WISDOM ACROSS THE BOARD   //   INTERVIEW #3

​Last week, Albert Seubers, Director of Global Strategy IT in Cities at Atos – one of FIWARE Foundation’s founding Members – laid down how his extensive career has proved to be an added value to FIWARE’s BoD. He has also elaborated on where the FIWARE Foundation’s strengths – and challenges – lie in and how he is planning to contribute to the Foundation’s future growth plans. This week, we heard from Agustín Cárdenas Fernández, Director of Business Transformation, Telefónica Empresas, to get his perspective on the matter.

FIWARE Foundation: Why do you want to be on the board?

Agustín Cárdenas Fernández: The software world lacks clear standardization, and the closest thing we can find is in the Open Source communities: a collection of developers, technology experts, and organizations from all walks of life that applies rules it has defined, maintains them, and ensures that they are followed on a global scale. Similarly, when it comes to making investments, the code generated by this model is more reliable and secure. It is also a strong innovation factor, generating business solutions in a more sustainable way. Hence, given the tremendous potential of Open Source technologies, it is vital that a large and diverse group of developers is in place to perform the needed updates, find potential errors, solve vulnerabilities and give continuity to a given project.

 

This is why I am confident that many of the technologies of the future will be created using Open Source since it facilitates the creation of innovation ecosystems that improve both the productivity of companies and the lives of citizens or even the sustainability of our planet. This can be achieved once we have a strong and global culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration between public and private entities.

 

In this sense, by taking advantage of this collaboration framework, FIWARE is becoming one of the world’s technologies that is growing faster than the speed of light and firmly consolidated itself, especially in areas such as Smart Cities and Smart AgriFood, and will soon follow suit in areas such as industry 4.0 and Smart Ports.

 

With that said, despite the rapid growth and projection that FIWARE is currently experiencing, the FIWARE Community is still small and needs to be further cared for in these first years of life so that it can organically grow by respecting the values for which the initiative was born out (knowledge sharing and collaboration, support for the entrepreneurial field, unification and agreement of standards, sustainability, meritocracy, thinking globally but acting locally). Telefónica shares such values and firmly believes in all of them, which is why we consider it important to be on the FIWARE BoD (Board of Directors), in order to help the FIWARE Community grow in a strong and sustainable manner as well as ensuring that the contact and collaboration between the Community members are active and ongoing.

FIWARE Foundation: What experiences do you bring from your current role and your career to date that would be valuable for the Foundation?

Agustín Cárdenas Fernández: Telefónica has been holding a very active role in the FIWARE Community since its inception. From a technical point of view, it can be said that our company has been one of the most active members contributing and providing a significant amount of relevant components to enhance FIWARE technology. Here to be mentioned are contributions to core elements of the FIWARE platforms available in the market, such as the Orion Context Broker.

 

From a Community point of view, we are proud to see how FIWARE Zone iHub, an public and private initiative between Telefónica and the Andalusia region went on to become one of the most active FIWARE iHubs worldwide, not only by supporting the creation of new international iHubs, but also by carrying out activities of dynamization and mentoring of the local ecosystem (companies and public administrations). By delivering services of very high value for the local community, FIWARE Zone has contributed to transforming Málaga into the technological and entrepreneurial hub it is these days. For example, due to the successful 1st FIWARE Experts Bootcamp – held in Málaga in December 2019 – the region now counts with a dozen of FIWARE Experts.

 

In addition, Telefónica has always been very active in various FIWARE’s Mission Support Committees, one of the key ways to grow the FIWARE community. Hence, these are not just intentions, but solid efforts. Our strong commitment to the FIWARE Foundation is embodied in our role – not only as one of its founding members – but also as a Platinum Member. And our participation in the Board of Directors further mirrors such firm commitment.

 

On a personal note, given my extensive career in helping companies to fast speed their digital transformation journey, my skills can certainly be an asset to the FIWARE members.

FIWARE Foundation: Where do you see the Foundation in three years from now and what will your contribution to its further growth be?

Agustín Cárdenas Fernández: FIWARE, as a technology should aspire to be the reference standard for interconnecting the ‘system of systems’, which will help improve people’s lives in the near future. Therefore, FIWARE Foundation should be a technological reference.

 

Three years from now we will have many concrete and visible results of all the incredible efforts currently in place right now at the Foundation: for instance, the number of cities using FIWARE-based platforms will have multiplied exponentially and many other sectors such as Smart industry and Smart AgriFood will have their first real use cases.

 

In terms of what our contribution to reach such scenarios will look like, be assured that Telefónica will continue to be committed to the Foundation and the FIWARE community as a whole, by leading real projects in many cities, developing pilots in new sectors and making the FIWARE adoption a reality among companies and public administrations worldwide. Finally, it goes without saying that FIWARE can also count on the backing and support of the Telefónica brand, which has long ago established itself as a consolidated brand with a strong sense of sustainable corporate identity.

Stay tuned as next week we bring you a perspective from the other side of the world as we get together with Dilip Hanumara, CEO of Trigyn Technologies.