Confidence between customers and operators : Success key for e-Tourism

e-Tourism is one of the engines for development of tourism industry specially for independant hotels, while international chains have quality standards which are well known by custommers. Operators need to be trustable on long term in order to develop confidence from customers. Actually some actors have a small term view, in order to catch customers without ensuring the service they are waiting for. 
A french study from Hotel, cafés and restaurants newspaper, analyse some key points that customers declare as important issues such Wifi access. 34 % of hotels visitors (and 54 % of business visitors) declares that free efficient wifi access is the most important issue they look when booking an hotel. At the same time, some hotels and operators develop a « free access » where access to email and VPN are intentionnally blocked and very small broadband, and they propose a « premium access » where broadband is wider, access to emails is allowed, as well as VPN. the cost of this « premium access » can be up to 25% of room cost. Booking portals (including market leaders) argue that they just forward informations given by hotels and decline their responsability about informtions given ! Even when they are informed about wrong informations they continue to deliver them ! 
This clearly decrease the confidence the customers have on those operators. When analysing e-Tourism market, the e-Jobs Observatory identified the customer orientation, as well as ethical way of marketing as one of the main issue for e-Tourism !….

Source : le Cercle Les Echos

ADvanced monitoring serVices of Elder via sensor NeTworks (ADVENT)

ADVENT is a project funded under the action “Cooperation 2011 – Productive and research institutions’ partnerships in targeted research and technology domains”, of the National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013, Greece

It focuses on the area of Personal Health Systems, in the field of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), where it proposes a novel platform to support the provision of a comfortable and safe environment for daily living of elders, while retaining their mobility and independency. This will be achieved through advanced technologies in various research fields that will be integrated in a specially designed platform, in order to facilitate the provision of a coherent set of personalized services. 

The main objectives of ADVENT are to develop and implement the ADVENT platform, as well as a series of health-related and general purpose assistive services. An ultimate objective is the creation of the proper conditions to assist elderly people to carry out their daily activities with improved security, confidence and efficiency. ADVENT will deploy a system architecture for real-time data acquisition from heterogeneous sources: bio-sensors, sensing devices providing context data (e.g. location) and user profiles providing personal data enriched with context-related information. These data will be properly processed to produce medical knowledge for decision support purposes and facilitate personalized service delivery. 
ADVENT will develop a prototype product to provide automated assistance to the elderly at home, targeting a market that promises to grow as people live longer. The technologies utilized within ADVENT will produce a prototype modular package, with interfaces that will be very easy to use, integrated with hardware and software components that will encompass 2nd and 3rd generation telecare. The package will be embedded in a holistic service concept, targeting the actual needs of the elders’ independent living and it will be tested and evaluated in real-world contexts.

First Round Table on the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs

The First Round Table on the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs took place on 21-22 May 2013 at the Oracle Belgium offices in Brussels. 

Representatives from the European Commission, the ICT industry, National Ministries of Education, Universities, VET institutions participated in interactive workshops tackling the following topics:
  • Where are Digital Competences situated in today’s educational and training curriculum?
  • What are we doing towards European reference model for Digital Competences for learners?
  • How to organise dialogues industry-education?
  • Innovative ways of collaboration between formal education and training programms (apprentiships, dual learning, stages, etc.)
This is the First Round Table organised following the launch of the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, a multi-stakeholder partnership to tackle the lack of ICT skills and the several hundred of thousands of unfilled ICT-related vacancies.

From Green-IT to sustainable ICT

ICT plays an important role in the current days, it does not only change the way we work but also the way we live, organisations and individuals request more and more IT driven services, each day new e-applications appear and cloud computing (private or public) is present everywhere. To sustain this never ending demand, new ICT infrastructure comprising servers, storage systems, physical and wireless networks are developed.
This fast evolving change has a dual impact on the sustainability of our world. On one hand, ICT considerably helps to reduce the global environmental footprint of our society; for instance home working and teleconferencing solutions, e-commerce and e-government services clearly help in the diminishing of polluting travels. But, to operate these services, organisations more and more rely on new and powerful ICT infrastructures … that have negative environmental impacts. Huge quantities of energy are needed to feed the cloud and the datacenters; the networks and all the individual devices. Moreover, the conception of ICT equipment emits considerable CO2 equivalent emission, need precious and rare commodities and the end-of-life of these electronics equipment is far from green.
This has brought the issues of a greener and sustainable ICT to the attention of various entities including governments, NGOs, international standardization bodies, companies and individuals. The solution to this concern is commonly named Green-IT. Green-IT refers to environmentally sustainable computing. It is the study and practice of using computing resources with minimal or no impact on the environment. Green-IT strives for economic practicality and improved system performance while satisfying social and ethical responsibilities; it includes the dimensions of energy efficiency, sustainability, economics, and total cost of ownership (which includes the cost of disposals and recycling).
Green-IT is made of two interconnected domains, the greening OF IT and the greening BY IT. The greening OF IT refers to all actions taken by an organisation to make its IT more environmentally friendly by developing ecofriendly products, increasing the datacenter and IT infrastructure efficiency, reducing the paper consumption, introducing green criteria in the IT procurement and preparing for green project lifecycle and green software development. The greening BY IT refers to all IT projects and products allowing an organisation to reduce its global environmental footprint; like home working and smart work center policy, web based videoconferencing, electronic document management, e-services and applications.
It is sure that ICT has become unavoidable; making the role of Green-IT profiles pivotal to the success of green and sustainable initiatives by ensuring that the technology being used is « green » and power efficient, and by providing the IT tools and services needed to support organizations’ overall green investments. These Green-IT profiles must also help organisations in implementing a state of the art Green-IT governance in line with their corporate sustainable business development strategy.
Finally, new greening BY IT or ICT for sustainability profiles are emerging; they actively help to reach the ambitious 2020 European Commission energy target by participating in and promoting the most promising green-IT challenges like smart grids and smart cities projects and innovation 2.0 projects mixing ICT and sustainability.
So, let’s talk now about sustainable ICT profiles who will help organisations in a vital transformation from sustainable ICT to ICT for sustainability, open innovation and sustainable business models.


