Big Boys Shun CeBIT
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The big boys of the IT Industry have failed show up at this year’s CeBIT being held at Sydney’s Darling Harbour. Among the organisations to no bill the event are Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Canon, Fuji, Cisco, Toshiba, Lenova and Acer.

Also missing are the top three, notebook, PC, server and printer vendors along with the top 3 storage and network vendors. Instead the event is packed with 700 small stands many taken up by overseas vendors who are trying to find customers, resellers or solution providers for their products.

Among those brands to be supporting the event are Panasonic whose stand is half the size of the one they had at last years CEDIA event on the Gold Coast, LG, D Link, Netgear, Vodaphone, Intel who also have a small stand LG, and Blackberry. The Gold sponsor is IT unknown Huawei.       

While most trade shows have to survive on their commercial operations and the revenue they generate from attendees, sponsors or exhibitors, the organisers of the CeBIT show rely on Government hand outs.

CeBIT is run by Hanover Fairs a Company owned by the German Government. This is the same organisation that claimed in 2003 that it was unable to run an event in Australia without an injection of government funding. It is the same organisation who blamed the Victorian Government for not coming to the party to fund the now failed Intelligent Home Show held in Melbourne.   

One organisation that does tip money in to support the Hanover Fair CeBIT events is the NSW Government and as such the NSW Premier gets a gig at the event. At this years show NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, announced plans to overhaul the way the government spends its $1 billion annual ICT budget.

Speaking at CeBIT in Sydney, Iemma said the government was looking to introduce a state-wide plan to achieve greater coordination in the management of its ICT activities.

This would involve an all-of-government PCs procurement scheme based on aggregated technical specifications, aimed at providing considerable savings, he said.

“We’re also looking at getting more for the $260 million we outlay on voice telecommunications annually, so we will look to aggregate our voice [services] by the end of the year.”

Iemma said he had also recently set up a council of public sector ICT officers with the goal of identifying areas which could be aggregated – such as common applications and government licensing.

This would lead to increased integration of common business functions, boost e-learning capabilities and the quality of online services, he said

Now in its fifth year, CeBIT Australia 2006 is expected to attract according to organisers some 30,000 visitors however many exhibitors say that this is a “big ask” considering the attendance on the first day.
Running for three days from the 9th May in the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, CeBIT covers the broad spectrum of business technology and the key elements that make up the ICT products and services marketplace.