IVSZ MENTA 2017 conference - the experience from our point of view


The highlights of this year’s IVSZ MENTA conference programme were all about digital transformation, which seems to be present at all aspects of life – hence the slogan: Digitalisaton is natural!

Real digitalisation is only possible if keeping and analysing data is actually cheaper than deleting these data. This statement by Péter Csillag, founder of Starschema, could actually be the motto of this year’s IVSZ MENTA conference, since the programme of the event was designed around digital transformation, which is present at every aspect of our lives – the slogan “Digitalisation is natural!” also shows the importance of this matter.

Following the tradition, our colleagues started the autumn conference series with IVSZ MENTA, which was held on 14 and 15 September, and which focused on digital transformation, and particularly the aspects of Industry 4.0, data economy, and digitalisation concerned with workforce. On the first day, the most important effects of digitalisation were presented mainly from the point of view of technology, human resources and business development. On the second day, the aim was to present the same subjects from a more practical point of view.

What do you need for successful digital transformation?

There are three conditions in order to achieve successful digital transformation: the availability of appropriate technology, employing  professionals in the field, and having a business model that enables the adaptation of digitalisation. During MENTA, we have got useful and practical information concerning all three areas.

Out of the three conditions, the most easy to achieve is the technology that is suitable for digitalisation – thanks to today’s new solutions, there are endless possibilities for factories and other organisations to be transformed digitally. During MENTA, we were able to get new information about data, collected with the help of different devices, software solutions designed and made in the spirit of Industry 4.0, and also the possibilities that lie within the implementation of IoT devices.

There is a bigger trouble concerning finding good professionals who are ready for digital transformation. The difficulty of the situation comes from the general lack of professionals in every field. The speeches at MENTA mentioned the need for the appropriate education when it comes to human resources; plus, a leader must also be qualified and skilled in order to find, keep, and lead the proper professionals.

Concerning the appropriate business model, Shiwaforce founder Anton Kovach’s speech was the highlight of the conference. He emphasised that the waterfall business model is not completely out of fashion, and not everyone should start applying the agile method from now on. The model to be followed must be chosen according to the nature of the given project. The waterfall model might be a good choice when the nature of the job as well as the client asks for a completely well-planned, non-flexible framework. In that case, an agile method may as well do more harm than good. However, if the aims and the tasks of the project may change and be flexible during the course of the project, agile is the way to go.

A close-up of Industry 4.0

During the two-day event, we could hear about the practical use and the challenges of Industry 4.0 from important stakeholders and leaders of big enterprises.

The leaders of VT-Asyst, Siemens and Eltec talked about their experience concerning smart factories in a panel conversation. All three participants agreed that the possibilities that lie within Industry 4.0 can save a considerable amount of money and can have a huge effect on the competitiveness of the factory. At the same time, however, they also highlighted some of the challenges of digitalisation. For example, the unique product constructions which change from time to time may make the digitalised manufacturing process more difficult; and the introduction of an ERP system may not provide a complete solution. This means that the management of unique workflows can only be realised as a result of a thorough survey, and the collaboration of the factory and the ICT company.

Most participants of the conference talked about the advantages of new technologies – however, there were some who were a bit more cautious. Tivadar Tavaszi, CEO of Knorr-Bremse Hungária characterised his company’s attitude towards innovation as “followers” and not innovators. That is because Knorr-Bremse see more opportunities (also more certain ones) in following innovators and applying already proven methods – because he thinks that Industry 4.0 still only has a buzzword nature and it’s not easy to define. According to Tivadar Tavaszi, Knorr-Bremse is definitely in the game when it comes to innovation, he is still concerned about one aspect related to considerably better quality products made with new technologies: the willingness to pay from the clients’ side.

IVSZ Industry 4.0 Work Team

On the second day of MENTA, IVSZ announced its brand new work team, whose aim is to establish a professional group in connection with Industry 4.0. These professionals’ goal is to help the digitalisation of Hungarian industry by representing the manufacturers and service providers concerned with the subject in Hungary.

Our colleagues also wish to actively collaborate in the work of the team. We have already got the opportunity to support the group’s work in two other work teams: eHealth and Export. In eHealth, we support the establishment of an eHealth strategy in Hungary; whereas as part of the Export group, we support export activities of SMEs. Thanks to our positive experience with IVSZ, we are very excited and enthusiastic about what new challenges the Industry 4.0 Work Team brings.