2020 Review: PROFIBUS & PROFINET International

  • Post category:PI NEWS
  • Reading time:4 mins read

If you want to sum up the year 2020 in buzzwords, six spontaneously come to mind:

  1. Corona
  2. Home office
  3. Uncertainty
  4. Cancelled
  5. Online
  6. Together

Certainly, at the beginning of 2020, no one expected these changes brought about by the pandemic. If someone talked about Corona a year ago, they probably wanted a beer –now it’s why the PI office is mostly home office.

Which brings us to the second buzzword. When you think of home office, the image of “working comfortably from the sofa” immediately pops into your head. The reality is, of course, completely different. Childcare, in particular, presented young families with major challenges. In retrospect, the transition of working from the office to home was certainly not easy – especially at the beginning – but from my point of view, it surprisingly went off without any major problems. Of course, the Internet connection at home is not as stable as in the office, or the lower bandwidth makes for longer waiting times when working with databases, but all in all, the services provided by the office to members and users of our technology could be delivered in the usual high quality. For this, a huge praise to all the employees of PI!

Let’s move on to the third point – the uncertainty in the initial phase of the pandemic. Which meetings are still possible? Which trips are allowed? Should events be cancelled even though they would still be allowed? These and many other questions kept us busy, especially in March. Many conferences with the Board and the office were the result. Ultimately with the result of the fourth keyword: canceled. After the Embedded World trade show still took place at the beginning of 2020 – with very moderate participation – practically all in-person events were cancelled afterwards. Particularly painful for PI was the Hannover Messe. For us, it is always a pivotal event for the exchange of ideas with our members and users. Our member meeting was also cancelled at the same time.

Increasingly, however, we replaced these events with online events. The fifth keyword. And, like many, we were surprised at the success. Especially with our technology seminars, we were able to reach significantly more participants than ever before. That convinced many skeptics that this was a path we needed to pursue. Even the go live of our new technology omlox was done as a video stream. And after omlox then won the Hermes Award, it was clear that we had added a new jewel to PI here. It is a true technology of the future.

Of course, 2020 was not always easy, but I will not consider it a lost year for me and for PI. We achieved a lot together (the sixth buzzword) despite the pandemic and learned a lot precisely because of Corona. Once again, we have shown that even after 30 years, PI is capable of adapting to a changing environment and succeeding. Together with our members, the many experts worldwide, and the users of our technology we plan to continue on this path.

Of course, I also hope for an end to the restrictions soon. Will we just go back to normal after that? I think a new normal has developed over the last 12 months, much of which we can take with us into the post-Corona world. Will everything take place online in the future? Certainly not –because I for one miss the direct contact with all my colleagues. And that’s why I’m looking forward to toasting with a real Corona again soon.

I wish you and your families a Happy New Year and, above all, the best of health during the lockdowns. Thank you for making us the strong community that we are! We are looking forward to working with you again this year!

Karsten Scheider
Chairman, PI