Next week, I’m attending the 2013 Smart City Expo in Barcelona, Spain—one of the world’s most innovative cities and the perfect setting for high-level conversations about our cities’ futures. If you haven’t been, this is a great event. City leaders come from all over the world to discuss their challenges and share solutions over three energetic days.
This year’s event is also the setting for the official launch of Microsoft CityNext in Western Europe. Chief analyst of Ovum EMEA Public Sector, Joe Dignan, provides an analyst view of this initiative. He notes:
“It is excellent news for the 'future city' market that Microsoft has launched its CityNext initiative. Ovum has consistently emphasized that smart city transformation requires a partner ecosystem that can address the complex nature of public sector requirements. Microsoft CityNext’s global partner model leverages developers across the world to help public officials address cities’ diverse needs—from consumer-related demands to the enterprise demands of city operations.”
Bringing these global partners and city leaders together in one place is a big reason for the annual Smart City Expo. It's one of the things I'm looking forward to in Barcelona. Here are three more:
At last count, three keynotes, six plenary conferences, 50 parallel conferences, and more than 300 speakers were scheduled for the Smart City Expo Congress. Public sector champion and Microsoft corporate vice president, Laura Ipsen, will participate in a plenary on governance challenges for smart cities, and I’ll be on a panel discussing successful open data schemes.
More than 140 of the world’s leading technology companies will be exhibiting at the Expo, offering information and product demonstrations to help you find real solutions to your city’s problems. If you’re attending, visit the Microsoft booth where we will be exhibiting with eight of our CityNext partners:
Accenture—Accenture applies its industry insights and delivery skills to help governments transform using Microsoft technologies.
Bismart—Our 2013 Business Intelligence (BI) Partner of the Year, Bismart, worked with us in Barcelona, the host city of Smart City Expo.
Esri—A provider of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Esri delivers mapping and analytics solutions built on the Windows platform to customers worldwide.
Invensys—Through its Wonderware software platform, Invensys helps cities efficiently manage essential water, wastewater, electricity, and transportation services.
Itron, Inc.—Itron is the partner behind Itron Insights, a Windows 8 and RT app that features an integrated dashboard where officials can manage their resources efficiently.
ITWorx—Our Egypt-based partner ITWorx helps governments streamline their business operations and improve citizen services with solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics, Office, and Exchange.
Scytl—Election software developer Scytl specializes in secure electronic voting, election management, and election modernization solutions. Socrata—Socrata helps governments worldwide improve their transparency and services with Windows Azure cloud-based open data solutions.
In addition to our eight exhibition partners, many more Microsoft partners will be showcasing innovative city solutions that are helping to change the world. Stop by and meet them if you’re in town.
The best part of the Smart City Expo may be the networking. I get excited to hear city leaders talk about their challenges. Finding technology solutions for these challenges sets the agenda for Microsoft and our partners for today and tomorrow. If you’re in Barcelona, I hope you’ll find me and share what’s happening in your city.
If you can’t make it to the Expo but want to keep up with the event news and activities, be sure to follow the conversation at #CityNext. It’s going to be an exciting week for city leaders. As you seek answers to your pressing problems, you just might find solutions that help you change your city, and the world.
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