IT Events Blog 2016-2019
IDC Multicloud 2.0 in Copenhagen
On November 2019 IDC Nordic had their 2nd multicloud conference at IDA Conference on the Harborfront in central Copenhagen. This conference featured presentations both from vendors promoting their cloud solutions and from Danish company in the midle of a cloud transformation. As usual these even open with a status presentation from one of IDC's professional analysts, who is following this particular area: Multicloud. That the fact, that more and more companies use more than one cloud provider.
Before going on the content of the conference, then lest us clear about what a cloud is, when related to IT: It is huge datacenter where multiple customers share a pool of IT hardware as their need change over time located at a location with excellent internet connection, so everything can be managed and monitored from the companies main office.
Setting the Stage: Very is Multicloud heading?
Could IT be more professional in their marketing?
Have gemics seen the end of their useful life?
In September 2018 Safepark was invited to an event by a moderately sized Danish IT company, which after 1½ hour long sales pitch about featuring two to of the companies newest product and their usefulness for both large and small companies using IT, was followed by a 2 hour long showing of the new Danish movie "Journal64" based on Jussi Adler-Olsens book with the same title. We made the decision to accept the invitation, spend about a little more than half a day at this event.
Did it pay off? Well, the movie was good, and so was the coke and the popcorns.
The Sales Pitch
But the sales pitch on sophisticated software for scanning for so-called vulnerabilities and then record what actions you took on these vulnerabilities, was in our view unfocused because the presenter attempted to talk to everything from small business to enterprises to partners. The possible actions you could record ranged from ignore to escalate to the response team of the vendor supplying the software, which naturally had 24/7 teams - it appeared - sitting and waiting for your call. The scanning was based on a cloud based database the vendor maintained. Except for the fact, that the information about vulnerability was cloud based and there were an help button you could press, this to us appear much like how antivirus software of the nineties worked - except the vulnerability information was not updated in real time, but maybe ones a day or towards the end of the century maybe a few times a day.
The presenter assumed the audience was familiar with the company's products, and did not take time to explain the layout of the user interface, but started clicking buttons right away in the demo. Clearly not a good strategy for the broad audience.
Over the past five years Safepark have attended a number of different vendor presentations about this type of vulnerability scanning software, and while the frequency of updates of the vulnerability database has increased, there appear little innovation in the way the response is handled. That still requries an IT person to look as the individual vulnerability and decide what to do about it.
At this last event less than 100 persons had found it worth their time to get a free movie after a sales pitch. 4-5 years ago Safepark would attend 3-4 events every month from breakfast meetings to whole day miniconferences, and without much consideration about the host. Today we attend less than one event every month, and are were selective with which ones we attend. Invitations without a full detailed program is automatically declined. Can anyone remember the 90's when painting young ladies were a regular feature of IT events? So IT marketing has become more professional, but there is still a long way before the mantra, that you need to know your audience is fully understood, and we get rid af the IT versus the business talk.
Vulnerability Protection in the Linux World
At the event Safepark recently attended one attendee asked if the software was available for Linux and Android systems. The answer was that products for Mac were available. However, a quick search on the company web-site showed, that they also had a security product for linux. However, finding a description of this product was a bit more difficult. Furthermore the product was aimed at corporate customers.
It is no secret, that Safepark primarily use openSUSE Leap as there computing platform. openSUSE Leap and SUSE comes with AppArmor, which a kernel application, that allow you to restrict what a particular program can do. That requires some learning, but allows strict control of what is running on your system and what it can access. And the lastest version of openSUSE Leap installs AppArmor by default and activates 50 provifiles. Unfortunately equivalent software is not available in the Windows world.
SISCON Fall Conference in Copenhagen
A must, if you live with standards!
In the middle of September 2018 almost 200 persons gathered at Bella Center in Copenhagen for the annual SISCON Fall Conference with focus on soft issues in IT. SISCON is a Danish company created in 2004 which today still have just one product: ControlManager, which is focused on compliance. If you have to live with implementation and maintenance of more than one standards, at your company, then you should properly contact SISCON, because there ControlManager can properly make your adaption and maintenance less burdensome. Currently Safepark have seen ControlManager applied in connection with ISO 9000 - a series of standards on quality management, ISO 27000 - series of standards on information security, ISAE 3402 - a standard on assurance engagements, ISAE 3000 - a standard on assurance for non-financial information, and GDPR - EU's General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force on May 25th 2018.
Each of these standard has a number of areas, and in each area you have to define how that particular aspect of the standard is performed in your company. This requires the writting of some rules. And this is exactly were ControlManager comes in. You write rules directly in ControlManager, and if a rule is relevant for the implementation of several standards, then you just have to create it once. Similarily with your internal auditing activities to ensure compliance with the standards.
Usually the implementation of a standard is audited by external auditors or organisations at intervals measured in years, but your internal auditing should be at a higher frequency. The documents from your internal audit can then be used by the external auditor to verify compliance for a given standard.
During lunch at the conference Safepark had a change to talk with the SISCON development manager, and he told us, that ControlManager has been designed with translation to other languages in mind. So don't let the fact, that their website is in Danish stop you from contacting SISCON. Just send an email to CMO Camilla Bruun. The conference featured an opening and a closing keynote, and in between customers cases related to use of ControlManager in information security and in GDPR. Let us first tell you about the keynotes.
Cyber event at SONY
The opening keynote was "The sour old security officer speaks out.." by Ken Bonefeld Nielsen, who started his life with IT in the Danish Defence, and stopped as global security manager for Sony Mobile about six months ago. After stopping at Sony Ken Bonefeld create the company bonefeld.dk (appearently that domain is not currently active). Ken Bonefeld sat the tone, by stating that the current mobile infrastructure is simply not secure enough, since it rely to much on the judgement of the user, who cannot be expected to be familiar enough with the technology to judge whether an app is safe or not. Ken Bonefeld experienced the hacker attack on Sony Pictures and Entertainment a few years ago - an attack which almost destroyed that company. From his remarks it was clear, that learning from the mistakes / accidents of others also lags in the IT field, just as in process safety within process industries like refining, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. As another question about the lack of infrastructure security Ken Bonefeld asked: How can you expect my old mother to know whether it is safe to click on a link? He also talked about the current bussiness model of providing free services in companies like Facebook and Google for access to all the user data, and the business opportunities in them.
