iCU’17 – One Belt One Road for Telco Digital Transformation


Bucharest hosted between 11th and 12th of April a pioneering event in East Europe, part of an international network of events for key players in telecommunication. The “iCU’17 – One Belt One Road” in Bucharest was the first from a similar series of events which will be hosted by Hong Kong (20-21 June), Frankfurt (5-6 September), and Amsterdam (3-4 October). EuroCloud Romania was part of the event partners, hosting the panel discussion dedicated to the Cloud.

Established in June 2016 in Berlin, iCU Events organise international networking events for key players in telecommunications, including telecoms, datacenters, mobile tech, IoT and digital marketing companies. The Bucharest iCU’17 event main purpose was to offer a neutral networking bridge between East and West, for all telecom operators, wholesale carriers and service providers which buy or sell voice, data, delegate SMS, cloud, peering, data centre, content and other services. More than 300 managers and specialists from 30 countries participated in this event, having as main partners NxtVn (as iCU events global partner), Telekom Romania Wholesale, Telekom Austria Group Wholesale, Turk Telecom, Azertelecom, Microsoft, NLix, NXDATA, EuroCloud Romania, ANISP, ANIS, eco, and AFOR.

The panel discussion proposed by iCU for Bucharest event covered a large spectrum of subject reflecting the large transformation process covering the telecom industry, from the centric role of the customer in banking industry, to the “New silk road from China to Germany”, or “Evolution of fiber optic  cables and networks in Romania” and the new partnership between wholesale and enterprise for changing the business needs. The second-day agenda was opened by the Cloud role in digital transformation, followed by a very interesting panel dedicated to the data centers transformation under the impact of evolving IT architectures, and content, digital media & Cloud providers development. Also interesting was the IoT dedicated panel, where the discussions covered how to build an IoT environment for a smart city project.

A special look to “Cloud – a driver of digital transformation” panel moderated by Elena Zvarici – President EuroCloud Romania, and having as guest representants Adrian Popa – Hosting Data Center Product Manager at Telekom Romania, Daniel Rusen – Cloud & Enterprise Lead at Microsoft Romania, Elena Cartsoiu – COO at 4PSA, and Dan Nechita – former State Counselor in Romanian Government. Cloud Computing is becoming more than a driver for the digital transformation process. Cloud is the main driver in this revolutionary phenomenon.  And there are a lot of arguments able to sustain this.

Focusing on the Cloud transformation role for a country like Romania, all panel participants agreed this transformation process is not easy but should be started with an equal focus on horizontal economic efficiency perspectives, but from big companies, SMB and government also. Microsoft was the first large software provider to launch Cloud solutions in Romania, and Telekom was naturally the first major operator to offer special packages for different business categories, whose diversification package was dictated by the growing demand for cloud services. “We have seen this phenomenon of adopting Cloud solutions as a challenge and we have found that the transition process is not easy. Being a local subsidiary of a large international group, it has been easier for us to adapt to the very specific services of the market From Romania,” said Adrian Popa of Telekom.

Answering to CloudMania’s question about “How do you appreciate the Cloud adoption opening of the Romanian market for Cloud solutions?”, the panel participants admitted that the process was not easy at all, and the essence of transformation depends on the level of customer’s permissibility for digital technologies. “From our experience, the first adopters of the Cloud solutions were those who quickly understood what the benefits are. High-tech companies, followed by banking, were those with more evolved digital skills,” said Daniel Rusen from Microsoft. “In our case also we noticed a step-by-step adoption process. The first companies that have turned to Cloud have migrated their lighter processes first, following an increasingly complex integration as they have achieved the benefits of operational efficiency and cost savings,” said Adrian Popa from Telekom. Dan Nechita, ex-member of the government and initiator of the GovITHub project, explained how difficult it was to approach digital technologies in public services and mentioned the need for continuity of the programs started, especially from the perspective of raising the general level of digital skills, as well as from the perspective of alignment with European legislation.

The conclusion of the discussions in the Cloud Panel was that although we are still in an early stage, in a few years Romania may become a champion of the Cloud services adoption in Central and Eastern Europe.

A special mention for the highly professional organisation of the event by iCU Events, which brought to Romania a new model of valorising local talents and technologies, in conjunction with regional evolutions and trends, in a field characterised by the most dynamic evolution.

Image source: ICU Events

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