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IDC European ICT Forum: Enterprise 2.0 Draws 600 Attendees to Berlin

(PresseBox) (Berlin, ) More than 600 attendees from across Europe followed the theme "Enterprise 2.0 — Capitalizing on Convergence" at this year's European ICT Forum, which took place in Berlin from September 10 to 11. The forum also saw Swedbank, the U.K. Met Office, and Fondazione Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori receive the annual IDC EMEA 2007 Award for ICT Innovation. The award recognizes organizations that have substantially improved their competitiveness and business results by applying information and communication technology to product and process innovation.

IDC also presented new survey findings on convergence, Enterprise 2.0, and Green IT attitudes and adoption. Pim Bilderbeek, vice president, European Telecommunications and Networking Consulting, IDC, and Martin Hingley, chief research officer, drew surprising conclusions in their presentations from over 1,000 interviews conducted with leading decision makers in Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, Spain, Denmark, Russia, and Spain. The adoption rate for Enterprise 2.0 will nearly double in the region in the next 18 months, the survey revealed. Up to 47% will use Web 2.0-based solutions to enhance internal collaboration, while customer service ranks second (31%) and 26% believe enhancing external collaboration will drive adoption the most. Only 11% of those surveyed see channel/partner communications as a main driver behind the new Web technologies.

The survey also shows that 67% see the convergence of IT and communications as the critical foundation for building the Enterprise 2.0. "Surprisingly, Spain, Denmark, and Italy are the early-adopting nations of Europe and will continue to show the highest adoption rates over the next 18 months, even ahead of the U.K. and Germany," said Bilderbeek. The survey also shows that adoption in the U.K. and Poland will increase at a quicker rate than in Germany. "Although 56% in Germany believe they are achieving the expected results after implementation, 'no user demand' is seen as the biggest barrier to introducing Web 2.0 tools."

Regarding the adoption of green IT, "Suppliers are engaging in 'extraordinary practices' above and beyond environmental legislation as part of their corporate and social responsibility strategies [CSRs]," said Hingley. "Addressing power efficiency, ethical supply chains, recycling, and cutting operational carbon emissions is at the heart of developing a green ICT agenda. A small but increasing number of European users are investigating their suppliers' CSR strategies before making purchasing decisions, but we believe these topics will be top of mind in the coming year."

The two keynote speakers at the forum — Don Tapscott, chief executive of the think-tank New Paradigm and author of "Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything," and Andrew McAfee, associate professor at the Harvard Business School — share many of the same predictions detailed in IDC's survey. Tapscott went so far as to say that Web 2.0 is becoming a new mode of production that changes the way companies innovate and create goods and services. Social networking is becoming social production and companies embracing these technologies are becoming much more agile and innovative. He explained that Enterprise 2.0 ideas have been around for two decades, but they were "ideas in waiting" for today's technology, demographic, social, and economic revolutions. "The new enterprise is finally here," he said. McAfee even sees Enterprise 2.0 as having the potential to become a competitive differentiator for companies. "Enterprise 2.0 technologies are going to sharpen differences between companies, not make them more similar," he said.

Green IT, the way in which vendors and users consider the environmental consequences of computer and communications use, is another concept finding quick and widespread interest. Guest speaker and member of the panel discussion on green IT, Klaus Toepfer, former minister for environmental protection in Germany and executive director of the United Nations environment protection program, said regulatory pressures are responsible for making corporations more environmentally sensitive and therefore chances are good that green IT will become part of supply chain and production considerations.

Winners of the IDC EMEA ICT Award 2007

"Swedbank convinced the expert committee for its ability to develop and launch a complete business-to-business e-invoicing solution for ERP systems within only one year, leading to new revenue streams and improved customer intimacy and retention," said Frank Gens, senior vice president, research, IDC, and chairman of the IDC/IDG expert committee responsible for overseeing the award nomination and voting process. "Witnessing how the use of technology directly benefits human beings is always very exciting and therefore we are pleased to see that two award winners are also from the healthcare industry. The U.K. Met Office and Fondazione Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori (the Italian National Cancer Institute Foundation) provided innovative healthcare solutions improving patient care with easy-to-use, cost-effective, and safe use of technology."

· Fondazione Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori demonstrated a project that addressed both patient safety and cost- and process-efficiency. The Istituto's ICT department created a new, end-to-end blood transfusion tracking system in its Transfusion Centre and Allogenic Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit. The project aimed to develop a technology solution that would help avoid preventable errors related to blood transfusions. The project integrated three disconnected information systems (lab, clinical, and regional transfusion management systems), used radio frequency identification technology to track both blood bags and patients to ensure they match with each other, and provided mobile devices to medical staff to access this information any time. The new system makes transfusions safe by issuing a visual and acoustic alarm and halting the application if a conflict between the data read from the bag and the patient's wristband is detected. The system achieved 98% user adoption, and provided measured benefits in traceability, process efficiency, patient safety, and cost reductions.

· Swedbank, a leading financial institution, realized a business-to-business e-invoice exchange service within only one year. The system features customized solutions for sending and receiving invoices, integration capabilities with a range of customer ERP systems, and advanced messaging capabilities. The solution enables organizations to automate processes to replace labor-intensive manual handling of invoices. The potential return-on-investment is enormous as only 8% of B2B invoices are sent electronically to date. The European Association of Corporate Treasurers estimates potential cost savings in Europe of €243 billion including labor costs for manual processing of invoices.

· The U.K. Met Office has developed a model that correlates weather forecasts and their outcomes on certain diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The system automatically contacts and warns patients through automated voice phone calls with interactive voice recognition. In the previous (manual) process, only about 10% of the calls conducted by nurses reached patients. With the new, automated system, 85% of the patients were reached without taking away time from nurses dealing with patient care. The system led to a 52% reduction in admissions to the hospital. Medixine, a Finnish ehealth solution provider and co-owner of the solution, supplied the IT infrastructure.

For more information about IDC's European ICT Forum or the survey on convergence, Enterprise 2.0, and green IT attitudes and adoption, please contact Katja Schmalen on +49 (0)69/90502-115 or at