UPDATE Today - Monday, September 24th the Danish media Version2 carried a story showing that the internet still is not safe enough, and which also showed why Google dropped "Will do no evel!" from their vision a few years ago. The story is about how Google earns large sums when eastern European and Russian criminals trick visitors to their website to click on innocent looking links. A Danish company lost 2000 € of their advertisement budget, because Google don't take web-site reliability into account when placing banner ads. That was the number or useless clicks the company experiences in a 24 hour period before the advertisement was stopped.
Describe an apple from the outside
The closing keynote was "Communication and awareness-raising activities" by journalist Thomas Uhrskov in which he gave us 7 communication advises:
- Grab the hand. Start your message "Dear ..."
- Give the receiver something. Start "I write to you because... "
- Drop arguments based on feelings. Show respect for the other person, with example: Two people A and B are to share 1500 DKK. A can propose a split, and B can decline the proposal. It B declines, then the money are lost.
- Measuring tape. Draft your message, and then reduce it by 30%.
- Don't scream. In written communication don't use ALL CAPITALS, cfr. Donald Trump, and don't use multiple exclamation marks, e.g. !!!!!!, cfr same Donald Trump.
- Be a detective and answer questions.
- Write facts. Opinions, ratings and background knowledge are not facts.
As an exercises on the later each participant was given an apple an asked to describe it without using opinions, ratings and background knowledge, but only observable features of the apple. Try that with your friends af a Friday evening dinner.
Customre experience with GDPR and ISO 27000
SISCON's fall conference also featured four costumer presentations: two on information security management and two on GDPR - EU's General Data Protection Regulation. As introduction to each group Jesper B. Hansen highligted relevant aspects of ControlManager.
The first customer to speaker was Teracoms Quality Manager Bo Skadkær with the præsentation "Showdown with silo thinking when compliance melts together" about the company's experience with using ControlManager in the process of ISO 27001 certification. His presentation was followed by "Information security has turned into a sport" by CTO at Herobase Kenny Adreasen. Kenny's messages were: a) sell your idea, b) 30 heads think better than 1, and c) May 25th is the beginning, and not the end. This was followed by Birgitte Uggerhøj from the Danish bank, insurance and pension company Alm. Brand with the presentation "A culture-based change project" about their inplementation of GDPR using change experts in 1600 employee distributed organsations. Finally CEO Berit Didriksen from Epinion talked about "Management-based GDPR implementation in 6 months with CEO at the helm", in a rather maverick based organisation.
Customer eXperience Optimisation
- was the headling - what was the take home?
At the end of January 2018 Safepark attended Computerwolds "Get succes with customer experience" (Dansk: "Få success med customer experience!" - well a proper Danish title would be something like "Få succes med kundeoplevelser!").
The event toke place at Dansk Erhverv's facilities in King Christian IV's old trade mart build at the northern edge of Copenhagen in the 1620's by builder Hans van Steenwinkel, who also built the large church at Slangerup. It was build to be a trading place, and the large hall for this CXO event therefore had a ramp to easily bring supplies into trading stands in the building. Today the building is owned by the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) and used for conferences and meetings of all sizes. Until 1974 the building housed the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.
The event were arranged by Computerworld in collaboration with Dansk Erhverv og Reach Media, and the financing was provided by Adobe, BrainsBusiness, Microsoft, Miracle, Nodes and NPS Today. These companies also provided speakers for half of the talks on the agenda.
Adobe opens up to keep loyal customers
Imran Afzal opened the conference the talk "The Science behind customer loyalty" ("Videnskaben bag kundeloyalitet"), Adobe Marketing Manager in the Nordics. He called the present time for the "Experience Business Wave" and stated it was necessary to "Make Experience Your Business" quoting from among other sources from Goldsmidth's report "Reinventing Loyalty: The New Loyalty Experience" published last year on behalf of Adobe. From this report it was clear that among 65+ years the Nordics have the highest digital involvement, and the Nordics also scored highest on the importance of convenience. The latter should not be a surprise given the availability of mobile broadband in the Nordics. However in creating a good user experience 4 things are important according to Afzal: Context, design, timing (milliseconds) and integration. Imran mentioned 3 examples of innovative marketing: Mercedes Benz connect me, SAS with experience outside the airplane trip itself, Adidas Glitch design and marketing by community. Mercedes want to be more that just a car seller, SAS want to be more than just an airplane operator, and Adidas drops the big marketing campaign for community involvement in design and marketing at much reduced cost. As far as AI, then Imran suggested, that it would automate many manual processes in the marketing departments and hence make the daily job easier. Personally I think AI will go much further and help transform marketing from aiming at groups to aiming at individuals.
Airtame has made an enterrprise version of Chromecast
The second speaker was Jimmy Uxunov from Airtame, which provide tools - software and hardware - to wirelessly stream a screen to an HDMI port. So much like Chromecast, but with more security. The company was founded in 2013, and their device sells for around 2000 DKK versus 300 DKK or 600 DKK for a Chromecast unit. They started being a crowdsourced company, but had to disappoint their initial sponsors, and switch to a B2B business model. Today the company has 60+ employees, and wants more. Their key learning with respect to customers experience were:
- Don't be afraid to ask for feedback. And if you can't be the best guy on the block, then a least try to be the friendliest by providing fast and knowledgeable answers.
- Internal communication is as important as external.
