Blog & Inspiration

NEXT LEVEL
In order to provide systematic leadership of employees in the digital age, the skills and methods managers need today are not the same as those they needed in the analogue world. Telekom has launched a new worldwide development programme that promotes successful leadership in the digital era. With ‘levelUP!’, as the programme is called, the concept of ‘Ambidextrous Digital Leadership’ is filled with concrete content. Dr. Elke Frank is the head of the HR Development Department at Deutsche Telekom and ranks among the 40 leading minds in HR in Germany. We spoke to her about this special development initiative.
TRADITION-CONSCIOUS INTO THE DIGITAL AGE
Even the venerable Österreichische Post (Austrian Post Office) has been unable to extricate itself from digital transformation, something which has above all become evident through the dramatic fall in the number of letters it handles. Nevertheless, there has been a noticeable increase in terms of parcels due to e-commerce, which is a development that the company is now planning to exploit. However, the journey into the digital age also means moving into uncharted waters. We spoke to Gerald Gregori, Head of E-Commerce Innovation Management at Österreichische Post AG, about the new online marketplace ‘from Austria for Austria’.
FUTURE MATTER
He invented the word ‘megatrend’ and popularised the term ‘globalisation’: for more than 20 years, US author John Naisbitt has been amazing readers with predictions about the future. Naisbitt is the author of numerous bestsellers and the recipient of 15 honorary doctoral degrees. He owes his fame most of all to his bestseller ‘Megatrends’, which was published in 1982 and in which he was one of the first to predict the transition from an industrial to an information society and to describe the fundamentals of globalisation.
WORLDS OF GLASS
The history of astronomy has been experiencing a regular construction boom for several years. In Chile, on Hawaii or in outer space, telescopes are being built that make all the facilities constructed to date look tiny. For instance, the largest optical telescope in the world – the European Extremely Large Telescope, or E-ELT for short – is currently being built on Cerro Armazones, a mountain in Chile. With a main mirror 39 metres in diameter, this will be the largest telescope in the world, providing insights into the universe that have been impossible until now. Its photographs will have 16 times the resolution of those taken by the famous Hubble space telescope.
PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS
Companies that opt for big data in terms of their business have long faced a huge challenge: for one, they have to ask themselves how to make proper and effective use of big data. Predictive analytics is currently one of the most important trends in big data. But how does predictive analytics differ from business intelligence or business analytics? As Director Data Science & Data Innovation, Dr Frank Säuberlich is in charge of the data science & data innovation department at Teradata; he sheds light on this question for us.
MICROSOFT
At the beginning of the year, “Europe's hottest conference invitation”, the DLD conference, brought together the most influential opinion-makers, industry leaders, start-ups and digital giants once again. Founded in 2005, the conference has developed into an interdisciplinary, internationally connected platform around the globe with top keynote speakers. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella for example shared how Microsoft is democratising AI for everyone during his keynote in January in Munich. In an interview, he also talked about how we can use artificial intelligence to make the world a little better.
VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE ECONOMY
The world – politically, economically, socially, technologically – is in flux. That’s not news, fake or otherwise. But what does this all mean for the future of brands? It is clear that consumer trends will empower people and companies to build brands that matter; products and campaigns people can’t stop talking about. David Mattin leads the global team of trend analysts of TrendWatching and knows what clients all over the world are going to love and why.
BOOM!
These days, if you want to achieve effective communication, you should not rely solely on state-of-the-art technologies or even the best-possible creative ideas. The key to today’s communication lies in the intelligent combination of both technology and creativity.
BUSINESS IN BEAUTY
Global cosmetics giant L’Oréal invests more in its digital business. To CEO and Chairman Jean-Paul Agon, eCommerce can be considered as more than just an additional income source for the company. Instead, it is the new engine for growth.
BLUE SKY COMING
No other topic dominated the Shanghai Auto Show at the end of April as much as the discussions focusing on electromobility. The major manufacturers Daimler Benz, BMW and Volkswagen presented models designed specifically for the Chinese market. A Chinese electric car start-up is planning to contest the position of the top dogs in the sector – with its own vision of Auto 3.0.
MITARBEITER IM FOKUS
Im Wettbewerb um die besten Arbeitskräfte bieten immer mehr Unternehmen ihren Mitarbeitern hochwertige Büroausstattungen, denen ein ebenso individualisiertes wie gesundheitsförderndes Konzept zugrunde liegt. Guido Hensel, CEO des Büromöbelausstatters Delta-V, erklärt uns, wie Unternehmen durch ergonomisch gestaltete Arbeitsplätze die Gesundheit von Mitarbeitern optimieren und damit Mehrwert generieren können.
