IEN Europe: CeBIT will take place from 14 to 18 March. What are the main focuses of this edition? Can you identify any differences compared to last year's fair?
Mr. von Saß: We have reinvented CeBIT in 2016, leaving behind the former positioning of a computer trade fair. And we also no longer view CeBIT as simply an IT fair. CeBIT is the world's leading event for digitalization of the economy and society. Because especially in the economy, digitalization is upending everything - no branch remains untouched by it. Companies are rapidly changing internal operations and redistributing tasks. No longer is only the IT director responsible for purchasing new applications; joining him are the head of marketing, the sales manager, the human resources manager, and the finance manager. The customer interface is changing, too, because the customer is moving closer to internal processes, exerts more influence and demands more consideration. We see that traditional value chains are often replaced by disruptive, digital business models and value-adding networks. And these upheavals happen quickly, creating many opportunities. But only those who actively participate in the digital transformation can take advantage of these opportunities. This is why the lead theme for CeBIT 2016 is "d!conomy: join - create - succeed".
IEN Europe: Switzerland will be the Partner Country for the next CeBIT. How will this small but important country present itself in Hanover?
Mr. von Saß: In numerous international studies about innovation, Switzerland always takes first place. The digital economy is very influential in Switzerland. The financial volume of Switzerland's software exports exceeds sixfold its combined exports of cheese and chocolate. Switzerland is an unbelievably creative country with many exciting universities, including ETH Zurich, where Albert Einstein studied and taught. Approximately 60 Swiss companies will exhibit at CeBIT. Nick Hayek, CEO of the Swatch Group, will speak at the CeBIT Welcome Night.
IEN Europe: Phil Zimmermann, the creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), will attend the CeBIT Global Conferences. What does his presence mean? What topics will be covered by Mr. Zimmermann?
Mr. von Saß: We are pleased that Phil Zimmermann will join us at the CeBIT Global Conferences. He will most certainly demonstrate that for companies, data security is a central pillar of success and steady growth, because the revelations of Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald made it clear to everybody that data encryption is crucial.
IEN Europe: What can visitors learn about digital security strategies and solutions during the exhibition?
Mr. von Saß: No other event in the digital arena focuses as strongly on data security as CeBIT. Roughly 500 companies will showcase solutions and applications in this field. Moreover, this topic plays not only a role at the CeBIT Global Conferences; two discussion forums in Hall 6 offer the chance to discuss with international experts all aspects of data security
IEN Europe: M2M Alliance, the largest European organization in this business sector, is co-staging the M2M Pavilion at CeBIT 2016. Can you explain us the insights of this collaboration?
Mr. von Saß: The partnership with the M2M Alliance is fantastic. Not only do they help us develop content for the area "M2M-IoT Solutions", but they also enable us to communicate with their members. As the organizer of CeBIT, the topics M2M and IoT are very exciting because the market is growing exponentially. In the coming three years, more than 50 billion things will be connected to the Internet - in addition to smart phones and mobile devices.
IEN Europe: Cloud Computing is strictly linked to M2M and IoT. Will this connection be explored at this year's exhibition?
Mr. von Saß: Cloud computing gained a good deal of momentum in the past months and has arrived in the market. In 2016, investments in this area are expected to exceed 100 billion U.S. dollars for the first time. CeBIT provides a comprehensive look at cloud computing. All of the leading providers of cloud solutions will be there, including exclusive event partner Salesforce with its World Tour. Furthermore, the backbone of the cloud, the data center, has its own showcase in Hall 12 at the area DatacenterDynamics@CeBIT.
Elisa Campo, Editor IEN Europe