- Communicate personally.
- Show appreciation.
Before you seriously jump up, and buy an Airtame, then you should consider if you really need the extra functionality the device provide beside the Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra. For example, do you really need to share the whole screen, or is your need satisfied by sharing a browser tabs? I know our answer to this question.
After these two presentation the conference switched to two tracks. One on digital commerce, and one on mobile and apps. Safepark choose to follow the latter track. For this we moved to the library, where one of the walls featured the picture to the right.
The first presentation on the mobile and apps track was by NPS.Today. This is company which specialize in providing a single question to a customer or employee for feedback. For example after a visit to a hospital or a store, then you could get an SMS with a link to a web-site on which you answer a question of the form "On a scale going from 1 to 10, with 10 being best. How well did we serve you today?" and as a follow question "What would it take to move us to a higher score?" Results are analyzed in real time and displayed on a screen as they come in. The biggest challenge for new users is the single question, which is quite a change from the pages you receive from hospital after a short visit to a clinic. However, the technology allows the company to quickly follow up on outliers, e.g. exceptionally good or bad ratings by a phone call. So NPS.Today challenge you to think about the need for many questions to get feedback, or if one is enough to start a conversation. NPS.Today had talking their client Moment - a company that connect engineers and others with jobs - along to provide customer experience feedback. Moment had started to use NPS Today for customer feedback, but now also use it internally.
Jonas Berntsen from MapsPeople followed by talking about their quite exciting last few years. One take home from Jonas presentation is the following question about a potential new employee: "Is this someone I would like to sit next to during the company Christmas lunch?" (Julefrokosttesten). If the answer it NO, then the candidate is properly not a good cultural fit. MapsPeople has their roots in the time for analog maps, and almost went bankrupt 3-4 years ago and reduced their staff to just 7 persons. Today they are a Google Maps partner specializing in inddoor maps using Google's technology and gearing up to deal with annual revenues above 1 billion. Later this year Jonas moves to Austin, where the leading Google Maps people are located. MapsPeople provide customable maps for sites with many visitors (If you have few visitors, then such maps are free) and indoor maps, e.g. for CPH and universities, also based on Google Maps, and they have the same philosophy as Google: aim high!
The final presentation before lunch was from Eva-Maria Færgemann Nielsen, who is UX consultant (I really hate titles with abbreviations) at Nodes. Nodes provides app development using the Sprint approach developed at Google Ventures, and naturally distributed copies of the book. Sprint is a five day approach to get from idea to answering the question: "Does it work?" with a first prototype. Eva-Maria had a bit of challenge giving a talk in Danish with slides in English. For example if you have slides in English and your talk is in Danish, then the more professional speaker would translate an English quote on a slide to Danish as she read it.
The afternoon started with Morten Aagreen from Telia talking about their culture change in moving from the old waterfall model to agile in IT development as they created "MIT TELIA". He stated it was not only the development of the new selfserve platform itlself, which was important reap the benefits, but the fact that customer service explained to each caller what they could accomplish themself on the new selfserve platform. However, when Safepark attempted to find "MIT TELIA" on Google the first Telia page we landed on had nothing about "MIT TELIA", but many phones for sale. So it appears the integration with the legacy system could be improved.The following two presentation were not our cup of tea. Natasha Friis Saxberg appeared more like a talkative author that a digital strategist in her talk "Become a winner - understand digital behavior". Many empty words delivered at a speed without time for afterthought. We had expected much more from the title of Julie Lind Mikkelsen's talk: "What do you offer unexpected customers? - Create intelligent customer experiences with advanced technology". At the very least what Microsoft offers unexpected customers, but maybe they don't encounter this type of customer? We have also come to expect, that someone with the title of "group lead ..." can deliver a half hour talk without using cue cards. Remember: YOU are the most knowledgeable person in the room about YOUR topic.
Chat in front of artifical fire becomes... Yes: artificial!
We honestly missed the purpose of having Imran Afzal from Adobe and Julie Lind Mikkelsen from Microsoft sit in front of fireplace picture and chatting about the collaboration between Adobe and Microsoft. They did this at a customer experience event, without talking about what customers could expect from the collaboration. We would call this a missed opportunity. At the end of the talk the person I sat next to noticed "needs are aroused, they are not created". His background was selling clothes and selling homes.
To summarize the take home: for feedback ask just one question at the right moment, engage community as never before in design, development and marketing - and save money, and needs are aroused - not created. And then there were also Julefrokosttesten! - And not to forget the book about Sprint.
Message from CXO Directions: Start using AI!
- The biggest challanges in the year ahead
Today Safepark attended this years edition of IDC Nordics CXO Directions event at the IDA Conference center in the Copenhagen Harbor area. IDC's chief analyst Frank Gens opened the conference by outlining the coming years most important challenges for IT business leaders. Naturally the focus was on what IDC call the 3rd Platform: cloud, social, mobil, and big data analytics. This year with added focus on AI, robotics and 3D printing.
After a day with focus on IT, which naturally use electricity as an energy source, it is refreshing to get ouf from the conference room, and discover, that there is still technology, which don't use electricity, such as these bicycles parked outside the conference venue.
In his opening presentation Frank Gens mentioned 5 things, which he thought required focus in 2018: 1) Se the Big picture, i.e the 3rd platform and the DX Economy, 2) From "Cloud Frist" get quickly to "Cloud Mostly", 3) Master the enablers of multiplied innovation, 4) Reinvent enterprise IT: The DX platform, 5) Restructuring of IT and every industry. He ended his presentation with a quote from Bill Joy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems: "No mater who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else".
The second speaker was CIO of 2017 in Denmark Torben Kjær from the engineering consultancy conglomerate Rambøll. He explained how the company within a relatively should time shifted from IT development following the waterfall model to agile IT development. In the middle of 2017 the company was completely agile, the last project executed after the old waterfall model went live just before Christmas 2017. During the transition the business strategy and the digital strategy became one, Torben Kjær gave control of daily operation to someone else, and IT moved from being country specific to be global. IT also required the CIO to take an aktive role the business strategy definition, and that you have a solid and efficient IT operations.
