At the CIO of the Year event that took place today in Brdo pri Kranju, the BTC Company received the Digital Transformation of the Year award for its successful implementation of numerous digital solutions. This award aims to encourage and strengthen awareness about the importance of digital transformation within Slovenian companies.
At this year’s CIO of the Year event, intended for the promotion of solutions and achievements within the Slovenian ICT field, the awards CIO of the Year and Digital Transformation of the Year were presented in addition to seminars and the round table themed Management of IT in times of economic growth and new technological challenges. On behalf of the BTC Company, the Digital Transformation of the Year award was accepted by Julij Božič, executive director for innovation and business digitisation. Awarded by the honorary guest of the event, Sonja Šmuc, MSc, general director of the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Slovenia, and Pavel Škerlj, Head of IT at Petrol Group and Chair of the CIO of the Year Committee, the BTC Company became the proud recipient of an art sculpture by Drago Tršar, succeeding last year’s winner of the Digital Transformation of the Year award – NLB, d. d.
In compliance with its developmental strategy 2020, the BTC Company has for several years focused its business on the development of innovations and technologically advanced solutions; in 2015, BTC and a group of young entrepreneurs co-founded the internationally renowned ABC Accelerator, which has helped over 90 startups across the world. In 2016, the BTC Company founded a business pillar for innovation and digitisation, and started implementing numerous projects supported by new technologies; thereby, it created a support environment for planning and implementing innovative solutions.
“In the rankings of digital transformation, measured by IMD, Slovenia places somewhere in the middle – it is ranked 34th among 63 countries. But our country strives to be better than average. It is encouraging to see us moving in the right direction, ranking higher than in the previous year each new year for the past three years. In Slovenia, the BTC Company represents the notion of transformation; those who know the history of the company are well aware of how the BTC City area looked 20, 30 years ago, especially compared to how it looks today, as it keeps changing with almost every passing month. It is all happening gradually and thus appears completely natural. BTC sets an important example to many, not only in Slovenia but also internationally. Its transformation is a testament to what is possible if one is determined to stay young and vital, and it shows how one can transform and upgrade themselves while at the same time being successful”, said Sonja Šmuc MSC, general director of the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Slovenia.
Upon the presentation of the award, Gregor Jemec, CEO of Housing Co., which grants the award, pointed out: “The recipient of the ‘Digital Transformation of the Year’ award – the BTC Company – has made significant strides in the domain of digitisation. BTC includes young, talented, and promising individuals and companies, whose knowledge and business are focused on the development and creation of new smart solutions in their ecosystem. At the same time, by educating employees about new technologies and opening an office for innovations, BTC motivates and raises the level of innovation in the company. With its advancements and its business model, the company is an example of exceptional knowledge, willpower and innovation, and a potential model for the future development of Slovenian technologically advanced companies.”
Upon receiving the award, Julij Božič, executive director for innovation and business digitisation in the BTC Company, said: “The BTC Company takes on challenges brought about by the fast tempo of digitisation and technological advancements, necessary for the business operations of organisations. By encouraging innovation, we contribute to breakthrough solutions and create opportunities for strengthening our own competitive edge while also employing these improvements for the betterment of our society and the environment. We are an open innovation system, which, through making connections and our own development, paves the way for modern business processes and the shopping experience of the future for all our visitors, clients, and business partners in BTC City, as well as for logistics services and beyond. This was clear already in April 2018 at the Future Day, when we were the first in Slovenia to introduce the autonomous vehicle Navya to the international and local professional and general public. It pleases us to see that the award committee recognised the added value of our digitisation projects. This is a testament to our efforts and at the same time an encouragement to continue with processes that will generate new opportunities for growth and development of this unique ecosystem in the future.”
The BTC Company received the award due to numerous reasons, including the company’s successful transformation in the past 60 years from a public warehouse area to a smart, digital, and innovative city, which today represents a unique reference ecosystem, recognised by the local and international public.
Besides the transformation and digitisation of its existing business processes, whereby BTC implements various improvements to optimise the company’s business and introduce new digital solutions, the company is also active in many other technologically advanced domains.
Under the auspices of BTC, the concept of the Bitcoin City was developed, the first such city in the world, which enables cryptopayment through Elipay at more than 100 sales points in BTC City Ljubljana. Implementing advanced solutions developed by Eligma, a company that was co-founded by BTC, BTC City Ljubljana is introducing advanced AI and blockchain technologies to provide its customers with a modern shopping experience and give them the option to pay with cryptocurrencies. In September, Eligma launched the first prototype of the AI-based virtual shopping assistant Elly. The Bitcoin City was recognised by the international public, which places Slovenia among the top progressive countries of reference.
In the domain of blockchain technology development and networking, the BTC Company is an initiator and active member. On Europe Day, 9 May, the BTC Company signed a letter of intent to found the European Blockchain Hub; thereby, it joined the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, the Digital Innovation Hub, Blockchain Alliance Europe, the Kenup Foundation, the Adriatic Council, Consensys, the Cotrugli Business School, the Institute for Superior Digital Technologies, and Blockchain Lab:UM as a founding member. The European Blockchain Hub will have its seat in BTC City Ljubljana. It will open its doors on 5th October.
In the scope of the so-called BTC Living Lab, companies can test their own breakthrough ideas and prototypes in the real-life testing environment of BTC City Ljubljana, whose rich and branched infrastructure enables the testing of advanced business ideas, products, and services. One of them is the AV Living Lab (i.e., the Autonomous Vehicle Living Lab), which develops concepts for testing the autonomous vehicles of the future. As such, it connects with the most renowned international car manufacturers, who envision their future in autonomous driving.
Another important project undertaken by BTC is the Japanese-Slovenian smart network project Nedo, which will seek to ensure optimal energy use and set its own energy storage units.
By planning and implementing innovative projects, the BTC Company successfully takes advantage of the potentials of digitisation. By connecting with numerous Slovenian and international companies, the academia, and other countries, the company shows its openness to global trends in all domains. As a new member of the national reference network of creative laboratories FABLAB, which aims to increase innovation in the region, the BTC Company will be even more tightly connected with young people creating the future. It continues to successfully take great strides on its path to becoming the leading company in implementing and testing new technologies.
BTC d.d., Maja Oven, Director of Market Communication and Public Relations Sector
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PHOTO: Blaž Verbič