LUFTGEKÜHLT
This is like Christmas Day for Porsche enthusiasts: one Porsche after the other in a large courtyard located in San Pedro, California, the range of colours reminiscent of a rainbow – although the typical pastel hues of the 1960s and the bright colours of the 1970s seem to dominate the palette. These masterpieces are exclusively historical Porsche motorcars featuring legendary air-cooled engines. Surrounding the dazzling array of vehicles is an equally colourful mix of visitors, made up of business people, Hollywood celebrities, motor sports legends, auto mechanics and guy-next-door Porsche fans. We are at ‘Luftgekühlt’ (Air-Cooled), an absolutely unique Porsche event that celebrates these classic vehicles with their air-cooled engines.
THE LUX REBELS
The W Hotel Barcelona is one of the most striking sights on the coast of Barcelona. Its iconic sail form and the breathtaking view of the sea is unique and saw the hotel set new standards from the beginning. Now all rooms and suites have been redesigned and the first W Sound Suite in Europe has been opened. A dedicated music studio, one of four in the world today, which is taking bookings from professional artists, studio musicians and producers as well as hotel guests. The leading idea of the W Sound Suite comes from DJ White Shadow, who works closely with the W Hotels. The Chicago-based producer is mainly known for his work with Lady Gaga.
MERCEDES BENZ ÜBERZEUGT
Der Name Mercedes-Benz steht für erstklassige Fahrzeuge. Eine perfekte Produktkommunikation ist daher verpflichtend. Ein Redesign war für die Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG der Auftakt, die Technologie des Preislistensystems neu aufzusetzen. Der PIM-Experte Stämpfli implementierte mit mediaSolution3 (mS3) die passenden Systemkomponenten und sorgt für das komplette Datenmanagement der Preislisten.
E-COMMERCE-FREIHEIT FÜR ALLE
Bei E-Commerce-Software herrscht bisher eine Zweiklassengesellschaft: auf der einen Seite mittelständische Nutzer von günstigen, aber unflexiblen Standardprodukten, auf der anderen die großen Player mit kreativen, aber sündteuren Individuallösungen und Frameworks. Symfony durchbricht diese Trennlinie – und macht flexiblen E-Commerce allen verfügbar.
MARKETERS, LASST 2017 GOLD REGNEN
Andres Dickehut, CEO des Marketing-Dienstleisters Consultix, hat sich für Das Produktkulturmagazin auf Spurensuche nach den Trends im Digitalen Marketing begeben. Seit 1994 berät er internationale Kunden im Bereich Customer Engagement, eCRM, Customer Lifecycle Management und E-Commerce. Mit der Eigenentwicklung ProCampaign® steuern Marken punktgenau und datenschutzkonform alle Kampagnen aus einem System heraus.
FUTURISTIC SUPERMARKET
A supermarket with no queues at the checkout – but with lots of high-tech and sensors in the shelves. The amount due is simply debited online upon leaving the store. No more annoying queuing at the checkout. The online retail giant Amazon is currently experimenting with this in the US. The first cashless Amazon Go test store is already operating in Seattle, home to the company’s headquarters.
HUMAN SUBWOOFER
To not only listen to music, but to feel it – that is the vision of the Berlin start-up Lofelt, the creative minds behind the Basslet bracelet. They have been working on the prototypes since 2014. In 2016, a Kickstarter campaign was followed by an international breakthrough. It gathered 600,000 euros and, much more importantly, numerous press reports.
FEEL COMFORTABLE
Just be relaxed and keep the slippers on when you go out, suggests the London label mahabis, which offers slippers with separate outer soles. Comfortable slippers in a lovely Scandinavian design are thus transformed into stylish outdoor footwear and vice versa.
TIME TO GREEN
If you know in advance when a traffic light will turn red or green, you will drive more relaxed and efficiently. Audi is the first car manufacturer to connect with the urban surrounding – an important step towards autonomous driving. This service is called “traffic light information” and it is supposed to optimise the traffic flow, save time and treat the environment with care.  Audi of America cooperates with a number of cities in North America to install the car-to-X  technology. Further US cities are to follow and there is a plan to implement the system in Europe, too. We talked with Michael Zweck, Senior Development Engineer at Volkswagen America, about this proactive project.
FASHION GOES TECH
Smart watches, rings, handbags or jackets – where wearables are concerned, a lot of things have happened in recent years. Still, fashion and retail seem to find it difficult to cooperate with the tech business. Liz Bacelar, however, has managed to do just that right from the beginning, and she is regarded as pioneer in the field. Her brand Decoded Fashion combined tech founders and designers to bring the world of fashion and intelligent clothing closer together.  In March, she will introduce her new company, The Current, with which she wants to impart innovative ideas, start-ups and technology to the fashion industry.