The mornings third speaker was Peter Sommers from IBM. IBM - in my view - have always been very good at marketing, and I was not disappointed yesterday. IBM had Watson analyze each participants LinkedIn profile picture and also analyze participants public profile on LinkedIn and facebook, and In the presentation Peter Sommers also told us, that the did a prototype for Finanstilsynet in which Watson read 200 pages reports form financial institutions in Denmark and scored the compliance with Danish regulations in just 15 seconds. In the past analysts at Finanstilsynet used many hours to fil out the same score card. Now they can used the result provided by Watson to dig down into problem areas directly. Four other use cases were provided.
To the left is the result of Watson's personality analytis of my profile picture on LinkedIn (I don't have a professional presence on facebook). Watson certain, that I am a male, but less so on me being a person of age 65+ or an adult, and it a toss up whether or not I am a professor (I was employed at DTU for 20 years).
IT software for advertiser and IT and enterprise IT hardware in a box
The morning featured two presentations from very different types of companies. First Adform, which develops enterprise solutions for advertisers and agents and has the challenge of processing many transactions in real time - much like in stock trading, and Nutanix, which sells complete enterprise IT systems in a box including compute power, storage and networking. All you have to do is basically supply the electricity. The final presentation of the morning was by Kenneth Messerschmidt from Top-Toy, who in saw a perfect storm hitting them in the spring of 2015. At the time company IT systems were quite old with dating to the early 1980's and often in-house made. Those systems were replaced with a modern standard ERP system in less than two years to provide a more agile company with more focus on customer experience. For example if a customers comes into a store and looks at a small trampoline, then the store employee can on her iPad show the customer, that they also have larger trampolines, and that these can be ordered either online or in the store, and delivered directly to the customers home. (As BR closed about a year later, shows this was too little too late).
Weeam provide backup and restore of your Microsoft infrastructure
The afternoon started with presentations from Veeam, who provide systems to quickly restore operations after a disruptive event, and Celonis, which perform analysis of company processes based on existing data. Weeam creates a backup in Microsoft Azure Cloud or another cloud. They provide a free backup agent for a number of operating system, e.g. windows and several linux distributions among them openSUSE. The third speaker of the afternoon was Mikael Munck, who started as an entreprenør and then became CIO at Saxo Bank, but now is back as an entreprenør at 2021.AI, a company which aim to package leading open source AI software, such as Google's Tensorflow, so these tools become usable by ordinary company employees. The company describe themself as an IT technology provider. However, reallity is, that initially they also need to help companies develop the necessary models.
Arla: IT at a milk company can also be interesting
The CIO of Arla Torben Fabrin closed the day by talking about creating the future diary through agile experimentation and and digital technologies. Their first agile development was development of an app for their farmer owners. Through this app was able to supply their farmer owners information about the milk they delivered just fours hours after the milk was picked up at the farm. This allowed the farmer to quickly adjust feed to impact millk quality. Before the app the information was delivered to the farmer on a piece of paper the next - a 20 hour delay in action.
Anders Elbak: Use AI or be out of a job in two years!
Anders Elbak of IDC summarized the day left us with a picture of legacy and heritage IT as represented by the picture on the left. The tmajor take home message from this edition of IDC's CXO Directions is: If you are a CIO who don't use AI within the next years, then you properly would end up as a CIO without a job.
Open Source Community Day in Copenhagen
- lag of professionalism
In March 2019 Safepark attended an Open Source Community Day 2017 in Copenhagen. The venue for this Community Day was Metropol's Campus Nørrebro on Siggurdsgade 26 about one block north of Copenhagen University's Science City. A ticket to the event set you back 200 DKK, and for that price you received admission to three tracks of lectures and a T-shirt with sponsor logos on the front and the event logo on the back. The precious time we participated in a community day was in 2011, and then a ticket cost you 250 DKK. However, at that time the ticket also included lunch. So it is easily arguable, that the price is unchanged since six years ago, since yesterday we spent 50 DKK on lunch.
When we arrived at the reception just before 10 AM things were a bit chaotic. I showed an enlarged version of the bar-code on the Ticketmaster ticket to the receptionist, and was told that the computer system was down. She then attempted to manipulate the display of my ticket while I was holding the phone in order to find my name in print on the ticket. Eventually she found my name, and then wrote my first-name by hand on the two sides of the A6-sized badge, folded the paper, and inserted it into a badge holder. While handing the badge holder to me, she asked what size T-shirt I needed. I didn't hear her asking for my name in either Danish or English, and why should we specify our T-shirt size on the registration information, when that was not used. The friend, who accompanied me, was treated differently by another receptionist. He just told the other receptionist his name, and then she search for an already printed badge with that name on the counter next to us. She found a badge with his name, and gave it to him.To me this looks like a broken access control system. At past community days the bar-code on the event ticket was scanned electronically, and the automatically triggered printing of badge with name, wifi-information and ticket for T-shirt, ticket for lunch, etc. which were handed to the guest. Other volunteers handed badge holders to guests, and others again handed out T-shirts. I wonder what happened to the label printers used just two years.
It seemed like prior to this years event there had been no thoughts about the workflow in the reception area. That resulted in an image of lacking professionalism. Professionalism is something we have become used to at past community days in Copenhagen. This impression was re-emphasized a few minutes later at the coat room. There were three people manning the coat room, but two of them were talking to each other without paying any attention to customers. So quickly there was a line up.
