Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Relevant link of today: Contribution in FAZ about revolutions in the digital economy

There was a very interesting contribution from Shoshana Zuboff in yesterday's FAZ, one of Germany's leading daily newspapers. The article is called Die Vorteile der Nachzügler and encourages Europe to learn from negative results in North America and thus make best use of Europe's situation of lacking behind in some developments. Zuboff takes the theory and thinking of Schumpeter as her reference point and relates it to the current trends in the digital economy. Her main point is that there needs to be a clear balance between the interests of the customer and the new service or technology offered. And that this is often not the case when newcomers overrun the market with their offerings.

It is still available in the online edition of the FAZ and definitely worth reading. The English original called Disruptions Tragic Flaw is also available online.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Relevant link of today: Abhöraktivitäten des BND

In the German magazine Cicero's online edition of this week there is an interesting interview with a Berlin based German lawyer, Niko Härting, who went to sue the German secret service, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), because of their activities in spying the people and monitoring communication.

What is interesting in this interview is the information provided about the broad scope of activities world wide, also with other EU member states. Definitely worth reading.

Relevant link of today: A rational view on TTIP

In guest comment in the German national newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau (FR) Ulrich Grillo, president of the German Federation of Industry (BDI), gives a guest writer position on the need and the opportunities of TTIP and warns against painting negative pictures and horror stories.

The guest contribution is in German, available on the online edition of the FR under the title: "Schluss mit dem Märchen vom bösen TTIP" (Make an end to the fairy tale of the bad TTIP).

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Smart Industry - Driving Industrie 4.0 for all of Europe

It is almost two years ago that I published a blog post on Industrie 4.0 seeing it as a major challenge and new area for Europe to be addressed. Since then the topic of Industrie 4.0 got a lot of traction in Germany. There are reports about Industrie 4.0 in the German media almost every day.

Also a lot of excellent work has been done. The German Platform Industrie 4.0, which was initiated and supported by the three main German industry associations for Industrie 4.0, BITKOM, VDMA, and ZVEI, did major pioneering work in defining architecture principles, use cases, producing market insights. All future work in Germany and beyond is well positioned building on this work.

Regarding standardisation,  in Germany the DIN/DKE steering committee on Industrie 4.0 coordinates the ongoing work and gives key guidance. Moreover, globally many activities have started or strengthened in Internet of Things and M2M standardisation.

In the meantime a number of activities are also taking place in other countries in Europe as well as globally. The Industrial Internet Consortium, which was founded in the US and rapidly grew into an influential and highly agile global network, is moving on with high speed creating markets and preparing the ways for technology development and adoption.

The new European Commission has now also taken up the topic and is decided to promote it as a major area of interest for Europe. Following this strategy the topic of Smart Industry was one of the four major selected topic areas under discussion at last week's stakeholder forum DIGITAL4EU organised by DG CONNECT.

I had arrived in time in Brussels to follow the discussion which was excellent and much to the point. There was unanimous agreement in the room about the relevance of the topic for Europe and the need to lead. From my perspective: smart industry is clearly one of the main areas for the next decades for policy makers, industry and society. And will further transform the way we are working and operating in production, manufacturing, automation, down to consumer behaviour and opportunities regarding customisation of products and individual choice.

I am all excited about this to continue. The next step is to get things right: identify needs on the policy level so that industry can flourish and drive things based on identified market requirements. And for standardisation: the environment for successful global standards is available and good work is under way. All promising ... let's jointly work to make it a success for Europe.

New version of EU Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation available

Since middle of last week the new version of the European Commission's ICT Standardisation Rolling Plan is publicly available on the Commission website.

As the first year's version of the Rolling Plan this second edition was also developed in close collaboration of the European Commission and the ICT Multi-Stakeholder Platform. The result is a document that has much improved from last year's version being more inclusive, more comprehensive, better structured and - perhaps most importantly - being more clear on the proposed actions.

I can only encourage anyone interested or involved in ICT standardisation and in EU policy to take a look. I am sure this Rolling Plan 2015 will be interesting to you and provide major insights on the needs public authorities face regarding standardisation in support of the implementation of policy objectives.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Time to celebrate: 20 years of W3C

We all take it for granted to use the internet and to be sure that everything works and is inter-operable. So today is a perfect day to remind us that there is some smart and hard work behind that all - and a lot is based on global open standards, developed collaboratively and agreed in consensus.

The leading organisation for interoperability standards underlying the world wide web is W3C - the World Wide Web Consortium.

Today, W3C celebrate their 20th anniversary.  This is a great occasion to outline the high contribution of W3C to the digital revolution of the past two decades. Congratulations to W3C and all the best for continuing your great work to the benefit of the internet and the digital age.

Hurrah .......

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

UK government adopts Open Document Format standard for collaboration on documents


Yesterday the Minister of the Cabinet Office in the UK, Francis Maude, announced that the UK government adopts the Open Document Format (ODF) standard for documents that are presented for collaboration and interaction. Two other standards, PDF/A and HTML, are chosen for viewing government information.

I admire the UK government for this decision. ODF is the established standard for documents. It is used in OpenOffice , in LibreOffice, and also in Microsoft Office. Gone are the days of the battle about OOXML and the debates about ODF versus OOXML. That's the stuff of last decade. The UK government now made the step into the future direction supporting and requiring an open standard for document formats that is widely available and implemented in a number of competing products and solutions.

I wish other governments would be fast in following this example. With increasing online collaboration, with using Cloud technologies, with moving to increased automation, the use of ODF is the right move for promoting interoperability, competition and choice.

I have been using ODF implementations for many years now. I am working with odt, odp and ods files on a daily basis. I am highly satisfied – and I am sure that clear decisions in favour of ODF will push further innovation around ODF.

So great news from the UK. I hope they will spread fast and wide.