Review of 2018

As Germany’s largest digitization congress, offered strategies, exchanges and solutions for companies in the digital age in 2018. In several hundred lectures, workshops and networking events with top-class speakers and participants, we experienced digitization in its full thematic breadth and depth of content.


From September 12th to 14th, digitization enthusiasts and doubters, experienced and newcomers met to discuss a broad spectrum of digitization aspects in the already proven format. In several hundred lectures, workshops and networking events­ with top-class speakers,­ more than 5000 visitors were able to experience the topic of digitisation in its entire breadth and depth and to be inspired in a variety of ways.

Each of the three days was dedicated to a specific topic. On Wednesday, “Strategy Day” focused on how digital key technologies­ affect­ business strategies. ­Completely new business models are emerging, while established business models are­ significantly influenced­ by digitization. The­ business processes have to adapt to customer wishes, the customer journey comes to the fore. Customer wishes and customer benefits play the central role. In addition, organizational forms change radically, we say goodbye to silo thinking and turn to network thinking.

Modern forms of work such as design thinking were topics of the “­Collaboration Day” on Thursday. When it comes to­ digitization, everyone first thinks of IT, but how revolutionary the power of­ digitization is also for the world of work can hardly be underestimated. The­ speed of innovation is already­ enormous, but it will continue to increase. For the employee, this means that it is no longer enough to learn a profession once in a lifetime. Today, he must continue to educate himself – not only from a technical point of view, but also from a methodological point of view. ­The ­Collaboration Day offered a wide range of exciting ideas.

The “Technology Day” on Friday focused­ entirely on the actual technology of digitization. The handling as well as secure and fast interpretation of large amounts of data, cloud solutions, but again the interaction with the customer were in the foreground. How can AI support the personal approach the customer expects? When will hotlines be replaced by artificial intelligence? By now the computer can generate decision aids, with which humans find their way better in­ the jungle of possibilities.

mgm as Gold Partner

mgm consulting partners­ decided for the Strategy Day with its theme track “Embracing Digital Transformation”. ­However, our central presence in the area of solutions exactly began one day earlier, at the­ Corporate Innovation Park, the recruiting fair belonging to, in which we participated for the first time­. 12 participating companies courted­ 400 interested pupils and students in numerous workshops and gave an introduction to the world of technology and consulting. In times when the search for qualified specialists­ has become­ one of the central factors for the success of a company, this is­ an ideal opportunity to talk to potential future employees. As you can read in the separate report about this event, it was a­ complete success!

Afterwards we had­ invited to the Speakers Dinner in the evening. ­All our next day’s speakers should have the opportunity to get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere­ and discuss their experiences, successes and challenges with digitization and beyond over excellent food. The experienced consultants, who had acted as the speakers’ advisors in the run-up to the fair, were also present. Of course,­ since we had placed great emphasis on ensuring that our speakers­ covered a wide range of industries, company sizes and areas of responsibility­, lively and fruitful conversations quickly relaxed into the late evening.

The next day, everyone was back on time to ­hear Ranga Yogeshwar’s central keynote “Man or­ machine – who programs whom? With vivid and sometimes slightly scary examples, he took us into a future digital world. Afterwards a substantial part of the audience went into our room. Prof. Weinberg explained in an entertaining but convincing way why we­ have to develop in­ organizations from the silo thinking – called­ by him catchy “Brockhausstruktur” (structure of encyclopedia) – to network thinking­ and what hinders us so far: first and foremost­ our single fighter mentality. Afterwards our theme track remained well attended, often listeners stood next to the grandstand and­ between the lectures there were­ personal conversations with the presenters, but also between listeners. This is exactly how we had­ imagined “our” solutions­! In the evening, a cheerful, relaxed closing ceremony with speakers, participants, colleagues and­ customers rounded off the successful event. We are looking forward to the fourth edition next year – save the date: 11th to 13th September 2019!


Speaker and Program

Keynote: Digitisation is a team sport
Ulrich Weinberg – Hasso Plattner Institute

In an increasingly digitized world, the pressure for change in companies and organizations is growing almost exponentially. Traditional, individual-oriented models of thought make it increasingly difficult to counter this pressure. We need a new, networked, team-oriented practice.


Innovation: against powerlessness
Karel Golta – Indeed Innovation

Automation and AI are changing the reality of the company. So what do we have to do to remain able to act as a society in the future? What is the key for companies to actively shape the digital transformation in the interests of their employees?


Will distribution die out as a result of digitization?
Jens Kocab / Dr. Florian Heydenreich – Linde

The sale of “classic” capital goods is essential for customer proximity and excellent product knowledge in order to be able to offer the customer tailor-made solutions in sales and service on site. How will digitization change classic sales and business models in the coming years?


