Hannover. In March of 2020, Deutsche Messe is launching TWENTY2X – a new digital technology show to be held at the Exhibition Center in Hannover, Germany. The show will focus on IT technologies and their role in the digitization of SME business processes. It will present use cases and application scenarios of key importance to decision-makers and IT managers as they work to futureproof their organizations in the digital age. TWENTY2X will be staged over three days – from 17 to 19 March (Tuesday through Thursday) – in halls 7 and 8 and in the Convention Center. Comprising a trade fair and supporting conference, the show is being organized by Deutsche Messe in partnership with Germany’s Federal Association of SME IT Companies (BITMi), the Association of the Internet Industry (eco), the German IT Users Federation (VOICE) and the German Startups Association (BVDS).
TWENTY2X as a digital enabler for SMEs
TWENTY2X is a digital enabler for SMEs and is aimed primarily at businesses from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Its target visitors are principally CEOs and IT decision-makers from SMEs and startups, as well as IT experts and advisers. “Our objective is to help small and medium-sized businesses along their digitization journey so that they are ready for the future and better positioned in their respective competitive settings,” commented Deutsche Messe Managing Board member Dr. Andreas Gruchow. “TWENTY2X is a new B2B event that gives SMEs exactly what they need in order to ready themselves for the years ahead: concrete solutions, modern technologies, and best practices that they can leverage to make sound decisions.”
Strong partners on board: BITMi, eco and VOICE
For the conceptualization and fine-tuning of TWENTY2X, Deutsche Messe is teaming up with strong partners, one of which is the Federal Association of SME IT Companies (BITMi). For the BITMI, TWENTY2X is entering the scene at precisely the right moment to give SMEs a chance to reach a well-targeted, highly promising audience of solution-seekers keen on futureproofing their businesses. “As Germany’s biggest association for SME-scale IT companies, we welcome this new digital technology show because it is a sales platform geared expressly to our SME-only membership. For small and medium-size businesses, TWENTY2X is a highly effective and efficient tool for generating new leads,” commented BITMi President Dr. Oliver Grün.
On behalf of another strong TWENTY2x partner – the Association of the Internet Industry (eco) – CEO Alexander Rabe remarked: “eco e.V. is committed to web and digital technology market development. The Internet is fundamental to modernizing the business operations of SMEs. We are certain that digital technology can help small and medium-sized enterprises much more fully reaching their international market potential. If we aim to keep Germany’s SMEs up to speed as economic motors, then it’s an absolute must to give SMEs a leg-up with discovering and adopting digital technologies. For these reasons, as an Internet industry association we wholeheartedly endorse the TWENTY2X show’s sharp focus on SMEs. The event provides a perfect setting for fruitful dialogue between Internet players and user companies so as to find and build on common ground.”
The third major supporter of TWENTY2X, the German IT Users Federation (VOICE), sees the event as a new marketplace tailored specifically to SMEs and a setting in which they can share ideas and compare notes on best practices and promising approaches to digitization. “The small and medium-sized businesses who make up a large share of our members can learn a great deal from how other companies have gone about quickly and successfully deploying digital solutions. We are therefore convinced that the concept behind TWENTY2X is right on target,” explained Dr. Hans-Joachim Popp, Director of the steering committee at VOICE.
TWENTY2X will help make SMEs more competitive
A recent study undertaken by Germany’s KfW state-owned development bank indicates that Germany’s SME sector is lagging behind on digitization and requires significant investment in order to catch up. During the period from 2015 to 2017, only 30 percent of the country’s 3.76 million SMEs invested in the adoption of new or improved digital technologies. According to KfW, there is a risk that smaller firms, in particular, will fall behind in the modernization of their business processes and the development of new, digital business models and will thus become less competitive.
Surveys conducted by KfW as part of its study show that the most important issues identified by SMEs are digitization of contact channels with customers and suppliers (56 percent of respondents), modernization of IT structures (53 percent), the development of specific know-now (38 percent), the reorganization of workflows (25 percent), and the implementation of new approaches to marketing and sales (25 percent). These are all issues that will be to the fore at TWENTY2X.
TWENTY2X: platform for key enabling technologies
TWENTY2X presents all the technologies that SMEs need for their digital transformation. It deals with all SME business processes and applications, essential IT security solutions, the hardware and software components necessary for the operation of infrastructure, and the use of new technologies, such as virtual reality.
TWENTY2X comprises five main showcases. The first of these, Business Management, focuses on solutions for the growing complexity of processes, the growing pace of business and the need for ultra-fast decision-making. The lead topics in this showcase are data management, big data and artificial intelligence, business software such as CRM (customer relationship management), ECM (enterprise content management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning), as well as the cloud and server & storage technology.
The Security Solutions showcase features solutions designed to help SMEs protect their internal information and sensitive customer data and safeguard against cyber attacks. Topics here include IT infrastructure, threat management, GDPR and blockchain.
The third showcase, New Tech, is the TWENTY2X show’s future workshop. It is where visitors can learn about important applications of cutting-edge technologies and developments. For example, they will discover how 5G can be used in the transport sector, how AR/VR can optimize product development and maintenance work, and how international research institutions develop new innovations.
Another core area of the show is scale11, a startup showcase that models the living ecosystem that supports and enables entrepreneurship. The showcase facilitates networking between startups and key SMEs, corporations, investors, politicians and media organizations. scale11 at TWENTY2X is a unique platform that fosters networking between organizations with vastly differing cultures, matching the flat hierarchies and agile methods of startups with the extensive market experience and established networks of large corporations. scale11 is a joint production between Deutsche Messe and the German Startups Association (BVDS) – a partner with solid know-how and an extensive business network.
Another major challenge for SMEs relates to new business processes and changes in the nature of work as a result of generational change, process innovation and growing diversity. Visitors at TWENTY2X will find solutions to these challenges and more at New Work, a showcase dedicated to ECM (enterprise content management) solutions, communications, conferencing and meetings, and workplace systems and management. Alongside these technology-centric solutions, the showcase will deal with organizational processes and issues of corporate culture – matters that are equally as important when it comes to shaping tomorrow’s workplaces and corporate structures.
TWENTY2X to feature special program items for public administration, future mobility and financial services sectors
The program for the premiere of TWENTY2X in March 2020 will include content that is specially tailored to three highly service-centric sectors: public administration, future mobility and financial services. The new show will include theme-specific exhibition areas, a comprehensive conference program, workshops and interactive networking opportunities – all of them specially designed with these three user sectors in mind. For example, the organizers are planning separate full-day summits for each of these sectors. Representatives of these sectors will also be able to participate in other new formats where they will have the opportunity to formulate their requirements and discuss them with manufacturers and developers and play an active role in the planning of future developments.
TWENTY2X: opportunities for discussion and dialogue
TWENTY2X will feature several on-stage events where key enabling digital technologies of relevance for SMEs and the show’s three focus sectors will be presented and discussed. The dialogue and discussion will traverse broad topic areas like digital transformation, new technologies and artificial intelligence, and delve into more specialized topics like cyber security, data analytics and customer centricity. The discussion on the subject of infrastructure will center on edge computing, the cloud and data centers. One of these on-stage events will be dedicated to startups. The on-stage program also covers general societal topics, such as “Women in the digital economy” and privacy.
Further information about the TWENTY2X show is available online at www.TWENTY2X.de.