Friday, 28 March 2014

MobiCloud is a winner

MobiCloud is pleased to report that it has won the ITEuropa European IT & Software Excellence Awards for Communications/Mobility Solution of the Year - under both the Independent Software Vendor and Solution Provider categories.

The European IT & Software Excellence Awards are pan-European awards to recognize the role of Independent Software Vendors and Solution Providers in delivering real-world solutions. There were entries from 25 different countries and each had to be supported by a client's endorsement. 81 companies from 16 countries were in the finals. The winners were selected by an independent panel of consultants and editors.

“What impressed us this year was the quality and the measurable returns many of these projects delivered. Many have total paybacks many times the value of the IT investment, and we are seeing many of these projects delivered as part of a continuing expansion of productive investment. This shows what a great relationship these IT suppliers have with their customers, and how customers are keen to work with suppliers on a long term change to their organisations.” 
John Garratt, Editor of IT Europa
The awards were split into three categories, Independent Software Vendors, Solution Providers and Suppliers. MobiCloud entered under both ISV and Solution Proider and won in both categories.

Report on the Future Internet Assembly 2014

By Vladimir Bataev of EsperantoXL

The most reliable way to predict the future is to invent it, maintains the old saying, but since this activity can take time, one who shapes the future should not underestimate the importance of regularly informing a curious public about what is waiting for them ahead. That was the raison d'etre of the Future Internet Assembly 2014 that took place in Athens, Greece between March 17th and March 20th. It combined a series of workshops together with an exhibition of the most prominent technology projects that have been funded by the European Commission.

The workshops, panels and plenaries covered a traditional range of subjects: from next generation networks and hardware that will physically enable the future internet, regardless of the shape it will eventually take, to the applications and services that will be built on top of this infrastructure. Key trends of the past year - internet of things, ubiquitous computing and increased mobility - merged into one ├╝bertheme: "smart cities" and it was rare for a presentation not to mention it.

Smart cities remain a tricky subject. Lots of pilots and living lab projects have been implemented and some of them, like the CitySDK project in Amsterdam, have produced tangible results that citizens can make use of and in this case even featured in the Economist. However, as one of the panelists noted, very few, if any, of these pilot projects have been transformed into a larger scale implementation. 

There are several reasons for this and the most obvious one is the lack of a sustainable business model. Even CitySDK still has to get the commitment from participating municipalities to keep it alive beyond the project end date this year. The search for such business models was the focus of a half-day workshop. Its conclusion was that so far only large vendors of platforms to monitor city traffic and companies building actual hardware sensors were able to find such business models.

Commercialization of technology is one of the strong points of the MobiCloud project, which already has multiple trial cases running commercially. Two of these examples were demonstrated and explained at the MobiCloud booth by myself and Vincent Dollet of Appear.

The MobiCloud booth was on the VIP route and was very well attended - several delegations stopped by, as well as Zoran Stancic, Mario Campolargo, Ken Ducatel and Maria Tsakali from the European Commision. Neelie Kroes was expected, but only had time to visit FI-WARE, one of the largest and most heavily funded projects, which offers interesting collaboration opportunities for MobiCloud as well.

The MobiCloud team appeared on local television and you can see the interview with Vincent Dollet here. We were also invited to present the project during the EC-Mexico collaboration workshop. This brought together industry representatives and researchers to find the common problems to work on in 2014.

You can find out more about FIA Athens on the official website. You can also contact Vincent Dollet or Vladimir Bataev via the MobiCloud website for more about MobiCloud and their involvement.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Meet MobiCloud at the 2014 Future Internet Assembly in Athens, Greece on 18th to 20th March

The European Future Internet Assembly is a collaboration between projects that have recognized the need to strengthen European activities on the Future Internet to maintain European competitiveness in the global marketplace. Currently FIA brings together around 150 research projects that are part of Challenge 1 of the ICT programme of FP7 and are advancing the state of the art in their respective thematic areas. 

FIA supports open interactions and cross-fertilization across technical domains, hence it is open to all researchers engaged in Future Internet research (be they at EU or not) to contribute and participate towards FIA’s goals. The first FIA was held in Bled, Slovenia in May 2008, and reaches its 11th edition this year, in FIA Athens 2014.

The 11th FIA in Athens will focus on reshaping the Future Internet infrastructure for innovation, and more specifically on the formulation of the new Internet technological landscape based on network/cloud integration & virtualisation SDN/NFV and innovative software, services and cloud technologies that enable application innovation.