I can't avoid looking for safety issues, when I visit a new place. Thise sockets are located in the middle of tables at which students and other guests to the facility sit an eat their lunch and drink coffee or soft drinks. There is no edge between the table surface and the sockets surroundings. I looks like any spilled liquid would run directly into the plugs. It was tempting to pour some water into the sockets, just to see what would happen. However, I leave that experiment for the next curious visitor to Metropol.
Community Day Program
The days program consisted of 3 parallel tracks starting with a keynote at the opening of the conference at 10 AM and another keynote at the closing of the conference at 5 PM. The rest of the day there were 3 parallel tracks and after each track there were a 20 minute break. So there were amble time to visit the exhibition area for a chat. However unfortunately the track host failed to remind the guests, that they should visit the exhibition area and talk to the vendors.
As far as we remember past community days had the organisation leader open the event, by introducing her or himself, thanking sponsors, and volunteers, and welcoming attendees. I didn't see this happening at this years event. I think this is unfortunate for the OSD image.
Most presentation slots were 40 minutes long, which to us indicate, that there is sufficient time to give a well thought out and well structured presentation. Unfortunately too many presenters have not thought about what the used should take away from the presentation or what actions they wanted the attendees to take after they got home. This meant, that many failed to promote what the had to offer. Here is the community day program with the presentations, which we choose to attend, shown in orange:
Open Source in Municipalities witomplete lag of visual impact
I opening keynote talk was titled "How Danish municipalities use open source to drive development and cooperation" by Rasmus Frey, who is the daily coordinator for this cooperation about development of open source solutions for municipalities. The speaker told us what the top level technologies were, i.e. JIRA, Github, www and OS2Cloud. JIRA is a service desk developed and marketed by Atlassian. I believe, that OS2 is using JIRA Software for project and issue tracking. You can try it for free, but the software does not appear to be open source. Github is free for public and open source project, but also offer storage for others for a fee. OS2 currently have 12 product, which can be freely download from their Github storage, and they have 8 active project. Unfortunately absolute no screen shots of any of the products were shown in the keynote, and no information were given about the underlying technology, e.g. that os2dagsorden use Drupal. I mention os2dagsorden because this sound like a product, which could be of use to many small organisations, such as e.g. patient support groups, and developers could be insterested in making a Typo3 version of this facility. I think the presenter should have thought a bit more about what the audience take away from the keynote should be, e.g. this type application looks like something my organisation could also benefit from, and secondly what actions he encourage people to take for a better understanding of OS2 and their products and projects, e.g. take a look at os2indberetning if your organisation have many employees driving around the country as sales representatives. Again os2indberetning looks to be something other organisations could also use, and hence open source developers could be interested in developing a similar product for use by private companies. Caveat: I have as of this writing not done any work to see if the mentioned two products already have equivalents in the open source community.
Lag of focus on extending open source developed by government agencies
The second part of the mornings keynote was by titled "Developing open source geospatial software in a governmental agency" by Kristian Evers. Basically he mentioned three programs developed by the organisation, which he is part of DHMQC, MALSTROEM and as well as use of PROJ.4. We did see some screenshots in this part of the talk, as well as pictures of output. However, there seem to be a lag of how can the audience as open source developers take the products devleoped by Evers group and extend them to moneymaking private enterprise products?
We believe it would have been better if all the time of the keynote was used by the first presenter, and the second presenter was given a 20 minute slot in track 2 or 3 at another time during the day.
privacyIDEA - If you don't know what to use your time for
After the keynote we attended Cornelius Kölbel's presentation "Tow factor authentication with open source project privacyIDEA". Why should I go through the trouble of deploying this open source system and maintaining it in stead of relying on a third party service? Neither was the question "Is someone providing privayIDEA as a service?" that I can subscribe to just like VPN-services. Clearly Cornelius knows the technology, but after the presentation I was thinking: Why should we spend time on this and not just use Google's services?
The last presentation we heard before lunch was titled "Is Linux Desktop security worse than Windows 10?" by Hanno. He talked about using technology like ASLR and PIE, which have been in the Linux kernel since version 2.6, to avoid that programs run in the same address space every time. This will make it more difficult to exploit automatic downloads on access to a site. He mentioned, that he did not know how far openSUSE was with this fix. However, today I discovered, that the chair of openSUSE responded to this question in February by stating, that a lot of work had already been done, but that it is unfortunately not complete yet, and then promissed, that he would speed things up.
Example of when not to talk at an open source community day
After lunch we first attended Bo Simonson's presentation "Kopano - sharing & communication software for business". Kapano is basically an open source groupware tool forked from Zarafa. Unfortunately Bo failed to convince me to try Kopano, because at several points during the presentation and in quenstions period, he indicated there were features in Kopano, which he did not use. That is not a good response, when you are attempting to get people to try something new and different. The second presentation after lunch was "(Lack of) Cryptographic Security of NemID, Dankort, and Mobilepay" by Thue Janus Kristensen. Thue had a point about the NemID login screen not indicating, that your attached to Nets' servers during the login process, and there is no indication of this on the screen. Unlike the Google Login popup. However, we are not certain why Dankort and MobilePay are mentioned in the title, since they are quite different technologies from NemID, and I don't really see the connection between the three. Thue unfortunately did not have content for a 20 minutes presentation, and his statements were unsubstantated and taken apart by the audience.
The Tor people know what it is about
The community day finished by two excellent presentations. First Georg Koppen's "Surfing the Web over Tor with Tor Browser", during which we learned that privacy technology from the Tor Browser is being implement in the main Firefox Browser, which the Tow Browser is based on. This has already happened with code in version 52 of the Firefox Browser, and is also planned for version 59 of the browser. The Tor Browser allows you to surf the internet through the Tor network of servers, so all the destination can see about you is, that you came from the Tor network, but not which computer you entered the Too network with. Naturally such technology can be misused with criminal intend. Georg also told us, that a Tor Browser for Android is under development.
The final talk of this open source day was not about software, but about hardware. Alicia Gibb gave an excellent presentation about "Open Source Hardware".
