The first Digital X – Digital Edition event on 19 May, 2020 was a complete success with over 17,000 decision-makers attending.
Due to the corona pandemic, the event was held purely virtually for the first time. In their keynotes, Tim Höttges, CEO Deutsche Telekom, Mario Ohoven, President of the BVMW, and Hagen Rickmann, patron of Digital X, spoke about digitization as a pillar of support in the crisis – both for companies and for society.
The highlight of the event was the keynote speech by whistleblower Edward Snowden, who spoke on the conference topics from his Russian exile. Journalist Judith Rakers led through the afternoon. In total, the major digital event recorded 3.75 million impressions across all channels.
The next Digital X – Digital Edition will take place on 23 June 2020 in the same format. The highlight event is planned for November 19 and 20 in Cologne.
Digitisation helps in times of crisis
Tim Höttges pointed out parallels between the Corona pandemic and past epidemics such as the Spanish flu. Each of these crises was followed by a period of awakening and technological development.
“The Covid 19 pandemic is the catalyst for digitalisation,” said Höttges. Those companies whose digitization efforts are already advanced will come through the crisis much more easily, he said. Fear, on the other hand, is a bad advisor in uncertain times. Instead, initiative is called for: “If you don’t know what to do – digitize. This is a task for each of us and also for each company. Because it enables new efficiencies, new sales channels and more flexibility in workflows and processes.
Creative impulses from medium-sized businesses
Mario Ohoven praised the middle class: “It has proven once again that the motto “necessity is the mother of invention” applies to them. Video conferences and other digital tools have been used more frequently since the outbreak of the virus. One should not concentrate on the ‘fear of’. More important to him would be the ‘joy of’ what is to come. Ohoven advises companies that still have some catching up to do in terms of digitalisation: “Get partners on your side and network within the industry. Because relationships only hurt those who don’t have any.
The middle class becomes hybrid
Hagen Rickmann, patron of the Digital X initiative, sees the Corona crisis as a great opportunity for modernization for German medium-sized businesses. He pleads for a stocktaking and a step-by-step introduction of digital tools and working methods. “Right now there is greater acceptance among decision-makers and employees,” says Rickmann. Adapting the product portfolio to the digital world is also an important step towards remaining competitive. Hybrid business models in particular have a stabilizing effect. “The Corona pandemic is a wake-up call for German SMEs. Now really everyone has understood that this is the new world.”
Right to data protection
A highlight of the Digital X – Digital Edition was the keynote by Edward Snowden. He spoke about the right to privacy and about the secure handling of private data as a global concern. “I see Germany as a potential leader in the public discourse on this topic,” said Snowden.
Diversity of information in the trade fair sector
In the partner area, the conference topics on “Business Continuity Management” could be found. Especially in times of crisis it is important to keep business running. Questions about solutions and implementation possibilities in their own company were answered via live chat. Solutions from Samsung, Swyx, Huawei, Lancom, Deutsche Telekom, Teradata, Cisco, Dell, unify and enfore were presented.
Outstanding feedback from participants
Hagen Rickmann was very satisfied at the end of the conference: “This was a great start for our Digital X – Digital Edition. Completely virtual, without a physical audience and yet right in the middle of it all. I am impressed and proud that we can continue our initiative in this form”. The next Digital X – Digital Edition will take place on June 23rd. Another edition is planned for September 2020.