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Just Test(bed) IT: Successfully Creating Added Value

Steinbeis Engineering Day 2017

Testbeds are the industry term for experimental platforms where companies from different sectors can work together to add value and network in a way that has never been seen before. Based on this concept, Steinbeis has developed a format for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly those involved in retail, the manual trades, and manufacturing business: Micro Testbeds. The 4th Steinbeis Engineering Day will ask how they can be successfully introduced in practice. The event is scheduled for April 5, 2017 and will be held at the Haus der Wirtschaft (house of commerce) in Stuttgart.

Internet based networking and platform-oriented ecosystems are already massively changing classic value chain structures. We’re seeing established borders between sectors of industry break down. On the one hand, this grants new market participants entry to established sectors. On the other, it opens up great opportunities, particularly for SMEs, allowing them to participate in value creation in new market segments. As a result, testbeds arose on the international stage, allowing companies to work across sectors in collaborative partnerships. These have allowed them to experiment on value chain scenarios together in real company environments in ways that were previously not possible. The result: interdisciplinary collaboration, drawing on existing technology to create new products and services with a bearing on digitalization and networking. These testbeds have worked very well in industrial contexts – but they are geared toward the conditions encountered in large companies. Adjustments have to be made for SMEs, especially to take into account SME success factors, as well as the things that sometimes limit them. The Micro Testbeds take these criteria into account, forming the basis of the first initiatives. The Ferdinand Steinbeis Institute and the Steinbeis Digital Business Consortium will present the methods followed for the Micro Testbeds at the 2017 Steinbeis Engineering Day. To do this, they will showcase actual examples from practice. The aim is to give the audience the chance to join a Micro Testbed and thus get actively involved in digitalization and networking.