‘Innovation Tour 2017’ brings local approach to global digital revolution

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RIYADH — In collaboration with STC Solutions as a co-host partner, Software AG successfully held the final leg of its global Innovation Tour 2017 recently at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at the Kingdom Centre. This was following its campaign in 15 other countries which aimed at providing a platform for organizations to share their views and concerns regarding digital transformation by bringing a local approach to the global phenomenon.

Phillipp Schönbrunn Knappmann, Economic Counsellor of the German Embassy in Saudi Arabia, said the digital transformation will help in creating more jobs for the Kingdom's population, with innovation as among the key areas of cooperation the two countries can explore, among other sectors. Software AG fully supports Saudi Arabia, being one of Germany’s key partners in the region, particularly in achieving the goals embodied in Saudi Vision 2030. The company is keen to work with the country in its long-term agenda to implement digitalization, a crucial element of the Vision 2030.

The Innovation Tour is an exclusive ‘ideas network’ for business and technology executives around the world seeking inspiration and ways to upgrade their digital transformation efforts by connecting with recognized global partners and experts to grow their digital ecosystems. Software AG has conducted the campaign in Singapore, Seoul, Sydney, Dubai, Spain, Beijing, South Africa, Tokyo, Germany, Chicago, Melbourne, UK, Stockholm, Hong Kong, Washington DC, and Istanbul.

Innovation Tour Riyadh discussed opportunities on how traditional businesses can accelerate their digital transformation through Software AG’s Digital Business Platform. It also explored digital trends in the Internet of Things (IoT) with live demonstrations of designing and executing digital transformation and digital government solutions, as well as successful local case studies and best practices of various industries in Saudi Arabia which have benefited from the platform to digitally transform themselves. ‘Walk the Talk’ sessions with customers, track sessions, customer presentations, partner workshops and one-on-one meetings with IT business professionals and industry experts were also held.

Ahmad Salama, Vice President, Middle East & Turkey, Software AG, said: “The celebration of Innovation Day Riyadh has brought together government institutions and companies under one platform to share the challenges and successes experienced by industry trailblazers. We look forward to working closely with these organizations to explore the technology track that suits their needs.”

Salama added that 15 male and female young college students joined the Innovation Tour Riyadh as volunteers and showed strong interest to know more about recent technologies, noting that one of the most important goals for Software AG is to create value for different communities and to give back to the Saudi People.

Eric Duffaut, President and CCO of Software AG, conducted a session themed ‘Making the Future Possible’ focusing on how Software AG could help governments and companies innovate and deliver their digital future through the Digital Business Platform and cited the five key steps to digital transformation, highlighting that it is not a trend, but an evolution.

Meanwhile, Othman AlDahash, VP Product Development & Management of STC Solutions, presented a case study of its partnership with Software AG and how it has led to formation of ‘One Platform’, a technology hub which caters to all smart city services. He added that national digitalization is at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s vision and the IT sector can seize huge opportunities across industries given STC’s expansion initiatives which ensure infrastructure and platforms are in place to serve different verticals.

Vijay Jaswal, CTO, Middle East & Turkey at Software AG, also conducted a session titled ‘Unleash Your Digital Vision with the Digital Business Platform,’ and explained how Software AG can help organizations and mid and high-level executives from the business and technology sectors to engage globally and locally to boost their digital transformation #withoutcompromise, using Software AG’s Digital Business Platform. During his talk, Jaswal cited a recent Gartner report that asked CEOs about their top priorities for 2017 and 2018, which showed that 51 per cent of today's CEOs placed strong priority on growth; 31 per cent focused on IT-related priorities; 23 percent on corporate; 21 percent placed focus on their customers while 20 per cent prioritized their products. He took note of the importance of the survey, sharing that the results reflect how businesses today are bringing IT capability back to the core of the enterprise, which will ultimately give a competitive advantage.

Masood Mohamed from the Software AG team also held a session on ‘Blueprinting the Digital Enterprise,’ guiding the participants on how to visualize customer journeys, design processes and systems that support their product or service, as well as plan their implementation. He noted that creating winning digital products and services and getting them to customers quickly needs agile design and robust planning, highlighting that a great innovation does not have any value if delivered late or if the design is flawed.

Osama Ghoul, Executive Vice President of Devoteam, also explained that the historical growth of codified knowledge since the 1930s has been doubling every 30 years, however at present, it doubles every 11 hours. He added that 88 per cent of companies report underground digital transformation but only 25 percent has mapped the digital customer’s journey.

Deputy Director of General Government e-Transformation for Saudi Arabia’s e-Government Program (‘Yesser’), presented a case study of the e-Government Program and discussed Saudi Arabia’s historical IT expenditure between 2011 and 2015, adding that the government spends more than SR20 billion on IT projects, 67 per cent goes to digital transformation initiatives while the remaining percentage goes to various uncategorized projects. He emphasized how a National Enterprise Architecture initiative could support the country’s National Transformation Program to optimize cost and reduce duplication of investments at the national level.

Dr. Christoph Strnadl, Software AG’s CTO for Central Europe, who delivered a keynote session on ‘Orchestrating the Digital Enterprise’ highlighted Software AG’s well-proven strategies to outdo disruption and overcome collective traps and pitfalls most organizations face in their digital transformation journey.

Karl C. McGowan, Regional Director, Middle East of Proven Consult, advised that to build an IT strategy there must be a long-term vision and companies should value human capital’s role over technology. He noted that it is also important to ensure operations are standardized.

Bart Schouw, Software AG’s VP for Digital & IoT Alliances, talked about how to make the IoT saga a success for different businesses.

The Innovation Tour 2017 in Riyadh was sponsored by STC Solutions as Co-host Event Partner, Devoteam as Digital Transformation Event Partner, Proven Consult as System Integration Event Partner, and Scheer as Management Consultancy Event Partner. — SG


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