AMS Sourcing as a pioneer for the new strategic IT orientation
Klaus Lichtenauer – E.ON

Digital transformation is a strong driver for E.ON’s realignment. The IT function must lay the foundations for this. One of the key measures supporting the implementation of the new business and IT strategy is the Europe-wide application sourcing program. Key objectives: more flexibility, speed and better resource management.


Ship ahoy! Digitisation in the cruise industry
David Mertin – Holiday check

Cruises are booming. In 2017, over 2.7 million Germans booked a cruise and spend almost €4 billion. But over 73% are still doing this offline – but the market and sales are also digitalizing. More and more young, digitally affine vacationers want to go on a cruise. This lecture offers opportunities, risks and funny anecdotes from the “digital” world of shipping and why it will still be a great challenge in 2018.


It takes two to tango – Established companies and their labs
Tim Rudolph – HERMES Digital Lab

Many companies have founded very different labs in recent years. Time for a cash check: Why do you need Labs? And what is necessary for Labs to be successful?




How can tradition and digitization be combined?
Frank Roth – Klosterfrau

A clear strategy is needed to position a traditional company in times of digitization. Frank Roth talks about the challenges for management and employees, how important communication and change management are on this path and what experiences he has made.


Lidl moves – agile mindshifting within LIDL Digital IT
Tim Döppner – LIDL

Lidl is on its way to becoming the largest online discounter in Europe and strives to push further digital business areas parallel to its core business. How does Lidl Digital meet these challenges? An exciting journey through agile mindshifting within LIDL Digital IT.


Coca-Cola (CCEP): Digital transformation at the heart of IT strategy
Marcus Franke – Coca-Cola

Digitization is creating a paradigm shift in buyer and customer behavior, which is why Coca-Cola European Partners is anchoring it in its business strategy. A Business Capability Program not only defines the IT strategy, but also addresses the transformation of the business holistically.


How to ride the Digital Wave
Steffen Schairer – E.ON

Like many other companies, E.ON is facing a growing demand for digital solutions. At the same time, the customer expects ever greater flexibility and responsiveness. How to manage this wave of digital initiatives to achieve the greatest possible impact? Steffen Schairer provides answers.


The meaning of the disruptive
Dr. Ruth Betz – OWNR

Digitization is not an end in itself, but serves to scale the customer focus. It catches people and aged markets and rolls them around. Dr. Ruth Betz shows concrete options for action in the brave new digital world.



Change Projekt – SAP: From a change of system to a change of culture
Natalie Hauser – mgm consulting partners

The introduction of new systems such as S/4HANA means much more to many employees than just new product numbers and click paths. Changes often penetrate deeply into the working methods of the company and thus also change the daily interaction. The big challenge until 2025.


Complexity is the enemy?! Sometimes, sometimes not
Marcus Warncke – mgm consulting partners

Is everything really getting faster, more complex, less secure? Or does everything actually stay as it is? Anyone who has a clear idea of how completely new things can be combined with the optimisation of the old can certainly navigate through the turbulences of digitalisation. Marcus Warnke shows simple tools that provide orientation.


The customer-oriented revolution in process management
Sophie Stender / Afra Gloria Müller – mgm consulting partners

Have you spent the last few years optimizing your internal processes but hardly generated any added value for yourself or your (internal) customers? We show you our favourite tool to coordinate your processes and customer interactions more effectively.


Agile Nonsense?!
Benedikt Jost – mgm consulting partners

The journey to an agile organization has its pitfalls – and often ends with mumbling and ineffective transformations. This is sometimes also due to completely misconceptions about the future target status of the organisation. We clear up!



Impressions of 2017:



Highlights of 2017

Unbox your IT – Eight strategies for an unleashed organization

The IT frees itself from organizational shackles and moves into new areas and processes. After all, IT is everywhere, IT is a competitive advantage, IT is an asset – even outside the control of the CIO. But how can the CIO counteract the loss of control? We deliver 8 strategies for modern IT organizations

Olaf Terhorst | Partner | mgm cp

How to bring IT home to the Business and start a digitization journey

The energy industry is undergoing dramatic change. Traditional business models are increasingly under pressure to change. Dr. Klaus Herbst reports how Uniper wants to meet these challenges and how a digitalization strategy can be successfully initiated.

Dr Carsten Mielke | Digitization Lead | Uniper

Agile development of digital customer solutions – Digital Delivery Network

E.ON operates in a rapidly changing market environment that requires increasingly greater flexibility and faster responsiveness in the development of new digital customer solutions. Carsten Klingels provides answers on how E.ON reacts to these challenges with the “DDN”.

Carsten Klingels | Head of Digital Solutions | E.ON Business Services

Interview with Carsten Klingels: “Digitization is not just the use of technology”

How do you win the America’s Cup with the Gorch Fock?

