The hi-tech 'Systems 2002' International Trade Fair for information technology throws open its doors on Monday in Germany's technology capital, Munich.
All systems go: Munich presents the 2002 IT Trade Fair
The Systems 2002 International Trade Fair -- the showcase for the information technology, communications and new media industries -- opened in Munich on Monday despite the numbers of exhibitors this year falling by 25 per cent.
The industry is said to be experiencing a down-turn in fortunes at the moment but this news isn't expected to discourage the crowds who will descend on the New Munich Trade Fair Centre for five days of hardware, software and external add-ons.
The success of Systems 2001 showed organisers that despite fears of decline, the market is currently undergoing restrained growth. indeed, last year's fair has given rise to an atmosphere of cautious optimism among industry representatives. This may explain the drop in exhibitor numbers but can also go some way to explain the continued appeal of the fair.
The predicted 120,000 visitors who come to peek into the future at the 21st trade fair this week will be treated to a host of technological advances, particularly in the field of security of business network systems. Indeed, those who come to buy such technology care little about market trends: they care much more about simply protecting their data.
Network security is again one of the main themes of the fair. And exhibitors of such computer security technology will be hoping their innovations will not only attract interest, but investment as well.
Amongst the many technologies designed to keep your work and systems hacker-free are state-of-the-art security measures that claim to keep prying eyes and eavesdroppers out. But it might be a case of not being able to try before you buy: they are so secret, there is virtually no information available on them.
Cut, blow dry and access to email - working solutions available at Systems 2002.
Innovations in the way we all work will also be on show. In today's fast paced world, many people find that travel between appointments allows time to catch up on your work or prepare for that all important meeting. New advances aim to take that concept to the next stage.
The 'wireless office', using Local Area Network, or LAN technologies, allows workaholics to take the office wherever their business may take them.
Other exhibits feature the advances in e-Government programming. And with more and more local and national administrations looking for an interactive net presence, electronic governing is one area where the industry hopes to see growth.
Ecology is also on the cards at this year's fair. Technology enabling offices to become 'paper free' is also on show and exhibitors hope these innovations will point the way to more efficient and user-friendly government services - a subject that should warm every German visitors' heart.
As well as a showroom for the business systems of the future, the conference also aims to promote the development of a strong network for co-operation between German IT businesses and enterprises in Eastern Europe.
Building bridges with Eastern Europe
The organisers of Systems 2002 hope that the promotion of Eastern European companies will help to establish a working relationship in the development and application of information, computer & communication technologies.
Representatives of German IT companies and politicians will meet at the trade fair to discuss further steps for the support of business co-operation between Germany and Eastern European countries.
With seminars discussing ways to forge new partnerships in the creation of possible futures and crowds of people wanting to invest in personal and commercial technology, the question must be: slump? What slump?