Value for money?
Overall it appears, the organizers were less prepared than at past Open Source Community Days in Copenhagen. Maybe that reflected on the speakers, who where also appeared less prepared, than at past events. If OSD is to survive, then both organizers and speakers need to come to the community day better prepared. If the Business Day was of similar quality, then it would have been a disaster. There was also to be a speakers corner for impromptu talks, but without any slide presentations. However, there were no pre-announced talks, as at previous community days, and there were no facility to show slides. That makes technical talks a bit of a challenge. Although most of us coped with that 40 years ago. It appeared as if the people at the reception and the coat room were hired as a group, and the organizers didn't have volunteers for these positions. We noticed quite few of the leaders and organizers from past community days.
A decision to attend next year is dependent on better speakers, better organizers and organisation, and better facilities for impromptu talks (speakers corner).
Cognitive Computing in focus at IBM Business Connect
at Tivoli Hotel & Congres Center in Copenhagen
Safepark attended this years IBM Business Connect due to Niels Jensen's involvement with Lyle - Patient Support Group for Lymphoma, Leukemia and MDS in Denmark and partly due to our involvement with a intelligent operator support system being developed in collaboration between a research group at DTU and a Norwegian company involved in off-shore platform control system development. It turned out to be well worth our time.
IBM partner with American Cancer Society - Perspective for Denmark?
Earllier this year IBM's CEO announced at the World Health Care Congress a partnership between IBM and American Cancer Society to provide personalized support for cancer patients and their relatives using the capabilities of IBM Watson (read the announcement here.).
We would dearly want Kræftens Bekæmpelse (Danish Cancer Society) to enter into such a collaboration with IBM Denmark. Unfortunately this requries Watson to speak Danish, and this is currently not one of IBM Watson's capabilities. However, thanks to GapGemini in Norway we know know, that it took about 4 months for IBM Watson to learn Norwegian, and if the recently announced IBM Innovation Center in Copenhagen is to be a success, then IBM Watson must speak the local language - I think. Well, that was a sidestep.
Novo Nordic in Big Data collaboration with IBM
Already the opening keynote feature two presentations from IBM customers in Denmark, who are already using the cognitive capabilities of IBM Watson in the businesses. The first were Novo Nordisk who in the new world of IoTT have to cope with data not from 1000 or 2000 patients involved in a clinical trial, but in near future with data from millions of connected diabetic patients. These data most be handled securely, and the data most be turned into insight to help the patients. The second were ISS, who wont to use IoTT to provide facility management for building. As an introductory case and - I guess - a demonstration windows the company's headquarters in Copenhagen have been transformed using IoTT. As an example can the cafeteria manager in real time monitor how many clean plates are left, and a reservation of a meeting room in which no movement is detected can automatically be chancelled a certain time after the meeting should have started.
IT at the Roskilde Festival secure availability of sandwiches and toilets
Following the keynote there were two times two parallel sessions. One was about product development, when data are the new co-worker. In this session a CBS professor talked about their involvement with the Roskilde Festival and how they used data from mobile phones to plan logistics of everyting, from when to be ready to serve 2000 pork sandwiches an hour to when to empty toilet containers. In the same session another company explained how they used wheather data to close sewer lines during major rainstorms to avoid sewer water in basements. This technology was originally developed for single family phones, but are now being adapted to apartment buildings. Other sessions during this part of the day focussed on cognitive technology as a catalysator, 2. generation digitalisation and technology & innovation.
IBM assist health care in Finland
The afternoon featured 2 tracks of up to nine parallel sessions. One was cognitive business of which a large part was health care. Here we learned about a recent partnership between IBM and Tekes in Finland to apply the IBM Watson technology to completely change health care in that country over the next few years. We asked if IBM Watson had been used to evaluate medical images, such as X-ray scans, CT-scans and MRI-scans, and got a rather weak answer. After the session we learned from another IBM co-worker, that IBM Watson is being trained to evaluate X-ray scan, which are simpler than the other types of medical images. We also attended a session hosted by BP3 Global on Smarter Process in which they cleverly had create a complaint handling system with the aid of IBM Watson in order to get us started thinking about the ethical issues and legal issues in employing cognitive technology.
The Internet connected human: Neil Harbisson
The afternoon ended by a talk by Cyborg Neil Harbisson, who has an antenna connected to his brain. The implant convert colors to frequencies of different sounds.The technology actually allows him to perceive both infrared and ultraviolet areas of the spectrum.The day was wrapped up by wrap-upper Per Vers with a ten minute tour de force of what we had experienced during the day.
"Big Data" at Scion DTU
the latest IT buss word or a business tool?
Here at the start of the fall Safepark attended a morning seminar at Scion DTU title "Big Data for professionals" in order to get some feeling for what this latest IT buss word really mean. We got away somewhat disappointed - but maybe we are not professional enough to get the message. One of the first slides (see picture to the left) gave the following definition of Big Data: "The practices and technology that close the gab between the data available and the ability to turn that data into business insight". That was wonderful! Now we know, that Big Data consist of two things: practices (skills) and technology.
Unfortunately the focus of the presentation was on examples of the practices and technology you could buy as a service from vendors such as IBM.
We had expected - given the location of the presentation - that we would get away with some knowledge of the underlying technology, such as Hadoop to handle large datasets, and the statistical tool "R" to get answers to specific questions our of the data. We did get some information about in memory databases, such as SAP Hana and Microsoft SQL, but no information about open source alternatives such as Redis, SQLite or UnQLite for capital constraint startups. We also heard about the business model behind IBM Watson, and some examples of its capabilities. It was mentioned, that IBM Watson could act as an intelligent assistant for a doctor - or if they don't want such an assistant - as a for-a-fee cloud services for individuals. We look forward to hear more about the capabilities of IBM Watson at IBM Business Connect next month.