To give the answer straight away: Probably not at all! How the flagship of the German insurance industry reinvents and conditions itself for digital challenges and what experiences managers and employees make at it can be discovered in this session.

Bettina Stoob | Head of Global Innovation | AGCS

Interview with Bettina Stoob: “Dealing with digitization is like learning a new language”

Be the change you want for this world – Successful IT

After the hype is before the hype. Hardly any other industry agilizes more mind-blowing, challenging chances through their digital villages, where mostly the resistance to change is at home. You will find out which constants count how and where change takes effect

Uwe Kolk | CIO | Jungheinrich

Interview with Uwe Kolk: “IT and business form a unit. This must be felt and wanted”

Venture capital rethought: Investing to learn from startups

Ramelow Ventures and FASHION CLOUD discuss an investor relationship of the other kind: How to digitize fashion trade together, how to transform a traditional company and why a Silicon Valley Trip has never hurt anyone.

Marc Ramelow | CEO | Ramelow Ventures
Martin Brücher | CEO | FASHION CLOUD

Potential Uses of the Blockchain in Industry

Blockchain technology is the basis of today’s cryptocurrancies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, different application scenarios also exist in cross-organizational processes in industry, which should be illustrated by the example of energy-economic projects.

Dr Michael Merz | CEO | PONTON

Interview with Dr Michael Merz: “Blockchain Application Thinking Comes Mostly Through the Back Door”

mgm cp – “fresh up”: Pecha Kuchas and Impulse Presentations

Here, there is lunch for the brain. In Pecha Kuchas and short introductory lectures we offer you substantive theses and views on topics such as Agile Management, Process Mining, the Review Canvas Methodology and the guidelines of modern IT organizations.

Benedikt Jost | Principal Consultant | mgm consulting partners
Anne Sendatzki | Communications Consultant | mgm consulting partners
Stephanie Fischer | Senior Consultant | mgm consulting partners
Tim Bodenstab | Consultant | mgm consulting partners

Interview with Stephanie Fischer: Data-driven decisions – comfort or loss of control?

Survival Guide: Augmented Reality, Wearables and IoT in the industry

Everyone is talking about AR, IoT or Wearables and it is suggested that this is the only future. However, many companies, especially SMEs, are not able to make use of it. A startup shows using the example of the assembly, how to manage the digitization with much less and to profit nevertheless.

Dr Fedor Titov | CEO | attenio

Working agile in the Corporation – Complex and successful with “Watergile”

“Agile work is in line with the trend and just substitutes good planning with chaos”. Thus, self-responsibility and self-organization of the employees are often misunderstood. But you will learn in this session, what makes agile projects really successful and what a “serving project management” does.

Herwig Fölster | Manager Digital Services | Jungheinrich

Interview with Herwig Fölster: “It’s the people that make the difference”

Audience (R)Evolution – How a publisher became an audience pioneer

Dr Ruth Betz gives insights from the development of a user-centered content ecosystem. She shows smart hacks based on a selected example and explains how standardization, personalization and diversification of traffic sources enable a successful Audience Development.

Dr Ruth Betz | Director Audience Development Management | Bauer Xcel

Driving Digital Transformation – What’s next?

After a day full of how-to’s, approaches for solutions, strategies and new perspectives, we would like to discuss with you where we are at present and where the journey could go.

Ariane Hager | Manager | mgm consulting partners
Frank Kneschke | CEO | mgm consulting partners
Uwe Kolk | CIO | Jungheinrich
Carsten Klingels | Head of Digital Solutions | E.ON Business Services
Dr Carsten Mielke | Digitization Lead | Uniper
Dr Ruth Betz | Director Audience Development Management | Bauer Xcel

Blockchain – Roundtable

Discuss with the experts Dr. Michael Merz (PONTON) and Frank Bolten (CHAINSTEP) the potential applications, opportunities and risks of blockchain technology. If you are interested, please send us a short mail to and secure one of the 10 desirable seats at the table.

Michael Kreuzburg | mgm consulting partners
Frank Bolten | Managing Partner | CHAINSTEP
Dr Michael Merz | CEO | PONTON


Interview with Frank Kneschke: “There is no such thing as a one and only digitization project”

With a view to the mgm track “Driving Digital Transformation”, the mgm editorial team has discussed with Frank Kneschke, founder and managing director of mgm consulting partners, his personal view of digital change.

Read the interview


Interview with keynote speaker Prof. Ulrich Weinberg, director of the School of Design Thinking at the Potsdam Hasso Plattner Institute (German).
Read more


Steffen Schairer, Business IT Digital, E.ON - How to Ride the Digital Wave.
Read more


All articles about 2018
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The event took place on Kampnagel in Hamburg.




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Thomas Brugger

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