IBM Think Digital 2020: The Sky is Not The Limit

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The global technology congress 'IBM Think' in San Francisco was turned into 'IBM Think Digital' in 2020, the year of the Coronavirus pandemic. The online event took place on May 05 and 06, 2020 and was open to IBM partners and customers worldwide free of charge. knowis AG was in the digital spotlight in several sessions and was once again awarded by IBM.

IBM’s event highlight Think premiered with a new format in 2020. Although the global IT and technology conference had already offered the opportunity to listen to individual panels and keynote speeches via livestream in previous years, this year the entire event suddenly had to move to the web. Before COVID-19 began to spread, the major event had been planned to take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from May 4 to 7, 2020. Unfortunately, even IBM as one of the biggest IT companies in the world does not own a firewall that could stop Coronavirus and must therefore refrain from hosting physical events.

IBM Think Digital 2020 – the Digital Transformation of a Mass Event

Arvind Krishna, CEO IBMWe can only guess how many of the nearly 30,000 participants of last year's IBM Think would have made their way to California this spring. What is certain is that in the crisis year 2020 many more people had the chance to watch the new IBM CEO Arvind Krishna live, as the entire conference was streamed worldwide free of charge. IBM made a virtue of necessity and reinvented its Think conference as a global, free, digital-only event. By combining live streamed content in multiple channels, interactive sessions and online networking opportunities, Big Blue offered its clients and business partners the chance to experience the latest technology and business trends without the risk of traveling or violating current restrictions.

The originally planned time frame was reduced from three to two days and the content was made available online in four parallel streams. Just like economy is currently adjusting, the Think Digital agenda was adapted to the prevailing topic and focused around the effects of the Corona pandemic and how to deal with its consequences. The theme of the entire program was 'Think Digital: A Curriculum Dedicated to COVID-19 Recovery'. Viewing the crisis as an opportunity for joint growth was the key message of the event.

The First Public Cloud for Financial Services

One of the most promising technologies for companies, both for adapting to the current situation and coming out of the crisis stronger, is the cloud. This conviction ran through the Think and already became more than clear in the opening speech of Arvind Krishna. The IBM CEO had particularly good news for the financial industry in this respect: after the announcement of the first 'Financial Services-Ready Public Cloud' by IBM in cooperation with Bank of America at the end of 2019, a number of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are now also in the process of bringing their solutions onto this public cloud for the financial sector. The main advantage for banks is that when operating their services in the cloud, they can rely on meeting the particularly high security and compliance requirements in banking.

In a special session of Think Digital 2020 for selected European press representatives, the topic of cloud computing in the financial sector was covered. Besides Yasser Eissa, VP Public Cloud Europe at IBM, and Carla Arend, Cloud Practice Lead at IDC Research, knowis Vice President Sales & Marketing Ileana Honigblum was one of the experts who answered the questions of the journalists – knowis AG is one of the ISVs that are working on bringing their solutions to the Financial Services-ready Cloud from IBM.

The results of IDC's biweekly surveys confirm that knowis is on the right track. “For companies in the financial sector, the question is no longer whether cloud is valid option, but rather how they get there and with which applications they should start their cloud transformation,” describes Clara Ahrend the current mood. This is reflected in the experience of Yasser Eissa, who also and especially in the Coronavirus crisis observes that IBM customers are investing with the highest priority in cloud technologies in order to increase their efficiency and agility.

Beacon Award 2020 – knowis is Among the Finalists

In addition to the keynotes and tech panels, there was also a broad program for IBM business partners at Think Digital. 'Putting smart to work' – this was the slogan under which IBM honored its business partners with the Beacon Award 2020 for the development of extraordinary solutions and groundbreaking innovations. IBM has been awarding the prize for more than twenty years – this year to 17 Beacon Award winners from the areas of Analytics, Blockchain, Cloud, Partner Ecosystem, Security, Services, Supply Chains, Systems and Watson Health.

The Regensburg-based software vendor knowis is among the top three solution providers worldwide in the category Analytics – 'Outstanding Cloud & AI Embed Solution' with its banking platform isfinancial. The business solutions nominated for this category use one or more IBM offerings from the Cloud and AI portfolio to make specialist expertise consumable for customers. As an expert for digitization projects in the financial industry, knowis created the isfinancial solution platform to address the current challenges facing banks on their way to digital transformation.

“We are proud to be recognized as one of the best in the industry worldwide. With IBM we have a strong partner at our side, whose technology portfolio perfectly matches our business expertise. Our customers benefit from this close cooperation,” says Ileana Honigblum, vice president of Marketing & Sales at knowis about the nomination.

knowis again honored with IBM Bestseller Award

For business partners from the German-speaking countries, there was also a special digital event this year as part of Think 2020: At the Partner Ecosystem DACH - Think Digital Special Session, current developments within the IBM partner ecosystem were highlighted and the DACH Partner Awards were presented. “Since it is not possible to meet many of you in person at Think in San Francisco, as originally planned, we have prepared a live video special edition of Think especially for you as business partners from the DACH region,” IBM announced. Marco Braun, Vice President Partner Ecosystem DACH, presented the event.

IBM Bestseller Award - knowis - Partner Ecosystem DACH - 2020

At the DACH Partner Awards knowis earned a top position and was awarded – for now just digitally – with the IBM Bestseller Award 2019 in the category 'The Sky is not the Limit'. The prize recognizes knowis’ commitment to actively participate in the 'journey to the cloud' and to enable banks to “develop next-generation solutions faster and more cost-effectively,” said presenter Marco Braun during the award ceremony.

Every year, IBM honors those business partners who performed remarkably well in the IBM Partner World. Already last year knowis AG was granted the Bestseller Award 2018 for the smart use of IBM technologies in the creation of business solutions.

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Image Sources: Teaser: DKosig - 1150040101 - iStock; Portrait/Award: IBM

Written by -Andreas Plöger-

Andreas Plöger is a content manager at knowis AG and responsible for marketing and public relations. As graduated technical writer he is responsible for the content and structural design of the website, the planning and realization of publications as well as taking charge of press relations.

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