7th Infocom Albanian Telecom Forum 2016
Shaping the Digital Future
The global recession of the past few years has acted as an accelerant in creating the right environment for technological development. Global economies are increasingly integrating with digital technologies in a process of continuous interconnection and development, while countries which integrate technology in their business and public sector, face a great increased level of competition. The global economy will find it hard to include countries which are not part of the digital evolution, as interconnection it’s the key for the being part in the markets ecosystem. Experts say that 4G may have changed the mobile phone industry, but 5G and the Internet of Things, will change our whole world.
The broadband challenge
It is clear by far that Albania cannot limit itself regarding digital development. Albania needs to make big steps; steps which may need some help, most probably coming from Europe. Its geographical position cannot be neglected as a key factor in the matter of digital development and regional interconnection. That is why Albania must be part of “Digital Agenda 2020” and “Digital Single Market”, which are in progress. Certainly the network-wide infrastructure is the backbone of ICT and its growth and extensibility directly influences the efficient growth of economy, because it speeds up the adaption of new technologies in businesses and homes. It also provides new job opportunities in sectors and areas which weren’t accessible in the past. The creation of long-distance jobs, smart phone apps, television and trade, they all come to us in a different scale under the magnifying glass of digital technology.
The mobile wide network has included even the multimedia services, which demands for higher speeds, a wider range of frequencies and new models for sharing content. Conventional television is moving to a new phase where video-on-demand has changed the game in creating new opportunities for exploiting the content. Changes can even be seen in the advertisement market. All the above mentioned arguments, make it clear that the development of the wide-network, it’s a must for economical and national development.
EaaS – Everything as a Service
Cloud computing has already proven in practice and also in economic terms, that it’s more than a simple tool for “cutting down costs”. It is seen also as a global platform to incite the business sectors in new innovative approaches. In the last MWC Conference (2016) in Barcelona, it was made clear that now the whole computing power is being transferred into The Cloud!
The concept of EaaS (Everything as a Service), takes life, as long as companies are in search of alternative ways to gather all needs, concerns and risks and then deliver them for solution to the hands of the right specialists. That is why, centred expertise creates economies of scale and flexible collaboration models between different service providers and enterprises.
Anyhow the biggest progress is in the demand that businesses have for specialised services, which leads to successful collaborative model between service providers.
Naturally the government should make the difference, for eg. the integration of electronic services for its citizens should be vital for the transformation of public administration within the “eGovernment” strategy, in modernizing the communication between citizens and public administration.
Beside the adoption of the Cloud by the SME, Albania should profit from the favourable position it has, in becoming an importing hosting data centre, not only for domestic market, but also for the whole region of the Balkans.
The Revolution Internet of Things (IoT)
It can be easily proven that we have surpassed the initial steps of interacting with devices and we are fast pacing into the interaction between devices itself, creating the Internet of Things.
Global tech leaders are already into the IoT and Big Data Analytics, developing software and integrated systems for data collection and decision making.
A new era is coming fast in which sold home appliances will have an IP address and Wi-Fi included and smart electric installations will be part of the most basic home.
Respectively, even in the city level, wide scale management systems provide the efficient distribution of energy, water supply, traffic monitoring system, lighting and even independent public transportation, all integrated in the urban structure. Smart phones are now tickets for public transportation and air travel, shopping and trade, sustainably accompanying us toward the smart living.
European Union has put the Internet of Things as a top priority in its agenda, notifying that for 2016, it’s going to finance up to 140 million Euros for pilot projects. In its list there are applications for health services, agriculture, wearables and automobile interconnection.
One important question raises in this discussion: Are we ready for this new industrial revolution and if not, which are the changes we have to implement so we can profit from it?
Opportunities in a Digital Era: Startup – Social – e-business
Digital Skills: The key for success!
Even though we consider the new generation as having a good relation with digital technologies, this relation not necessarily can be translated as knowledge. Even so, having in consideration that entrepreneurship and everyday life are more and more connected with digital technology, the concept of digital education becomes even more significant.
Beside this, application developers, soon will be a major part of nation’s workforce and are going to be able to provide a high level service, not only for the country, but also for the international market which is desperately seeking digital workers.
But is the country ready for inviting a new generation of businesses? Is there a proper legal framework? How can digital businesses develop through the traditional economy and transform it from within? Are companies ready for digital transformation and which are the stages it must go through?
e-commerce: Every business is digital business
One of the main topics on the European Union’s agenda, is the cross-border electronic trade. EU aims to remove all the present barriers for this issue, barriers such as: transportation, competition and confidence.
A key role for the e-business are electronic payments. Payment security and speed, are now an element of succes, due to the low tolerance for errors or failures from the costumer.
But which are the main platforms for the development of e-business and which are the main sectors of manufacture or service where these platforms should be implemented? Which are the most traditional succesfull e-commerce sectors? Are there any other sectors beside retail, social media, logistics and tourism, which can be developed through digital technologies? What should someone who opens an electronic store consider? Which are the key success factors and what do we learn from failures? What is the coorelation between social media and e-commerce? How can we convert visitors and users into money?
