Category: Blog, News
Author: Silke Jungblut

Review Customer Day 2023


On 3 May, we were once again pleased to invite you to our annual Customer Day in Frankfurt am Main. We were pleased to see many familiar faces, but also a few new ones, with whom we were able to spend a pleasant evening and subsequent day.

Because already on 2 May – well rested after the holiday – the pre-event began, which this time took us to the Irish pub in Bornheim. In addition to delicious food, there was a pub quiz created especially for this evening, which was taken by well-mixed groups of customers and alfa employees. The reward was Baileys chocolates and Kilkenny beer to celebrate the victory. The cheerful mood continued, and some of those present went on to enjoy the rest of the evening.

After a varied breakfast, the overnight guests received support from the day’s participants, so that a lot of people attended the day’s presentations. Traditionally, our CEO, Michael Marcks, opened the event with introductory and topical words about our cooperations and the focus on artificial intelligence. Prof. Dr. Dahm – our keynote speaker – explained in more detail questions around the progress and areas of application of AI. Prof. Dr. Dahm is a digital transformation thought leader at IBM Deutschland GmbH, a business graduate and honorary professor for master’s degree programmes in management, and has been supporting companies in their digital transformation processes for over 20 years. In his keynote speech, he illuminated the possibilities, but also the complications of artificial intelligence, resulting in a differentiated and exciting presentation that not only brought new aspects to the topic, but also invited participants to pause and reflect. The lecture “Don’t be afraid of AI – opportunities for business and society” also hit the mark with the participants, so that some questions were asked and follow-up discussions were held during the coffee break.

After said first coffee break, which not only served to relax and chat, but also provided an opportunity to network and exchange experiences and information on current projects, the alfa keynote by Michael Marcks and Gerhard Schneider followed. “future NOW” provided insights into the partnerships being pursued, particularly in the area of automation and artificial intelligence, in order to free up important resources in the publishing houses. The merger of fidion and alfa was of course also discussed and an outlook was given on the upcoming joint projects. The internal reorganisation of alfa Media is not only organisational, but also symbolic, because the future has already begun not only for you, dear customers, but also for us at alfa Media.

Afterwards, CTO Oliver Andrich captivated the auditorium with a presentation on the topic of “Editorial Intelligence”. Especially the use of artificial intelligence and the Open AI interface of ChatGPT in the EditorialOrganiser attracted a lot of interest. In vivid use cases, our CTO presented the possible applications in the alfa modules without neglecting the human aspect. Videos from the tools directly helped to get a more precise picture of the procedure and results. Shortening texts, generating headlines or changing the style of a text were among the examples of the use of the OpenAI interface.

For this year’s customer presentation we were able to win Stephan Volkens from Boyens Medien, who not only told us about the reason why they decided on a complete renewal process of the software and hosting. This includes, among other things, an upgrade to the new versions of the ContentLine and the BusinessLine, and also the change to alfa Flex hosting, which brings better connectivity and higher security to the publishing house. Mr Volkens also reported on the prerequisites and conditions for such a changeover.

Rainer M. Wilbert then heated things up with a lively talk about the linkup ePaper and the app and asked those present to enter the ring with him fictitiously. Here he gave deep insights into how the modules are used and, of course, their advantages. Using the example of “Die Harke”, the participants were able to get a first impression of what results can be expected and what possibilities there are for layouting and compiling.

Stefan Plaß concluded the series of lectures with two relevant topics. First, the further development of the Webstore to the Webstore+ was explained, which is particularly characterised by the redesign. In addition to a more modern design, this also ensures savings in administration and management effort, so that a more attractive user experience can be achieved.

For the second topic, Mr. Plaß took us on a journey of experience with the integration of HubSpot. This was realised in various degrees of maturity and constantly adapted to the knowledge gained. With insights directly into AdSuite Market, the result was then highlighted with advantages and disadvantages.

After a wonderful and friendly day full of important information and conviviality, our customer event came to an end. We are very pleased that so many of you attended and hope to welcome you again next year.