Industry 4.0 is an omnipresent buzzword in the technology universe. However, the term is intangible, inconsistently used, and according to certain economic research circles, inadequate in its definition. Nevertheless, it stands for the advancing digitalization and related technology trends such as intelligent and connected devices (machine learning and the Internet of Things), ambient user experience, as well as application and service architectures. All of which have manifested themselves into our daily lives – and naturally into the product and solutions Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure offers its customers.
During the 14th annual Swiss user conference, we challenged attendees to answer several big questions: Which technology trends do we feel are tangible? How can Hexagon solutions strengthen and support our customers achieve their technology and operational goals under evolving circumstances? And, how do we answer to the technological change as a company – as Company 4.0 so to speak?
About 130 attendees met on November 2nd in Zurich’s Technopark for the annual Swiss Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure user conference hosted by the Swiss Chapter GeoForum, Hexagon’s customer association. Various keynotes, demonstrations, and discussions offered a review of 2016’s highlights, a detailed examination of the present challenges, as well as sneak peaks into the future of Hexagon technology.
We continued the successful concept of the technology marketplace with a diverse assortment of topics. This year, the presenters did not focus on vertical solutions but rather on powerful tools like ERDAS Apollo to manage large amounts of data, or platforms such as M.App Enterprise, which offers a lot of flexibility and individuality, as well as technology trends like cloud deployment and mobile applications. Since this marketplace is also considered a platform for customer success stories, Florian Kaiser from Wälli Ingenieure AG demonstrated their new enterprise GIS “RUGIS”, which has been successfully deployed in Eastern Switzerland in the field of flood control.
Where the marketplace addressed the technological progress itself, Marc Hänni, country manager for Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure in Switzerland, discussed the implications this progress has had and will have on the company during his keynote address. He illustrated organizational changes from past years that have sharpened our focus as a company to better serve our key industries. He emphasized the importance of inspiring and encouraging trust within an organizational culture to into the full potential of employees.
The lunch break offered the chance to discuss the morning’s topics with fellow experts before continuing with the industry-specific afternoon program. Though the afternoon was not only about the fancy new stuff, it was also about the pains and obstacles in daily business. Within tailored tracks for GIS, NIS, public safety and – for the first time – university graduates, attendees shared experience and ideas in their field of expertise.
After Markus Hess’, president of the Swiss Chapter GeoForum, closing address, we finished up an exciting day with a rich aperitif. Like in years past, the 14th annual Swiss user conference was a wonderful event for all involved. Its importance as a platform to exchange information, innovative ideas, practical experiences, and a nucleus for inspiration remains undiminished.
As technology trends move towards intelligent, communicating devices, augmented reality, and virtual representation of the real world, we are happy to have a strong and engaged partner to keep up with the pace of technological change.
Here are a few images of this year's conference.
Fabian Zwimpfer is a sales and marketing representative focused on tender management, business development initiatives, and industry events in Switzerland. Prior to joining Hexagon in 2015, Fabian was a teaching assistant at the Institute for Mechanical Systems while working on his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at ETH Zurich.