Social Media: Perception is Reality?
Social Media is a dynamic environment in constant evolution. Game rules are ever changing, because if we exclude the personal profiles, social media are not neutral channels for information sharing anymore, but companies which are interested in direct or indirect profit.
This means that those who want to use these platforms as a tool, must know in detail its functionality, rules and tolerance limits.
Also, social media services leave a lot of gaps for vulnerability, which can be used for suspicious activities, making it very important to know these risks and how to prevent them.
The only sure thing is that the social media are the best marketing tool available and if someone knows how to properly use them, may achieve a lot in the today’s market.
Which are the most common social medias? How can they be used? Which is the best tool for each case? Which are the tools for the marketeers? How do you build a Marketing Communication Campaign on social media? Which is the best strategy to follow? How important is the content for better engagement? Which are the little secrets, big myths and truths? And last: Is social media a future job?
Startup, Build up & Scale up: The 3D Business!
Considering that the new business reality is filtered through technology, a big number of interested subjects are aiming toward these sectors.
In this session we are going to analyse the Albanian Startup “scene” along with the international environment. We are also going to deal with the 3D entrepreneurship and its stages, from idea to implementation.
What is the way which builds the idea into a well-structured business plan? Is there a good environment for startup businesses in Albania? Is the country capable of attracting international startups and becoming a Startup Nation? Which are the conditions to initiate a startup? What should be considered? Which are the opportunities, risks and challenges to be faced on the way? Are there any investing possibilities and if so which are the requirements for implementations and sustainability? Which are the success stories and what can we learn from them? Which are the best practices? Is US the modern Eldorado for startups?
After all, startups worldwide have one aim! A new company to pass the “Death Valley” and be able to stand on its feet!
Program – Day 1
09:00 – 09:30 – Registrations & Coffee
09:30 – 09:50 – Opening
Costas Nostis – George Blekas, Organizing Committee
Milena Harito, Minister of Innovation & Public Administration
Piro Xhixho, Chairman, Agency of Electronic and Postal Communications (AKEP)
9:50 – 10:00 – InfoCom Albania Awards
10:00 – 11:30 – Session 1: The Broadband Challenge
11:30 – 12:00 Coffee Break
12:00 – 13:30 – Session 2: EaaS – Everything as Service
13:30 – 15:00 – Session 3: The Internet of Things Revolution
Erjon Curraj, Founder & CEO, Tech360 – Smart SolutionsModerator: Vaggelis Xanthakis, Jounralist
Cocktail and Lunch
Program – Day 2
09:00 – 09:30 – Registrations & Coffee
09:30 – 10:00 – Opening
Costas Nostis – George Blekas, Organizing Committee
Etleva Sakajeva, Vice-President, Albanian CSR Network
Erton Graceni, Executive Director, PROTIK
10:00 – 11:30 – Session 1: e-commerce: Every Business is Digital Business
Bora Feri, COO, M-Pay
Ardit Mero, IT Manager, EasyPay
Valer Pinderi, Dyqan Taxi
Tomi Kallanxhi, Shpi.al
Albert Tollkuçi, CEO, ikub.alModerator: Endri Mataj
11:30 – 12:00 Coffee Break
12:00 – 13:30 – Session 2: Social Media: Perception is Reality?
Idaver Sherifi, Founder, Albeu
Redon Skikuli, Co-founder, Open Labs Hackerspace
Enjan Gazhga, Digital Director, 1 UP
Elvis Plaku, Digital Marketing & Communication Constultant
Denis Gafuri, CEO, SMARDModerator: Gerti Boshnjaku, Journalist
13:30 – 14:00 Coffee Break
14:00 – 15:30 – Session 3: Startup, Build up & Scale up: The 3D Business!
Indri Dyrmishi, Startup Live
Endri Mataj, Start Up Grind Albania
Aneida Bajraktari, Startup Weekend
Erkens Gjini, Oficina
Albi Zhulali, European Startup Week
Leonard Dalipi, ProSME Program, GIZ
Enkelejd Musabelliu, General Director of Economic Develoment, Tirana Municipality
Elton Domnori, Professor, Epoka University
Albi Greva, Executive Director, Vodafone Albania Foundation
Moderator: Erton Graceni
2nd SE Europe Regulatory Summit (Day 1)
12:00 – 15:00 – 2nd SE Europe Regulatory Summit
Piro Xhixho, Chairman, AKEP
Dr. Ilaha Rzayeva, Programme Officer for Europe Coordination, ITU
Mr. Jack Hamande, Chairman, BIPT
Mr. Catalin Marinescu, President, ANCOM
Mr. Mario Weber, Executive Director, HAKOM
Mr. Franc Dolenc, Director, APEK
Dr. İhsan Kulali, Board Member, ICTA
Dr. Šaleta Djurovic, President of the Council, EKIP
Mr. Vladimir Ristevski, Adviser of Market Analysis and Public Relations, AEC