Home / Channel / Event / Helen Thomas from GFT drives innovation at CeBIT

Helen Thomas from GFT drives innovation at CeBIT

Historically. the CeBIT trade show was all about innovation. It was the place you went to see products that had not been released and which might change the market for good. At CeBIT 2013, inovation was thin on the ground – except in the massive GFT booth, branded CODE_n. KitGuru is always one to snoop, so we sent in an operative.

Essentially an IT services company, founded in Stuttgart in 1987 by  Ulrich Dietz and GFT now employs more than 1,000 people and achieves revenues in the region of $350 million. All well and good, but what is this CODE_n stuff about?

After an extensive career with CitiBank, Microsoft and Cisco, Helen Thomas has taken over the role of Sales Director for GFT’s Enterprise and Services divisions. She was on hand at CeBIT 2013 to help us understand more about the practical benefits of the CONE_n initiative.

“Feeling the need for more innovation in the market overall, an understanding that his own company needed to add new strings to its bow as well as an underlying desire to do good and help people, Ulrich kicked off ‘Code of the New’ or CODE_n as we call it”, said Helen.

Behind the heavily branded entrance to the CODE_n zone, there were 50 innovators and a large chillax area. All part of the plan to create an incubator environment, according to Helen Thomas (insert)

She explained, “The organisation’s primary directive is to provide an international platform for digital pioneers, innovators and ground breaking set-ups to find partners and genuine opportunity in the real world. The CODE_n contest sets up a 50-way battle for the chance to win a CODE_n award“.

OK, so you’re smart, you have an idea, you get in contact with Ulrich’s team, enter the CODE_n competition and win – what happens next?

“Well, last year’s winner was myTaxi“, said Helen. “It is an app that links people who need a taxi cab with the taxi drivers themselves – without the need for a costly cab company. It has already been rolled out across Germany and has tested positively in Washington DC”.

Given that Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and T-Mobile are among the partners who believe in myTaxi – KitGuru reckons we can expect a global booking revolution over the next 12-24 months.

One of last year's winners picks up a phat cheque. More importantly, they now have access to business development heavyweights like Ernst & Young. The cash is nice, but the connections will make you rich.

So why did GFT pick CeBIT 2013 ?

“We knew that taking a huge space, along the busiest passage through the main exhibition halls, would give up to 300,000 people a chance to engage with CODE_n and experience an environment where the pioneering spirit can flourish”, said Helen.

“For our CEO, Ulrich Dietz, developing a business idea is like creating a work of art”, said Helen. “To create a true masterpiece, you need to be inspired by phenomenal works of art – and that’s what we’re hoping to achieve with CODE_n“.

We asked Helen for her personal opinion on which innovation she believed would have the most impact over the next year or two.

“They are all incredibly good”, she told us. “But the robotic system for cleaning solar panels is amazing”.

OK. We’re a bit lost. A robot for cleaning what exactly?

“Many countries that have intense sunshine will be able to use solar power for a lot of their energy needs”, Helen explained. “But that heat tends to happen in the driest, dustiest areas. When the dust builds up on the surface of a solar panel, you can lose up to 80% of the panel’s efficiency. This new robotic cleaner helps maintain optimal electrical generation levels”.


KitGuru says: We are all about the new and innovative. Even if there is an underlying business reason for developing these CODE_n companies and ideas, we don’t care. They are helping to create a better tomorrow – and the force of the partners involved means that GFT can help take the winning ideas to market in the fastest possible time. More power to them.

Comment below, in the KitGuru forums or join us over on Facebook.

Become a Patron!

Check Also

TSMC gets greenlight for 2nm chip plans

Just one day after Intel detailed its process node roadmap and naming changes, rival chip …