Fri, Sep 22, 2023
Seven Thought Leaders on SmartCom and Accelerating Change

This Summer, #peoplefirst and #digitalacceleration shaped the inaugural SmartCom Summit talk show. Challenged by Covid-19 to find new event formats, a group of analysts and experts came together (partly virtual) to talk about the major trends in Smart Communications, in five themes: broadband/5G, smart communities, future of work, cloud & APIs and CPaaS. The talk show was watched live by almost 400 decision-makers, commercials and techies across the globe, and in the weeks following numbers already tripled to over 1200, and continue to grow…


People First

We asked Charles Groenhuijsen, an experienced talk show host and journalist, to join us in creating this new format, and host this first SmartCom Summit and talk with guests both in the studio (at proper distance) and remotely. For Charles, people are the essence in these changing times: “To motivate young people and keep them engaged, that’s a big challenge.”


Digital Acceleration

In an energetic 90 minute program the five themes of Smart Communications were discussed with 16 thought leaders, experts and analysts from around the world, and immediately after the show we asked some of them for a short comment as can be seen in this video:

Change Agents

Here are seven reasons why these thought leaders are driven every day to help create change and new opportunities:


  • Tim Poulus (Telecompaper): “The telecom sector is very well able to stay ahead of demand in terms of capacity. One thing is, of course, interesting: 5G requires significant investments. So there is a challenge to make 5G a reality for users and operators.”


  • Jan Honig (CommScope): “We have moved away from egos into ecos; there’s no one company that can do it all by themselves. We need each other; we need to create these ecosystems.”


  • Edwin van Ierland (iBasis): “You see the translation of our transformation or acceleration from old-fashioned working to new-fashioned working that has been accelerating now for some period.”


  • Stijn Nijhuis (Enreach): “Technology should be easy to use and seamless. Ideally, even automatic so you can join meetings and get in touch with colleagues. So a technology should not be something that you think about, it should just be there, and it should enable you to collaborate and then it should become invisible again.”


  • Michiel Steltman (DINL): “Today’s discussions were really about different trends and how those trends blend into a new digital environment. A new digital world, the key trends such as communication platform-as-a-service (CPaaS), digital infrastructure and cloud, those are innovations that amplify each other and together form the new reality of the digital economy.”


  • Patrick Joggerst (Ribbon Communications): “The vision that Ribbon has to be in this space with our technology, including CPaaS, is that we want to create lots of Twilios. We don’t want to compete with Twilio; we want those carriers to have the ability to do that.”


  • Susy Bobenrieth (Millicom): “I think it’s endless the opportunity to be able to provide medical assistance remotely. I believe, and there are millions of people there still need to be connected, so I think that the opportunities are there.”

If you also want to hear what Florian Overkamp (Speakup), Frank Arts (Enable U), HP Van Tilburg (Uitdefileaanhetwerk), Mark Winther (IDC), Petra Claessen (BTG/TTG), Raul Castanon (451 Research), Remco de Kramer (Microsoft), Rob Kurver (The Next Cloud) and Sebastiaan Hoogstadt (Poly) think, watch here the entire talk show.


A pandemic is currently causing fundamental changes in the way we work and live, and Smart Communications are making this all possible. Many of these changes are challenging, but at the same time they present huge new opportunities, especially in the telecoms and IT industries.

Are you curious about all the SmartCom 2020 trends? Read the trend report here (use coupon code SUMMITGUEST for free access).

About the author

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Over the past 30 years Rob (co-)founded various tech companies, including one of the leading Dutch hosted voice providers (before hosted voice became the new normal). Today, he works with telcos/CSPs and some of the world’s leading technology providers on innovation and growth, especially in the rapidly changing world of cloud communications and CPaaS. Rob has this crazy belief that the strengths of corporates and innovators should be combined in new ecosystems to create optimal customer experience, new business models and solutions for some of today’s big problems.

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