Hardware Breakfast at Scion DTU
Safepark attended a Hardware Breakfast at Scion DTU in Kgs.Lyngby on the DTU campus just north of Copenhagen. Hardware Breakfast is a new event at which Scion DTU shows prototype and hardware products in development by some of the startup companies, who take advantage of being close to DTU - one of the largest engineering universities in Northern Europe.
At todays event more than 20 startups showed and demonstrated their products, and Scion DTU explained that hardware focused startups today account for about 50% of the companies in DTU's Sciences and Technology Park.Here just a few of the companies will be mentioned. For a complete list go to the Scion DTU homepage.
Fluidan is a company which focus on making equipment for real time rheology measurements for use in online process control applications. They demonstrated their liquid rheometer at the event, but told that they also have a prototype which can perform the equivalent of a melt index measurement of plastic. For more information take a look at the attached brochure or go to the company website. The technology, which this company is developing is something, which one of us dreamed about when developing online multivariable control for a polyethylene reactor based on infrequent process samples and laboratory measurements of melt index and density.
Jakob Andersen from MASH Biotech shared some diagrams, which he had created about the collaboration opportunities available at DTU. We have attached a copy as a PDF-file, and one of the diagrams is shown to the left. This diagram shows what your DTU collaborators expect to get out of the collaboration.
3D imaging of your eye
Another startup OCTLIGHT worked on a prototype for 3D imaging of your eye for quick and better diagnosis of eye problems. Their aim is to develop a devise, which can be used by either a local eye doctor or your GP. Naturally the company already collaborate with the leading eye specialist in the Copenhagen area. Remote sharing of the 3D image during diagnosis of rare diseases is also being considered.
Also displayed at the Hardware Breakfast was sensor build into a wall, color coating of titanium objects, use of oxygen-15 in medical scanning, and a chimney for improved burning in wood burning stoves. LED iBOND innovative use of LEDs both for retrofit of old lamps and for better industrial lighting was also impressive. I wonder if this technology could be made safe for use as outdoor lighting in refineries and chemical plants? I am thinking of new internals for existing lamps - not replacing old lamps with new ones. Retrofitting a large facility could potentially save significantly on the lightning bill, and possibly contributed to a safer workplace during night hours.
Safepark can highly recommend, that you go to Scion DTU website, and subscribe to their newsletter. Then you will be informed about the next free events - and some events - as the one today - are in English. Below are PDFs of some of the brochures we picked-up.
Can project-work be done smarter?
At end of January 2016 Safepark attended a seminar a the local office of Projectplace, a Swedish company founded in 1998 and taken over by Planview - a Texas based company - in 2014. Projectplace has one product, which is a project collaboration tool, which makes it easy to share ideas and progress among members of a project-team, and also discus ideas with other team members without having to cope with a flood of emails.
The title of the seminar which we signed up for was "How can you build qualified portfolio mangement and effective project-teams in one and the same solution". by Patrick Kjellin,who has the title of Solution Marketing Manager. Unfortunately he could not come, and in his place came Karolina Jackson-Ward, who is product manager for projectplace form the Stockholm office. That change clearly somehow influenced the aim of the seminar. So we are treated to a talk highlighting findings from two surveys done in Europe and Northamerican about issues with project collaboration. With projectplace your project documents are stored in projectplace clould solution. Some companies, who are uncomfortable with this, can store just links to documents hosted elsewhere.We were unable to find any information about encryption on the projectplace website. That is somewhat concerning with the focus on security these days.
Our reason for attending the morning seminar at Symbion in Copenhagen was our involvement in arranging meetings for patients with common disease. These meetings appear to follow the same pattern each time, much the project of publishing a periodical each months. Hence we thought that a project collaboration tool would be ideal. However, in our case the team members are mostly volunteers using their free time, and we came away from the meeting Friday morning thinking, that this team would not be happy with the somewhat top down approach to projects, which seems to be inherent in Projectplace, So we are stil looking for a tool to help streamlining our patient meeting projects. Something, which fits with our use of Google for Work would be good.
After the seminar we signed up for a free two week trial of projectplace, but quickly concluded that it was not the best tool for our volunteer teams. So we think project-work can be done smarter,but we are stil searching for the right tools.
A closer look at DX
Safepark participated in IDC's Conference Digital Transformation (DX) in Copenhagen at the end of January 2016. The venue was IDA Conference on the Copenhagen Harbourfront. The recently renovated facility featured a widescreen with "ambilight" all the way around the screen, which made it much easier on your eyes to look at slides during a full conference day.
The IDC conference host Trine Brøve did a wonderful job dealing with speakers being sick or sending a replacement. The conference opened with an IDC status by Frank Gens on the topic "Flipping the Switch: Leading the 3rd Platform and Digital Transformation to Scale". His key message in our view was, that DX must be CEO-led.
Views form major vendors - luring customers to stores or customized motorcycles
Two gentlemen from T-Systems by talking about customer projects under the title "Digital Transformation - attack your brand and business model". The most spectacular was a project for DB to predict the likelihood, that a given locomotive would fail, i.e. stop, unexpectedly within the next 5 days with a confidence of 85%. Then Jesper Schleimann from SAP talked on "Simplifying Digital Transformation - Make your business Digital - make Digital your business". Jesper told us about an app for customers of a particular shoe store, which offered special deals to their customers, when they entered a competitors store. The app started with an offer of 100% discount on their next pair of shoes, and then started a counter reducing the discount by 1% for each second elapsed, until the customer reached their store. The luckiest customer during the campaign got a rebate of 89%. He also told us, that Harley Davidson had completely changed to production to order. The time from customer finish a personalized design on the HD website until the motorcycle is finished has been reduced to just 6 hours. Jesper Schleimann further predicted, that the focus on big data would likely change to a focus on latest data, which demands here and now reaction. This raises the question of the reliability of data from IoT devices. The third speaker was Adam Baker from CA. He has recently moved from Sydney to Denmark with his Danish wife and 3 children, and started with some of digital challenges facing newcomers to our beautiful country, such as our NemID or the need for a local bank account. His experience with Danske Bank had turned him into a negative customers, because of differences in functionality between their Danish and English online banking facility. The title of his formal presentation was "The Digital Disruptors", during which we learned the new word: ideation.
