According to BrandZ 2015, which calculates and ranks the world’s 100 most valuable brands, technology companies are growing the fastest and leading all other categories (consumer & retail, financial institutions, commodities, telecoms...
Fresh perspectives – Luxembourg ISV and Start-up Summit
An exciting mix of start-ups and established ISVs from Luxembourg and the greater region took up Boost's invitation for this summit, held among the silent giants of a disused steel plant turned tech hub. 35 founders, partners, managers and officers from 17 companies assembled for a day packed with information and inspiration in the Grand Duchy's Esch-sur-Alzette Technoport. [embed]https://twitter.com/BoostBeLux/status/669435652350590977[/embed] After a warm welcome by our hosts, Eugenia Forcat and Candi Carrera, the keynote speech by Erik Kerkhofs set the tone: In our fast changing times, every company has become a software company by necessity, Erik told us. He illustrated this by pointing at the extreme end of the spectrum, where the world's biggest taxi company - Uber -doesn't own a single cab, and the biggest hotel chain - AirBnB - doesn't own a single room. [embed]https://twitter.com/eugeniaforcat/status/669442253656596480[/embed] But what does that mean for Microsoft and its relationship with ISVs and start-ups? Boost asked Erik during a coffee break: "We used to focus a lot on them and with the advent of Windows 8 there was a movement towards apps. We quickly learned that just focusing on the apps is not enough and that we needed to re-establish relationships with the people behind the apps, with the ISVs. That is not only important for us, but also for our customers." Luxembourg, in particular, offers a lot of opportunity. There are at the moment about 120 start-ups setting out here and we have the ambition to stimulate the start-up scene even further and go to 500." Leading the line-up of impressive guest speakers was Rosie Halfhead, "brand guru", as Eugenia introduced her - to which Rosie replied that, as a woman she was susceptible to flattery but would not call herself a guru but rather, "a practitioner" in the field. [embed]https://twitter.com/Rosie_Halfhead/status/669463804540006400[/embed] The importance of the brand is something that bigger companies are keenly aware of but that smaller ones often either do not fully grasp or do not see as affecting them too much. Using data from Millward Brown's 2015 BrandZ - Top 100 Global Brands http://www.millwardbrown.com/brandz/top-global-brands/2015 and insights from Marty Neumeier's book Zag, Rosie busted numerous myths and delivered plenty of food for thought. [embed]https://twitter.com/Rosie_Halfhead/status/669463804540006400[/embed] [embed]https://twitter.com/erikkerkhofs/status/669455059948806144[/embed] While brand is much more than just a logo and a name - it can be seen as the perception of your company and services by your customers and clients - both play an important role and should certainly not be misconceived. Read more about Rosie's take on branding in an interview which will be published here on this website very soon. Rosie's session was followed by Eugenia's presentation of what Microsoft can do for start-ups and ISVs. [embed]https://twitter.com/OrgavisionSarl/status/669458967316324352[/embed] Beyond the software platforms, Microsoft offers its partners co-marketing and co-selling, embedded in a strategy which aims to make the best use of its global as well as national network. From access to expert advice and insights - to stay abreast of the latest developments in the industry – to dedicated resources to grow and expand business, Microsoft’s Go-To-Market programs help increase the success of ISVs on the Microsoft platform. From theory we moved on to practice after lunch with Arnaud Marlière's testimonial about Awingu. Awingu http://www.awingu.com/ (the Swahili word for cloud), a company based in the Flemish city of Gent, provides software for assembling and accessing all your applications on any device via the cloud. Using Azure as its cloud platform, Awingu succeeds because it is simple and extremely user-friendly: while his competitors' software would generally need weeks to be installed on a client's system, Awingu can be up and running in just a few hours, Arnaud told us. [embed]https://twitter.com/Boostit_LU/status/669537235084156928[/embed] Among the company's clients are the Belgian federal police. They came to Awingu to sort out a problem they had with policing very big events like music festivals, of which Belgium can boast quite a few. Fans behaving badly could only be checked against the police's database at a major police station, not on site. With Awingu, the police now has all necessary information securely at their fingertips. The afternoon continued with an awe-inspiring demonstration of what Azure can do presented by Senior Technical Evangelist Jan Tielens. How to make a set of data come to life and yield the analysis you need, and how to tap into Microsoft's machine learning tools by using the Oxford Project https://www.projectoxford.ai/ were the main focus points of his presentation. [embed]https://twitter.com/Boostit_LU/status/669534686574747649[/embed] Some participants reported experiencing a certain apprehension on the part of their clients when it comes to the cloud. Guy Tescher, a partner at Microtis, a well established ISV that provides HR management solutions, told Boost that some of his clients, distrusting the cloud for fear of their data getting compromised, still insist on on-premises solutions. How safe is the cloud? This question, together with a look at privacy, regulation and compliance, was addressed by the last speaker of the summit, Microsoft Belux' Chief Technology Officer Bruno Schröder. [embed]https://twitter.com/Boostit_LU/status/669539485210800128[/embed]
Quoting Brad Smith, Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Officer, “Microsoft’s mission as a company is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. If we’re going to empower every person, we need to protect every person. We need to ensure every individual and organization has the ability to use technology that they can trust.”Microsoft’s cloud business is grounded in four commitments to governments, enterprises, consumers, and people around the world: 1. To keep their data secure; 2. To will ensure people's data is private and under their control; 3. To figure out the laws in each country and make sure data is managed accordingly; and 4. To be transparent so people know what we are doing. [embed]https://twitter.com/Boostit_LU/status/669547808366702592[/embed] Data privacy is however also depending to a great extent on how partners and customers handle it. And some precious advice is available in this report: The security cookbook for small and medium enterprises. Indeed privacy is important not just to Microsoft and its products, partners and customers, but to everyone who uses the Internet. And with those wise words, the Summit was closed, and participants were invited to discuss and network around some well-deserved refreshments. [embed]https://twitter.com/Medihoo/status/669565127562240000[/embed] Check Boost for ISV summits and other events in Belgium and Luxembourg that might interest you.
- Boost Team
- Estimated reading time: 6 minutes