Vincent Dollet from Appear Networks and Vladimir Bataev from EsperantoXL will be supporting MobiCloud's presence at the event demonstrating the technology and participating in some of the workshops. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the technology behind the project and see some of the resulting enterprise mobility applications.

FIA Athens 2014 features several parallel events, such as working sessions, project demonstrations, FIF, FI-PPP, session/demo/project contests etc.

If you are planning to attend and would like to meet up then get in touch!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Speedy Integrated Services Show

MobiCloud partners COMIT and Costain will both be at the Speedy Integrated Services Show in Telford, UK on the 24th and 25th of March.  COMIT have a booth at the show and Mark from Costain will be demonstrating the MobiCloud Site Diary App.

Speedy are a large tool hire and services provider to the construction industry and there will be over 200 suppliers and partners showcasing their wares at the event - making it the largest private hire and services show in Europe. Registration is free so come along and meet us.

Look out for our report on the event in a couple of weeks.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Cloudscape VI

CloudScape held its 6th annual session in Brussels, at Microsoft center this year, bringing together more than a hundred experts in cloud computing from both public and private sector, with participants from both SMEs and large enterprises.

CloudScape focuses on advancing current knowledge on cloud computing and looks at the issues that are becoming more and more prevalent: privacy, data protection and migration to the cloud. When the conference was launched in 2008, to many the cloud was a completely new concept; today, success stories about cloud implementations and alignment with the EU strategy on cloud computing are commonplace.

"Cloud is still very emergent" said Ken Ducatel, head of Cloud Computing at the European Commission. "There are a lot of business models and they're very complex; there is no one-size fits all solution"

Use of the cloud by enterprise is on the rise, however, the biggest impact on the European economy is expected to be from cloud adoption by SMEs. The MobiCloud project, represented by Vladimir Bataev from EsperantoXL, was invited to demonstrate their applications and to sit on the expert panel on start-ups and small business in the cloud.

The panel included experts from KTH, University of Calabria and several commercial projects, such as Transmetrics, F-Secure and ClouDesire. The panelists discussed the start up techniques used by SMEs to develop applications and meet the demands of users and how to build viable business models. They also shared their concerns over the absence of viable alternatives to Amazon Web Services in Europe. Opportunities in the enterprise market that can be exploited by SMEs were highlighted as well.

The MobiCloud consortium includes 4 technology SMEs, and SMEs are an important customer and user group for the platform and the applications running on it. Moreover, MobiCloud believes that SMEs that develop mobile applications will be the major source of innovation for the more traditionally conservative industries, such as transport and construction, once they get access to the tools to do so. Providing such opportunity for the MobiCloud ecosystem of application developers and system integrators is one of the more important goals of the project.

Friday, 7 March 2014

MobiCloud attracts attention at IT-Trans

IT-Trans is a 3 day event which was held at the Karlsruhe Trade Fair Center from the 18th to 20th February. It attracted over 3,600 visitors from over 50 countries and showcased the best in IT solutions for public transport. 

Holger of Nettropolis speaks to Baden-Wurttemberg's Minister of Transport
The event was attended by MobiCloud consortium member Nettropolis who demonstrated a number of solutions including QualityScout which is built on the MobiCloud platform and is being used by the Karlsruhe Transport Company (VBK) on a trial basis.

Nettropolis attracted a lot of attention and received a visit from the Minister of Transport for Baden-Wurttemberg, which is the third largest of the sixteen German states. Stuttgart is the capital of Baden-Wurttemberg, an area known for its high-tech industry.

In all about 100 people visited the Nettroplis stand and saw the demonstrations. There was good interaction with the visitors, many of whom made suggestions for other products or services that they would like to see Nettropolis develop. There was also a lot of interest in the results of the trial at VBK.

"We were encouraged by the reaction that we received from customers who are eager to put the solution into the hands of their employees" - Frank Leibold, CFO of Nettroplis

It was clear from all the exhibitors at the event that there is an increasing focus on the adoption of new and innovative technologies such as mobile devices and the Cloud in the transport sector. The Secretary General of the UITP underlined the point when he said:

"I want to urge all stakeholders to carry on to invest into the brilliant combination of IT and public transport. We must follow the same paths as that of the automobile industry and focus on innovation."