Safepark had looked forward to hearing Jesper Ritsmer Stormholt from Google talk about "Digital Transformation as a constant driving force". Unfortunately he was sick. However, Google continue to make improvements in their import of Microsoft Word documents to Google Docs. In late September 2015 I received several chapters of my sons Ph.D.-thesis as Microsoft Word documents. Some with many illustrations. I immediately converted the documents to Google Docs. Unfortunately many of the illustrations were not correctly converted. However, several family members could still comment on the text and share these comments. Two months later I received the last chapters of the thesis, and when these were converted to Google Docs all illustrations were also correctly imported. So I converted the first chapters again, and their illustrations were also converted. This indicates, that when an import fail, it is looked at as a learning opportunity.
The second half ot the conference started with a presentation from a government agency on digitalization of public services, such as letters to citizens and the needed infrastructure. Following was two customer stories. One by Torben Ruberg from Falck on "New possibilities and business models with Digital Transformation", and one by a representative of Saxo Bank on "Being a positive driver of disruption - not only a survivor". During the later talk we learned that Saxo Bank provide their trading platform free of charge to users, but naturally hope to generate revenue from the transactions the users are executing. The value of the daily transactions handled by Saxo Bank is above 100 Billion dollars.
Conclusion: We learned most from mornings presentations, and would properly have lived fine with missing the afternoon. So not the best IDC event we have attended.
IDC Directions 2016
Where is IT - and derived technologies - headed in 2016 and beyond?
Safepark was privileged to participated in the 30th IDC Directions event in Copenhagen. IDC Directions has since 1986 been an event, at which leading IT people in Denmark gathered to hear the latest predictions about the developments in IT in the coming year and beyond. Predictions, which has always been based on the latest surveys done by IDC analyst both globally and in the Nordic area. Complete with anniversary cake.
After a welcome by IDC associate vice president Charlotte Poulsen did IDC senior vice president & chief analyst Frank Gems talk on 'The 3rd Platform is the building base for "Innovation Accelerators"' based on input from 1100 analyst worldwide he talked about 8 of the 10 identified mayor areas of interest in the coming year and the next 2,3 or 5 years.
Corporate strategy for digital transformation will be the norm
The largest of these trends is the CEO-led digital transformation will drive what is done in and with IT in the coming years. Already next year 2/3 of companies survey will have a corporate strategy as part of digital transformation. Such a strategy was recently announced by the CEO of the Danish pump company Grundfos. IDC has together with a major player developed a 5 step digital transformation maturity model against which companies can benchmark themselves and decide where they want to be. Frank Gems also stated, that by 2018 45% of IT budgets will be controlled by line of business executive - thus signaling a major change for the place of IT within companies.
Increased spending on the 3rd platform
The second trend was spending on the so-called 3rd Platform, which will grow to 50% of all IT-spending. Spending on the 3rd Platform appear to increase by 13% year over year, while spending on legacy systems decline by 4% year over year. Not surprisingly IDC predicts increasing focus on the Cloud as a core platform, with 65% of enterprise infrastructure and storage spending being cloud based in 2018. A result of this will be increased need for people with skills in monitoring and managing hybrid clouds.
Explosion in internet connected devices
A fourth trend was not surprisingly Internet of Things, or what IDC calls the intelligent edge. Already by 2018 they expect 22 billion connected devices rising to 30 billion already in 4 years time. All these devices will mean the creation of more than 200000 unique new apps within the next three years form apps monitoring how we brush our teeth to apps which allow our doctors access to infomation about our activity record including regular measurements of blood oxygen content and other paramters using wireless sensor technology. Essential tools to make this happen is found within Artificial Intelligence (AI), also called machine learning or cognitive everything. Most of this - about 60% - will be powered by four major players: Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft. Again people with skills in cognitive areas will be in high demand. We will also see an increase in the development of industry cloud platforms with industry specific app stores. This will also lead to new types of collaboration among companies earlier seen as competitors. Finally there will be increased focus on customer experience.
This talk was followed by IDC chief analyst Anders Elbak on "Marketing potential in the digital transformation in the Noridcs". He stated that 4 of 10 CEO's have digital transformation on the agenda, however the number one focus area in the Nordics is productivity and effectivety, This is - according to Anders Elbak - properly because DX is viewed as a tool. Anders Elbak also mentioned, that homeless people in Copenhagen selling "Hus forbi" - magazine published by the homeless - now accept mobile pay. Anders Elbak finished by stating, that DX is not a goal, but a means to achieving a goal.
The participants at IDC Directions was also offered an opportunity to developed a concept for one of the 200000 apps mentioned above. Each of six tables were giving a topic and 15 minutes to discuss the idea, before presenting it to the other participants in 30 seconds. It was interesting to see the creativity spoored by this exercise. I think such exercises, which only take about 30 minutes, should be part of more future events.This will help generally increase creativity.
The trend mentioned here will also impact process safety and process security specifically, but in general also the process industry. On example of this is the new pilot plant at Texas A&M University which use wireless sensors and controllers, and hence avoid a large amount of wiring. This kind of technology also make it much easier to reconfigure the control structure.
At the end of the half day event 13 predictions for 2016 were presented. We will know how that went at the start of 2017. The 3 best prediction from last years event each received a bottle of 30 year old rum. It turned out that, Niels got 12 of the 13 prediction correct, and was invited to attend the 2017 conference in person at the IDC Nordic offices in Copenhagen.