Dear prostep ivip members
On behalf of the entire management board I hope this finds you in good
health and the flow of negative news over the last days and weeks has not taken away your breath.
The economic outlook is anything but rosy. Some days ago the IMF predicted a recession worse than
after the financial crisis with a contraction in the global economy of 3% in 2020. The economic
output in the euro-zone, for which the IMF still forecasted a growth of 1,3 percent in January, might
even shrink by 7,5 percent.
The Corona crisis not only threatens our health, but also our prosperity.
However, it might also represent an opportunity to make changes happen. According to the German IT industry
association Bitkom the crisis could promote the digitization of economy and society in Germany. Virtual collaboration
has become socially acceptable, in political debates, at a doctor’s visit, in school classes and in companies,
whose employees have been working from home and have stayed in contact with the customer over digital communication
The working groups of the prostep ivip association have also successfully virtualized their work
and I do not see any restrictions in their activities. The assemblies of the member groups and the general meeting
of the association could be carried out online without any problems. At this point, I would like to sincerely thank
all those, who have made virtual collaboration organizationally and technically possible.
successful 2019 we started the current year with a lot of energy and new initiatives. Of course we would have
liked to report on those personally at the prostep ivip symposium in May, but we unfortunately had to cancel -
or better postpone - the event, due to the current ban on large gatherings and travel restrictions. If the
situation permits, we will hold the symposium in September in a slightly reduced version and with all necessary
protective measures, in order to maintain this unique forum for meeting the global PLM and digitization community
even in 2020.
Our motivating force is to utilize the increase in digitization triggered by the Corona virus
for the virtualization of product development. Subjects like Systems Engineering, model-based work, Digital
Manufacturing or Artificial Intelligence, which we have dealt with intensively for many years, have not suddenly
been stifled through the virus. On the contrary: for the re-start after the lock-down they are more important than
ever. If we succeed in digitizing the business processes from development to manufacturing and into the operation more
consistently, we will be able to react with agility to what the Americans call the „new normality“ and will emerge
digitally strengthened from this crisis.
Despite the complex set of challenges in all areas I am optimistic
that we will master this crisis with joint forces. Because the good news from the more recent past were quickly forgotten
under the barrage of bad news: at the end of last year Germany was named the most innovative nation by the renowned economic
news agency Bloomberg, even beating out the longstanding leader Korea. It is on this innovative power that we should focus