist perspective. “The point is that not everything is bad”, said Jean Rognetta. Companies emerge and create politic network with quality content.
If digital transformation could appear as a threat to journalism, François Phan, Head of Digital & Innovation at Buzzman explained how digital transformation, in particular virtual reality, is an asset for them during his conference “How to create impactful content for consumer?”. He explained how people are over exposed at massive content in Internet. Companies need brilliant content to touch consumer. To emerge and create interest, they have to go on social media. François Phan explained that “content is key and people is king”. Create great and emotional content for consumer in order to touch their heart, without forget context. The right media, the right people at the right time, nothing more.
Digital technology is also an opportunity to develop emerging countries' economy. Elyes Jeribi, CEO of Smart Tunisia, a program promoting Tunisia as a Technology Destination, presented “Your business partner for Europe, the Middle East and Africa”. The Smart Tunisia project is to connect all Tunisia population. Smart Tunisia program is promoting real available talent, vibrant fin tech, and data center. At least European companies, Middle East companies and Africa work together for great results.
Benoit Hucq, Managing Director of the digital agency of Wallonia presented the "Plan Marshall 4.0 wallon". Because digital technologies integrated new economic and territory dimension, this plan is the corner stone of the economic policy of the Walloon regional government to boost wallonia in a new era where innovation in crucial sectors is fueling the regional growth. The global vision of the government is making Wallonia a connected and smart territory, where digital companies are recognized as global leaders and drivers of a successful industrial transformation, and where digital innovation works for high quality education, open public services and the well-being citizens.
The last two sessions wre dedicated to discover great innovations available on the market. The first one was MyMusic Teacher with a presentation entitled “Guitar Learning is dead, long live Guitar e-Learning – How gaming revolutionize the way we learn to play an instrument” animated by Frank Houbre, CEO & Co-founder of the startup. Based on fact that 70% of people try guitar and give up because they have not enough time and money, Frank Houbre decided to use digital technologies to learn playing an instrument online. The most important aspect is motivation. The point was to make guitar fun and addictive activity by having fun. With useful tools to increase the interactivity, exercise to learn slowly, a real feedback about your motivation to know where you going, students play longer, know if they play right or wrong in an easy and visual way and progressing in a very quickly and interactive way driving by the same goal. Franck Houbre added: “It is not only about motivation, it is about passion: that’s all gaming revolution”.
The Future of mobility
The last session of the digital summit addressed the Future of mobility with top automotive manufacturers and suppliers as well as new actors who are disrupting the sector.
To start the conference, Peter-Frans Pauwels, co-founder of the well-known company Tomtom, presented The Accelerating Transformation Of Mobility. During his speech, Peter-Frans Pauwels explained that we need technologies in our lives, but as a regulator, not as a way of life. Especially for mobility, technologies represent a huge opportunity to improve our quality of life, our comfort and our security, as he said “comfort gives that time to drive more safety”.
Then, the Regional General Manager of Northern Europe of the famous tech company Uber, Jo Bertram exposed “How to reduce car ownership and increase mobility” thanks to digital technologies. She explained that the main issue is not the car itself, is the way we use it: individually. But they are already seeing proofs to individual car ownership begins to change. When people are given an affordable, reliable alternative they’re happy to take it. Ms. Bertram showed how traffic in big cities is complicated, bad for environment and a waste of time. But in a strange way, even in cities where common transports are well developed, as New-York or Paris, people continue to use their own car. But as Jo Bertram showed that sharing one's car represents many advantages: less CO² emission, less car accidents, and at least, it facilitates traffic in the city. These are the many reasons to adopt this new way of mobility.
The Senior Vice President of Rolls-Royce Marine Digital &Systems, Karno Tenovuo told us that “The future of Marine mobility is autonomous”. He explained us how digitalization and ship intelligence take place in the marine market through asset management, optimization and decision support and remote and autonomous operations. Thanks to technologies, it possible to integrate sensor data, autonomous supply vessel drone and the first automatic control system Fjord 1 they developed which ensures safe and energy efficient transit by automatically controlling the vessel’s acceleration, deceleration, speed and track. The captain will supervise the system, and intervene if needed. The vessels are due for delivery in 2017.
In conclusion, the future of mobility will not be possible without new technologies. They improve our life whether of ecology and environment or our comfort and our security. Digital technologies are essential to our future.