The Business Year

Portugal presents a unique range of opportunities for industrial giants to hone their skills, test out new technologies, and implement their broader 5G strategies on a smaller, more easily manageable scale.

Luis Miguel Silva

CEO, Ericsson Portugal

During my first year as CEO, we adjusted our management and tried to create a strong, cohesive, and united team. We also made some changes to our governance model, focusing more on motivating our employees so they take pride in being part of a challenging project with a total focus on our clients through the quality service and innovation that Ericsson is known for. In terms of our efforts with Altice to bring 5G to Portugal, we have so far signed 42 MoUs with several operators worldwide for 5G development and tests. Of these, we have 11 in Europe, and Altice Labs, the innovation centre for Altice Group, is one of them. We have also partnered with Vodafone and launched the 5G Hub in June 2017. The lab undertakes R&D activities and has been conducting proof-of-concepts, trials, and demonstrations. One of the main goals of this collaboration is to jointly define the requirements and deployment scenarios for 5G wireless systems and a 5G-ready core based on a virtualized network architecture. At the end of 2017, in partnership with Altice in Aveiro and Vodafone in Lisbon, Ericsson demonstrated this technology in the country for the first time. The initiative brought all R&D knowledge into practice through real 5G infrastructure, use cases, development, and tests to network operators in Portugal, laying the foundation for the technology’s eventual deployment.

Paula Panarra

Country Manager, Microsoft

Microsoft has been present in Portugal for over 28 years and has over 650 people working to live up to our goal of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. With over 550 support engineers providing technical support, we operate one of seven worldwide technical support centers here. This is key to the business—assessing customer needs and providing agile solutions to answer them in the best way possible. Portugal was selected for its attractiveness long before it was popular to establish big tech companies in the country, and the path our clients and partners have taken through digital transformation processes is vital to this success. Tomorrow, every company will be an AI firm. This digital transformation journey cannot be an ad-hoc project, given the profound impact it has on organizations. But nor can decisions be a top-down affair. Nowadays, thinking about technology and innovation is inseparable from AI, which can also help optimize resources and internal process, better access companies’ needs, support data management, and help find new products that redefine an organization’s business model. Microsoft’s goal is to make AI accessible to and valuable for everyone by amplifying human capabilities. It is not a case of what technology can do for us, but what we can do with technology, which is why we infuse AI in everything we do to reinvent productivity and drive growth.

António Raposo de Lima

Country General Manager, António Raposo de Lima

Founded in the US in 1911, IBM was the first among the information technology and communication companies to reach its centenary. In Portugal, IBM has just celebrated 80 years—eight decades of investing and innovating in the country. Portugal has unique conditions to attract investment and to be at the forefront of the current technological and digital transformation. For example, we can talk about our highly skilled professionals, the excellent IT and engineering educational training in our universities, the ease that our professionals have in speaking different languages, the high quality of technological infrastructure, or the competitive cost we have compared to certain central European countries. We have been investing in several centers in Portugal: the Infrastructure Outsourcing Delivery Center in Tagus Park, Oeiras, the Business Transformation Outsourcing Center in Braga, and the Application Management Services Center in Lisbon. And over the past five years, IBM has taken ambitious steps to reinforce its investment in Portugal through the creation of nearshoring service centers. At the Technological Innovation Center in Tomar, inaugurated in 2013, we employ around 350 people. As we registered a higher growth than initially expected, two years ago IBM inaugurated a complementary center, this time in Viseu. Both centers are mainly focused on the development of technological solutions in artificial intelligence, application maintenance services, banking, SAP, and IoT/smarter cities.

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