Software AG is a major and regular sponsor at the massive trade fair in Hanover that is CeBIT. They used their tasteful booth for a number of activities to celebrate CEO Karl-Heinz Streibich’s new book. They kindly invited me to be part of the celebration.
Some of the activities:
A panel with several executives and thought leaders profiled in the book. To me, it was a nice opportunity to meet many of these digital leaders I had interviewed by phone.
Exposure to two world leaders - Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister David Cameron
A giant cake to celebrate the book and a cocktail hour
Several media interviews – I did a video with Joe McKendrick of Forbes/ZDNet and with Carsten Knop of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Several hundred copies of the book distributed to the large audience CeBIT invites.
This week I got a holiday present in the mail – a preview copy of the book which can now be pre-ordered on Amazon . Pardon my bias, but it is one heck of a gorgeous holiday gift.
Every time I would ask Karl-Heinz to describe a Digital Enterprise, he would respond with a series of emails. The emails did not have bullets or sentences with the definition - they were introductions to C level executives at the biggest brand name companies in the world. As he told me later, any process in any industry in any country can be re-imagined with digital technologies. The book with its interviews and anecdotes reflects that diversity.
Coca-Cola Enterprises describes how social, mobile, and crowdsourcing technologies are allowing them to evolve the consumer packaged goods market across Western Europe. Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, demonstrates how even nonprofits can become remarkably innovative by utilizing emerging technologies. GE discusses how their wind turbines, locomotives, aircraft engines, and other industrial products provide vivid examples of the growing Internet of Things.
MAPFRE, from Spain, describes how they are leveraging telematics into the auto insurance industry. Allianz, a global insurance company, explains their applications of advanced analytics. Standard Chartered discusses the global rollout of their Breeze mobile banking application across many developing countries. Echo Entertainment from Australia describes how casinos are leveraging digital technologies like RFID and facial recognition to provide better customer service. Nissan and Daimler provide perspectives from across the globe on one of the most technologically active industries that exists. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster discusses how semantic memories promise to reshape the manufacturing and logistics of many products.
Then there are examples from industries that have been radically transformed by technology over the past few decades. Hubert Burda Media describes their two-pronged strategy of launching new digital properties while simultaneously digitizing their existing print versions. TUI InfoTec explains how Big Data and mobile technologies are helping to reinvent the travel industry even further.
I could go on – this is just a sampling of the examples in the book. The more I talked to these customers, the more respect I gained for Karl-Heinz. So many technology executives just talk about themselves or their products. Karl-Heinz insisted I have these companies talk about their markets and strategies. Very few of them even mention Software AG products. But they needed little prodding to participate in the book project; nor did Marc Benioff to write a foreword to the book. Not just a software CEO, Karl-Heinz has been a trusted technology adviser to companies for three decades now.
BTW, a word about Software AG. When they first approached me about the book project, I was a bit puzzled. Software AG has long been known for products like Adabas, Natural, webMethods, and ARIS. In my mind, the company was more into IT plumbing than digital innovation. I was so wrong. Software AG’s recent acquisitions include Terracotta, LongJump, and Apama . With in-memory, platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and complex event-processing capabilities, Software AG is well positioned to help its customers exploit advanced analytics, cloud computing, and other technology-enabled innovations.
So, I am glad I accepted the invitation. It made for an invigorating summer, and now an invigorating holiday read. Pre-order your copy now on Amazon. As Karl-Heinz says, it will inspire you to re-imagine any process in any industry in any country with digital technologies.