By Emeka Aginam
No fewer than 4,157 exhibitors from  from 68 different nations around the world  converged this morning at the   CeBIT 2010 annual ICT trade exhibition taking place in Hannover, Germany  showcasing  digital world.

With the participation of Nigerian business community and  “Connected Worlds” as its keynote theme and a rate  participation running at the same level as last year’s event, the annual trade expo, Ernst Raue, member of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe said is  ready to take off this morning.

“In 2010 CeBIT will once again serve as the digital industry’s most dynamic marketplace. Hannover is the place where providers, users and political representatives come together to network.

“CeBIT is coming at exactly the right time. In some segments of the ICT market, the mood is gradually beginning to pick up, since the investment backlog over the past 18 months is gradually beginning to dissolve” he said.
The industry naturally, he said,  still has to deal with the economic crisis, adding that  CeBIT’s traction remains unbroken.

” A recent sample survey of ICT users commissioned by CeBIT revealed that the willingness to invest had gone up substantially over the past few weeks. “Companies from Germany and abroad are now tackling ICT projects which had been put on ice in 2008 and 2009 as a result of the global economic crisis. This development will become tangible at CeBIT,” he explained..

For one thing, he said that almost 300 companies will be participating for the first time at this year’s CeBIT, including Google, the American Internet service provider Amazon Web Services, the Japanese music instrument manufacturer Roland, the Spanish telecommunications group Telefonica and the British manufacturer 3M Touch Systems.
More than 100 firms, according to him,  are returning to CeBIT after taking a break from the event, including AMD, Ericsson, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Terratec and Trend Micro.

This year’s CeBIT, he added  is focusing on the fundamental trends in the world of ICT, above and beyond the individual components in the digital supply chain.

“Many exhibitors have integrated the keynote theme of ‘Connected Worlds’ into their own presentations,” he reported. “CeBIT 2010 will offer an impressive demonstration of how the borders between work and leisure, mobile and stationary, online and offline continue to disappear. For hardware and software solutions, the same description applies: continually easier, continually faster and continually more integrated, or networked.” he said.

At the new “Broadband World” pavilion, produced jointly by the BITKOM association and Deutsche Messe, the exhibitors said that  companies will be showcasing approaches to mastering the challenge of rapidly growing data volumes in our networks.

This includes the opportunities offered by the next generation of mobile communications, LTE (Long Term Evolution). “High_performance, stable and fast access to the Internet is becoming an increasingly critical factor in international competitiveness.

A log jam in the Internet due to growing data volumes, Raue said  constitute a brake on growth,” commented Raue.
“The new “CeBIT Sounds!” event represents the entry of music at CeBIT. “This is not just about music, but also about the creation of joint new business models between the music industry and the ICT sector. This is a multi_billion dollar market.

“In times where the big music companies are experiencing a drastic decline in sales and revenues, the parties involved need to discuss and embark on joint new paths”  declared Raue.

The topic of “green IT”, explained,  continues to yield new content areas. “With the support of BITKOM and the Federal Ministry of the Environment, CeBIT will feature the aspect of “green through IT. There is an enormous amount of ‘green leverage’ which intelligent ICT systems now have to offer their user industries.

“ Companies in Hall 8 will be demonstrating that the ICT sector has the right tools for solving many of our climate protection challenges,”  Raue said.

CeBIT, according to him,  has also made a concerted effort to expand its offerings for small and medium_sized enterprises (SME).

Apart from numerous solutions designed to make SME processes more efficient,  he said that  there will also be a special television studio – the “SME Studio”   dedicated to covering issues of vital interest to SMEs.

While explaining that   CeBIT was also increasingly developing into an international knowledge hub, he said. “Leading minds from the ICT industry across the globe will be speaking at the CeBIT Global Conferences. This event has advanced to become the most high_caliber conference for the entire ICT sector.

Participants include Flickr co_founder Stewart Butterfield, Telefonica CEO Cesar Alierta Izuel and Dr. Werner Vogels, Vice President of Amazon. Anyone who wanted to know the topics that would be preoccupying business and society over the next few years had to visit the CeBIT Global Conferences, said Raue.

“We are also excited about the speech by the new co_CEO at SAP, Bill McDermott. SAP is already taking advantage of CeBIT like no other company this year” he added.

And for high_tech fans, CeBIT 2010 features myriad attractions  from the new electronic personal ID card and numerous innovations from universities and research institutes, to IT applications for medicine and the latest trends in mobile communications and laptops.


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