ThinkThings 2022: 10 companies, 5 solutions for the polycrisis

Published on 17/11/2022 in Inspire

No industry escapes disruption. Everything digital is a part of the solution to that challenge. Stefaan Vandist calls this the ‘polycrisis’. Starting from this principle, ThinkThings has assembled a wealth of inspiration.

ThinkThings 2022: 10 companies, 5 solutions for the polycrisis

What is ThinkThings?

Proximus has organized ThinkThings for ten years. Initially to share innovation in IoT and data analytics, now also to promote digital fields such as connectivity and smart networks in addition to cloud, cybersecurity, the new way of communicating and collaborating and digital innovation in general. “ThinkThings relies on the combination of the many customer use cases that customers present there and the energy of the professionals who exchange experiences during the event,” says Alex Lorette, Director of Enterprise Solutions at Proximus. “That’s often how a new collaboration begins, when an initial idea grows into something bigger.”

Experience the event. View the customer use cases and the keynote address of Stefaan Vandist.

ThinkThings cases 2022 Opens a new window

Polycrisis: various major challenges

Futurist Stefaan Vandist addressed the challenges facing businesses today in this 2022 edition of ThinkThings. “We can speak of a polycrisis,” he said, “because we must tackle various major challenges at the same time, ranging from inflation, war, energy and climate to food production and an aging population.”

“The challenge consists of considering the right solutions. Not to challenge the old model, but to put together a completely new model that makes the old one redundant. The internet didn’t target the fax, but instantly made it useless.” That perfectly summarizes the spirit of ThinkThings and the mindset of the customers who came to talk about their innovations there.

The challenge today is finding the right solution. For example, the internet didn’t target the fax, but instantly made it useless.

Stefaan Vandist, innovation strategist & futurist

1. Argenta & DPG: security monitoring of IT environment

As we choose digital solutions more and more, the importance of cybersecurity increases. Security is at the top of the priority list of CIOs of large organizations. Networks, cloud environments and digital applications will soon have to comply with the principle of security by design. Europe, among others, is aiming for this. This already makes the security issues of organizations more complex.

However, businesses continue to find it difficult to share their experiences with cybersecurity incidents. In addition, there are too few cybersecurity specialists available in the labor market.

So Argenta calls on Proximus as its Managed Security Service Provider. The bank retains all its governance in-house, but relies on Proximus for the operational aspect of IT security. Specifically, Proximus fulfills that role from its Security Operations Center (SOC). Should an incident occur, the CSIRT (Cyber Security Incident Response Team) is ready to respond.

Media company DPG has brought in Davinsi Labs for real-time security monitoring of its IT environment. This is highly distributed over the many sites of the various newspapers, magazines and other brands of DPG. Using big data analysis, Davinsi Labs automates the detection and response processes.

Together with its subsidiary Davinsi Labs, Proximus has a team of 350 specialists available for its cybersecurity services.

2. To the cloud with Becosoft & Duco

Proximus itself highlighted various initiatives in the cloud domain at Think Things. First of all there was the launch of Cloud Fusion in partnership with HCL. This involves software that allows various cloud environments to be managed in one dashboard.

In addition, Proximus announced the development of a sovereign cloud in collaboration with Microsoft. This allows customers to combine the advantages of Azure with extra encryption from Proximus for their GDPR-sensitive data. The public cloud component runs on Azure Confidential Compute, special hardware that allows stronger encryption.

Becosoft, a developer of checkout systems, among other things, explained how it put all its company systems in the cloud in a collaboration with ClearMedia.

The analysis of data collected by an IoT application also takes place in the cloud. Thus, Proximus subsidiary Codit built an IoT platform in the cloud for Duco, well-known for its ventilation systems. Customers can optimally adjust the climate in their house via a digital twin.

Crodeon, one of the 350 application partners of the Proximus ecosystem, has proven that IoT can now be highly accessible. The company launched the newest version of the ‘Reporter’, a plug-and-play solution to get started with sensors and a dashboard in the cloud, at ThinkThings.

New European regulations require organizations and public authorities to store all sensitive and confidential data solely in-house from now on. The answer to this is a sovereign cloud.

What is sovereign cloud?

3. New way of communicating and collaborating

The availability of secure digital applications provides new forms of communication and collaboration. Communication tools have historically been Proximus’ area of expertise, but here too the company continues to modernize. Telephone exchanges have been operating in the cloud for some time, which makes it possible to integrate telephony into other applications like CRM, ERP and contact center software. Proximus also automates contact centers by means of voice, chatbots and social media integration, among other things.

Vitatel demonstrated how a system for telemonitoring – and an accompanying call center – ensure that older people can live independently at home for longer. They can ask for help with a simple push of a button.

Video is also an important communication tool in which Proximus has built up expertise, such as the integration of videoconferencing systems with meeting room infrastructure, or digital signage as in the Plopsa Hotel in De Panne, for example. There, every room has an access point. There are digital signage displays in the elevators, and IP TV in the rooms which, among other things, makes personalized messages for the guests possible.

Read more about how Plopsa uses digital displays for a better customer experience.

Discover the case

At Covida, a network of day and living centers for people with a disability, a high-performance call system conduces to the quality of care.

4. Crowd management in the city of Dendermonde

Thanks to analysis, anonymized data originating from smartphones connected to the Proximus network can be converted into useful information for customers such as cities or event managers. So it’s possible to know in real time how many people are located in an area.

The City of Dendermonde used the Crowd Management solution to smoothly handle the influx of a hundred thousand visitors to the Ommegang van het Ros Beiaard and continue to guarantee public safety.

5. The many possibilities of 5G

In the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, 5G is making the rollout of drones as a service possible. These autonomous drones make it possible to conduct inspections, for example, to check where a ship is located, whether it is properly moored, whether there is pollution, etc. The University Hospital Brussels is commissioning a connected ambulance next year. Thanks to AR glasses in the ambulance and the accompanying real-time data exchange over 5G, the patient gets remote support from a specialized doctor.

Eleven Sports uses cameras with a 5G connection, among other things, to integrate live images of sports events into its broadcasts. Thanks to 5G, the company can transmit large data volumes faster, without latency, and develop new functions that facilitate interactivity.

At the same time 5G also offers possibilities for specific locations. For example, Proximus set up a 5G MPN in the Nekkerhal. There was a connection via that Mobile Private Network with the Proximus 5G innovation platform, on which Proximus employees who couldn’t take part in the event could follow ThinkThings live.

A 5G Private Network is a closed network built specifically to meet the needs of a particular organisation. It offers higher bandwidth, lower latency and more security than public networks, resulting in better performance, reliability and efficiency. This makes it ideal for companies looking to implement advanced applications such as augmented reality, industrial automation and autonomous vehicles.

Read more about 5G Private Networks Opens a new window

Experience the event. View the customer use cases and the keynote address of Stefaan Vandist.

ThinkThings cases 2022 Opens a new window


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