Business Review Magazine organizes on Wednesday the seventh edition of the annual conference dedicated to technology, an occasion that brings together all the major players in the telecom field, innovators who change their industries using technology and solutions providers that prepare Romanian businesses for the future.
TRACK 1: Telecom innovations – the future of your business
Vangelis Karelis – senior manager, Network Services, Accenture Consulting: “Telco operators are working intensively to get ready for IoT and 5G.”
“Virtualization and on-demand services are coming in the last 7 years and is an ongoing trend,” said Karelis. “The need for capacity and bandwith pushes us to use multiple networks for the same service,” he added.
Catalin Buliga, chief technology officer, Vodafone Romania: Through virtualization we are offering services to clients so they don’t have to invest in assets.
“We invested to have the best network because that is the foundation,” said Buliga.
What I’m looking every time I have a break is on what our customers are telling us on our network and how the customers use their services with our network, he added.
“We are continuing to invest in customer-driven network performance,” said the CTO of Vodafone Romania. Buliga added that the regulatory framework is a challenge for telecom firms rolling out networks, suggesting that the approval chain on the authorities’ side could be streamlined.
5G brings two main ingredients – speed and very small delays, said the representative of Vodafone Romania. “Networks are already in the 4G plus range,” said Buliga. The CTO said that the customers of Vodafone Romania are already registering an improved experience of the services following the roll out of Supernet 4G plus.
“IoT will be the next big transformation across industries,” explained Buliga.
Mihai Tudor, head of service Quality & Efficiency Management, Orange Romania: “As a telecom operator, we are offering the whole mobile and communication services”.
“We are offering stability, flexibility and right price for the services,” he added.
“We are in the middle of a big transformation regarding customer experience,” said Tudor.
“We are moving more from network-driven to customer-driven,” said the Orange official.
5G will be for more a technology that will respond to market requests, it will be like an umbrella. 5G will be commercial somewhere around 2020. The virtualization will change our processes and way of working internally, said Tudor of Orange Romania.
Smart cities are big part of IoT, said Tudor.
Timos Tsokanis, chief technology and information officer, Telekom Romania: “We offer infrastructure as a service that you can grow, reduce or change on demand”.
We have software showing how to optimize network parameters in real time, added the representative of Telekom Romania operator. We keep spare capacity in the network to accommodate market trends, he added.
“5G will not happen overnight. It’s not just about speed, but it’s also self-transforming networks,” said Tsokanis of Telekom Romania. He added there will be a gradual upgrade to 5G.
“We are talking with 10 municipalities on doing similar pilot projects,” said Tsokanis, after presenting the first pilot project under the smart city concept developed in a district of Bucharest.
Dragos Spataru, head of Telephone and Mobile Communications Division, RCS & RDS: “We are trying to push on this to have this big data analytics working for us so as to identify what the problem is faster, implement AI to discover different patterns that can cause problems.”
“If Virtual Reality is a trend we will need to adapt to video streaming, for instance,” said Spataru.
IoT will impact industries that basically could not benefit of 5G, such as agriculture, said the representative of RCS&RDS.
TRACK 2: Technology driven innovation from non-tech companies
Teodor Blidarus, managing partner, Softelligence Romania: The financial services have attracted a lot of investment in the upgrade of technology.
FinTech is not a buzzword anymore – some USD 80 billion was invested in this area, he added. Established banks and insurance players are launching incubators for FinTech start-ups.
“I see FinTech and traditional banks and traditional insurance companies,” said Blidarus, suggesting they should work together.
Banks and insurance firms will move towards the management of risk, which is their core business, according to Blidarus.
Robert Anghel, head of Digital Channels at ING Bank Romania: “We have gotten over the era in which we were convincing clients to move to digital.”
The mobile app had between 30 and 40 releases and I don’t think you felt them, said Anghel. “11 percent of consumer loans we sell to new clients are through the digital channel,” explained Anghel.
The customers log in the mobile app 10 times a month, said the representative of ING Bank Romania.
The digitalization is over, we have to take advantage of the commercial potential in this area, said Anghel of ING Bank Romania.
Daniel Nicolescu, managing partner & co-founder, SymphoPay: FinTech uses software to improve financial services. In general, these are start-ups doing this and providing solutions for large corporates, so these firms can improve their operations.
We have a payment platform that allows us to integrate more banks on a single payment terminal of a retailer, said Nicolescu.
Ionut Munteanu, managing partner, WebDigital: At our firm, the Mondays are free and not for work. We are trying to be more creative in the four days of work instead of five, said Munteanu. 3 years ago we thought how to automate the Monday reports. Our company has 18 employees.
Andrei Blaj, research lead, Skin Vision: “We are trying to bring innovation in the area of health skin.” The company was co-founded by 2 Romanians and moved its HQ to Amsterdam and the firm is looking to expand in the US.
“New Zealand is one of the best markets for us,” said Blaj.
TRACK 3: Weaving new systems – people & data
Elisabeta Moraru, industry manager at Google Romania, said that the website acts as a seller for companies and the analytics tools are crucial.
Valentin Radu, chief executive officer, Marketizator: “In 3 years we have attracted 12,000 users on our platform.”
He said that the firm’s optimization tool oversees 3.5 billion visits each month.
Liviu Arsene, senior e-threat analyst, Bitdefender: There is an industry called malware as a service. These online gangs are getting paid to develop malware that target companies. They are paid by up to USD 10,000 per project.
Marius Filipas, Microsoft Services Delivery Manager Director, Microsoft Romania: “Our vision is mobile first, cloud first.”