Before going to this event in Berlin, we’ve talked about some upcoming trends in outsourcing in the area of IT and innovation. These were the ideas we’ve brought with us to open up discussions regarding how we see things as an SME in Romania, especially while working with companies from the DACH region.In case you haven’t read this, we recommend doing so before reading this. You can find it here: Outsourcing and Innovation – how we see things as an SME in Romania.Stephan Fricke, CEO of the biggest ITO/ BPO/ SSC network in Europe, as the main organiser, held the opening speech for the event, together with Rolana Nashwan, representative of the information technology industry development agency of Egypt and Ivaylo Slavov the chairman of the board of directors of the Bulgarian Outsourcing Association, welcoming about 60 participants: speakers, representatives of enterprises and outsourcing companies.The first keynote came from Dr. Uwe Dumslaff from Capgemini with an overview about the most important objectives of businesses regarding IT in the coming years. The main topic was the further development of digitalization strategies. At the same time, the increase of agility and flexibility continues to be a major focus to keep pursuing.This pushes IT providers to learn as much as possible from the business aspects of organisations in order to be able to develop innovative products, trim time to market, increase efficiency and data security, respectively to cut costs. All of these desirable effects of collaborating with a capable and forward-thinking technological partner have been identified by us as well and we’re happy to see the industry acknowledging these needs.In regards to digitalisation, the main question is what organisations have achieved through efforts in this direction. We can see the biggest results are in accessing new business areas in different industries. On the other hand, there’s plenty of room for improvement in other areas such as operational excellence and securing the market position.We’ve seen an interesting use case presented by Marco Palmonari, Head of AI at Assist Digital Europe, regarding innovation and digitalisation of customer service. For a leading insurance company, voice bots were introduced in the first phase of the customer journey, leaving human operators intervene only in cases where there was too much background noise or the customer message was not comprehensible.The second part of the event was opened by Dr. Edward Enger, Head of Outsourcing Management at AXA Konzern AG, with very helpful insights regarding how vendor management works, what are the main selection criteria and how they approach potential vendors: “In times of interdependent value chains, only those companies who can successfully manage vendor risk will thrive.”Insurance companies especially operate in a tightly regulated space and thus need to lower risks regarding their customer data. This needs to be managed together with the vendors thus mitigate potential risks.After a networking lunch, Stephan Fricke returned to lead a panel discussion so that vendors and buyers can share their visions and expectations from one another. This helped the audience have a clearer understanding about the way both sides are thinking, see similarities and overall offer a guideline on how to find a suitable provider.Hans Henrik Groth, CEO & Founder at CrossWorkers Denmark, presented the most important assessment criteria used to evaluate both the outsourcing geographical location and the competences. In a way it also acted as a good summary of the previous discussed topics and the main message for suppliers and buyers.