About the author:
Thierry Holoffe is Sustainable ICT Consultant of Green-ICT. Since 2009, he realizes Green-IT missions, gives public and onsite training and participates to events as speaker, focusing on Green-IT and sustainable business activities. He is a Green-IT Ambassador and endorser of the EU Code of Conduct for Datacenter.

Dem@Care Summer School on Ambient Assisted Living

The Dem@Care Summer School on Ambient Assisted Living (DemAAL) will take place on 16-20 September 2013 in Chania, Crete, Greece. Its programme is composed of high-quality lectures and lab sessions. A balance is kept between ICT and clinical related speakers both from inside and outside the Dem@Care project (FP7).

DemAAL Summer School is primarily intended for postgraduate (PhD or MSc) students, postdocs and researchers investigating clinical and technical aspects related to Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) technologies for remote health management, ageing well and independent living.

Topics

  • Dementia and ICT for staging, enablement, and support 
  • Wearable and pervasive computing 
  • Sensor networks 
  • Sensor correlation and fusion 
  • Context modelling 
  • Activity monitoring and recognition 
  • Semantic Complex Event Processing 
  • Contextual reasoning in AmI 
  • Assistive technologies for cognitive support and wellbeing 
  • Video & voice-based analytics for symptomatic assessment of dementia 

The organizers tried to keep it as affordable as possible with a fee of 450 Euros for the whole week including lecture materials, accommodation, lunches and social events. 


Registration deadline: 30th May 2013.

ICT 2013: Registration open!

ICT 2013, the biggest ICT event in Europe, will be held in Vilnius on 6-8 November, 2013. It will bring together Europe’s best & brightest in ICT research, with businesses old & new, web start-ups and digital strategists to chart a path for Europe’s ICT research policy. Join us to share your vision for the future with EU policy-makers, and see the latest advances in EU-funded ICT research.
More than 4000 researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, industry representatives, young people and politicians are expected in Vilnius. Registration for the event has just been opened.

European e-Competence Framework promoted to become a European Standard

The CEN Workshop on ICT Skills decided at its last plenary meeting to promote the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) to a European Standard after e-CF v3 has been successfully delivered at the end of 2013. 

Currently e-CF is a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA), which entails no obligation for its implementation at national level. Should the e-CF become a European Standard, it will be implemented a national standard across the the EU MSs. 
The European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) is a reference framework of 36 ICT competences that can be used and understood by ICT user and supply companies, the public sector, educational and social partners across Europe. 

Call for proposals in Eco-innovation

Got a great business project that could make Europe greener but don’t know how to get it off the ground? The 2012 Eco-innovation call for proposals may be for you!
The EC published a new call for green innovation within the CIP programme. The participation of SMEs is encouraged! Topics include:
  • Materials Recycling
  • Sustainable Building Products
  • Food and Drink Sector
  • Water
  • Greening businesses

More information about the info-day here.



Important dates:

Closing date of call for proposals: 6 September 2013

Always in final round and not elected ? Check your soft skills demonstration !

You apply for different recruitments, you are often chosen for final selection, but do not get the job … One of the most probable issue is that you fail to demonstrate your « soft skills » !

In a recruitment process, as analysed by the e-jobs Observatory in different e-jobs fields, the first step is to eliminate the candidates which technical skills does not fit to the organisation criteria, then in a second step, the final decision is done on transversal skills and mainly on the non formal competences. Miriam Salpeter journalist at US news explain clearly « how it does not work » sometimes ! She proposes 5 decisive issues : Work ethic, positive attitude, communication skills, Time management and self confidence. those issues are not the only one, but as we analysed job market in Europe they are clearly an important issue !

The Petra Conference in Rhodes, Greece welcomes CompAAL!

On 30 May 2013 the e-Jobs Observatory and partners of the CompAAL project will launch the session « How Ambient Assisted Living influences the job market – a European view » of the PETRA conference in Rhodes, Greece. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss, among others, the reflection of the real competence needs of the Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) sector on the AAL Job Role Profiles, identified by the CompAAL consortium.  

Representatives from the Hellenic Open University (HOU), partner of CompAAL, will also participate in the main conference programme, where they will speak about AAL, a rapidly growing economic sector with a great potential of creating new jobs. Despite the prosperity of the sector, proper education for qualifying employees in the AAL area is still massively lagging behind. CompAAL is aiming to develop a set of Job Role Profiles for players in the field of AAL. The preliminary results of user analysis regarding AAL qualifications and training needs will be presented, as well as the research methodology used for collecting and processing related data.
The 6th International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA) focuses on technological solutions for the in- home care of the elderly, as well as the care of people with chronic disorders. This year it will take place from 28 to 30 May 2013 in the island of Rhodes, Greece.