Inspired by Crayon conference shows Norway’s place as a global IT leader
Sometimes, Norway can seem like a land of only oil, fish and timber. But for attendees at the Inspired by Crayon conference in Oslo, the Norway that was on show was a nation taking its place as a global leader in all the technologies that matter.
Crayon’s conference aimed to showcase how select organizations in Norway have deployed digital technology to make life easier for employees and citizens. It swiftly morphed into recognizing the fact that in cloud services, digitalization, artificial intelligence and machine learning, Norway is leading the global pack.
‘Innovation Norway’ hits the skies
Opening the conference was Innovasjon Norge, which proudly trumpeted its status as the first European public organization to transfer its entire IT infrastructure to the Cloud. The group embraced the need to change the architecture of both its IT and its organization to meet the challenges of the cloud-based future, migrating from an array of data centers with various service providers to one unified Cloud solution. According to IT leader Maria Hermansen, the change to Microsoft’s cloud services has enabled Innovasjon Norge to radically improve and simplify the service it provides to customers and enhance internal operational efficiencies. Once seen as just a source for finance for Norwegian growth businesses, Innovasjon Norge has transformed into an invaluable strategic partner to its clients.
Lørenskog – Norway’s most advanced municipality?
Lørenskog municipality’s presentation was equally startling. It was recently heralded as one of Europe’s most technologically advanced councils (by engineering giant Multiconsult) after the completion of its multi-year digitalization program that has revolutionized the council’s infrastructure, processes and operational efficiency.
According to Lørenskog’s IT director Sidsel Nordhagen, the first stage was an upgrade of Lørenskog’s communications infrastructure to a superfast network. Once that was in place “we set about systematically upgrading our system architecture and processes to bring connectivity to everyone with the help of Crayon, Microsoft and other providers.
“Lørenskog is… in the Cloud. Our entire operation is digitized and wireless-enabled and our overall service offering has dramatically improved,” she said.
The greener, super-efficient, super-connected service-orientated municipality is not a dream – it has arrived.
Europe’s most advanced municipality meets its most advanced hospital
The startling achievements of Lørenskog were followed by the ground-breaking innovations at Sykehuset Østfold and its project to develop the world’s first fall-prevention system powered by AI and machine learning.
The prototype, driven by Microsoft’s Azure platform and built by Crayon subsidiary, Inmeta, is ready to be put through an operational test. The potential benefits are significant - for every 1000 hospital beds, five patients will endure serious injuries as a direct result of a fall from a bed, resulting in longer stays in hospitals and further demands on the overall system.
Applying AI and ML for efficiency
Statsbygg, the Norwegian government agency that oversees real estate, wanted to be more cost-effective while helping employees be more productive. It turned to Crayon’s data experts who recently were named Microsoft’s No. 1 Partner for AI and ML. Statsbygg Assitant Director, Per Erling Walle, told a crowd of more than 150 people at Inspired by Crayon, how a Smart Chatbox was developed that made it easier to navigate the agency's internal document management and storage system 24/7 for its more than 800 employees, plus improved integration with external IT systems.
Saving money and supercharging strategy
When aircraft operator Norwegian took to the stage, the topic discussed was not machine learning but proactive software asset management, an aspect of a company’s business that has changed dramatically over the past few years and one “that is not to be underestimated,” said Petter Granviken, Head of IT-Technical Operations at Norwegian. Granviken talked animatedly about how active license management and its strategic partnership with Crayon enables his business to optimize the cloud services they require, deliver technical expertise when they need it most and produces serious cost and efficiency savings.
Microsoft backs Norway again
The last session of the conference at Vulkan Arena was a discussion centered on Microsoft’s much-heralded decision to build two data center regions in Norway in 2019. Christopher Frenning, Microsoft’s Director of Cloud and AI was keen to stress how much the decision was a vote of confidence in Norway’s IT market.
For Crayon Norway CEO Geir Øivind Gulliksen however, the investment was further recognition of the state of play in the Norwegian IT market today – as well as leading the way in cloud technology, Norway, (and Crayon) now boasts of being “one of the largest competence pool of data science and AI experts in the Nordics.”
Crayon Group Holding ASA is a leading IT advisory firm in software and digital transformation services. With unique IP tools and skilled employees, Crayon help optimize its clients' ROI from complex software technology investments. Crayon have long experience within volume software licensing optimization, digital engineering, predictive analytics and assists the clients through all phases of the process of a digital transformation. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, the company has approximately 1,400 employees in 45 offices worldwide.
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