International IT conference: a fruitful encounter between IT and different cultures

In my latest blog posting, I should like to report on our international IT conference, which is held every two years at our headquarters in Neutraubling. Invitations went out to all IT managers and coordinators at our subsidiaries, which are distributed over the entire planet. This year’s event took place from 11 to 13 July 2017.

This time, we welcomed staff from the following countries: the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, China, Thailand, Japan, India, South Africa, Russia, the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Not a bad selection, I would say – and of course we’re delighted to see such a broadly-based response.

Why do we hold this conference? Quite basically, we want to inform our subsidiaries directly about our corporate and IT strategies – and not only by means of emailed PowerPoint slides. At this year’s event, our Executive Board Chairman Christoph Klenk gave the keynote speech for opening the conference. Then Holger Blumberg – Head of Information Management – explained our IT strategy and the details of our ongoing digital transformation. In addition, we dealt with higher-order topics like IT governance and IT security, plus important global projects, infrastructural and licensing issues. Nor did we forget to provide the very latest information on our smartphone strategy and on client virtualisation. On the third day of the conference, Markus Tischer – Executive Board Member responsible International Operations and Services – provided input on the subject of “Focusing our international organisation on client-responsive proximity” and on the growing importance of IT in this process.

To ensure that it didn’t all get a bit too theoretical, there was also some IT to experience hands-on on the showroom: our colleagues presented some of the latest notebook and tablet models, and used them to explain the hardware approval process. They also demonstrated what software distribution for integrated subsidiaries is intended to look like in the future.

The participants themselves had a major role to play as well, of course. Each facility introduced its team and the local IT executives, and provided an overview of the relevant IT structure and applications.

Moreover, sufficient time had been scheduled for networking, so that our international colleagues were able to get acquainted with each other. It was also important in this context, of course, to meet the principal contact persons here in Neutraubling, in order to lower inhibition thresholds and thus improve collaboration.

As you can see, the event has more than just a professional aspect; it is also designed to foster interpersonal and intercultural relationships – which was particularly effective during the shared evening event: in order to acquaint our guests from abroad with a few Bavarian traditions, we started with a guided tour of the Snuff Museum in Regensburg. For a relaxing end to the day, we visited the Kneitinger Brewery’s beer garden for some tasty local delicacies and Bavarian brass band music.

Overall, this year’s IT conference was once again a highly successful event, and it was great to see how the guests set off back home with a smile on their faces and a lot of new knowledge acquired.