FIMAC Project: Empowering SMEs Through Digital Innovation in Macaronesia

FIMAC: Digital Innovation to Boost SME Competitiveness in Macaronesia

On Thursday, April 4th, Bakata Solutions participated in the "Digital Innovation Challenge" event as one of the selected companies to be part of the Fi-Mac project (Future Internet Macaronesia) - an Acceleration Platform aimed at improving the Competitiveness of SMEs in Macaronesia through the use of Future Internet technologies (FIWARE).

Bakata Solutions was chosen to be part of this initiative for having developed commercial management software through touchscreens and digital signage (Digital Signage), named Virtual Screen. It integrates digital tools based on FIWARE.

During the event, we had the opportunity to explain to attendees the functionalities and benefits that Virtual Screen can bring to potential user companies. Now, we'd like to share that information with our blog visitors, allowing them to understand, through our example, to what extent digital transformation is changing how businesses operate and interact with their customers. This also aims to shed light on the work being done by entities like the European Union to ensure that the digital transformation process reaches and benefits all corners of the community space and all individuals, regardless of their location.

The Challenge of Digital Transformation

The Internet and digital technologies (Big Data, Cloud Computing, 5G, IoT - Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence) are transforming our lives and presenting an opportunity for the development of various societies and regions worldwide. Governments worldwide face the challenge of leading their countries' digital transformation processes to connect people and provide them with the benefits of new technologies.

The European Union itself recognizes that digital technologies are essential for the economic growth of Europeand has launched various initiatives to support the digital transformation of European societies and economies. These initiatives include training in digital skills, the development of a new regulatory framework, and aid programs at both the public and private levels.

In this process of digital transformation, SMEs play a crucial role as they constitute the economic engine of the European Union, contributing significantly to job creation and economic growth and development. Considering that in countries like Spain, SMEs make up 85% of the business fabric, initiatives aimed at their digitization have a direct and beneficial effect on the economies of the territories where they operate.

Fi-Mac (Future Internet Macaronesia) is an initiative of the European Union, financed with FEDER fundsaimed at promoting the development of projects by SMEs in Macaronesia that use Future Internet technologies available through the European FIWARE The underlying idea is that technology acts as a channel for processes that contribute to the internationalization and improvement of the competitiveness of the involved SMEs.

Fiware: Technology for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

FIWARE can be defined as an open innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem that provides a platform to encourage the development of intelligent services internationally. The platform offers open-source components called "Enablers" that can be used by third parties to be integrated into their solutions and processes. These components are organized into various categories, such as IoT (Internet of Things) and data analysis and visualization. Essentially, it serves as an online resource functioning as a toolbox, categorized by functionalities and technology, freely available for software developers to build their applications.

FIMAC advises and supports SMEs working with the FIWARE, advises and supports SMEs working with the FIWARE platform, explaining the possibilities, benefits, and opportunities that the tools available on the platform can offer.

In 2017 FIMAC launched a call to select 16 SMEs from Macaronesia to participate in an acceleration process during which they would receive training and guidance to boost their businesses with FIWARE. Bakata Solutions was one of the selected companies, participating with its Virtual Screen software application, developed with funding from the Government of the Canary Islands through subsidies for high-tech and knowledge-intensive companies in priority areas of the RIS3 (EATIC 2018).

Virtual Screen: Bakata Solutions' Innovation

Virtual Screen is a software application for commercial management through touchscreens and information panels, known as Digital Signage, digital signage, or digital signaling. It is conceived as software that provides capabilities to virtualize shop windows, cross data, and interconnect different business models horizontally.

Virtual Screen is characterized by being:

  • Multi-device
  • Multi-platform
  • Adaptable
  • Synchronized with stock

Highly customizable, adapting to the needs of clients in various sectors such as pharmacies, tourist establishments, and general stores.

Virtual Screen represents Bakata's commitment to innovation by proposing a technological solution that promotes the digitization of SMEs. Specifically, the application aims to address the deficiencies that businesses, especially retailers, have regarding the automation of buying and selling processes.

Among the various advantages that Virtual Screen provides to a business are:

  • Enhancing product or service information for customers.
  • Cost savings.
  • Strengthening corporate and brand image.
  • Boosting customer loyalty.
  • Improving the average transaction ticket.
  • Providing "engines" for the constant development of the business.
  • Establishing a direct line of contact with the customer.

Fundamentally, Virtual Screen allows a significant improvement in the customer experience by facilitating the interaction of consumers with the different products offered by the business using the software. It contributes to a more efficient business management and the development of competitive advantages that enable the establishment of dynamic and robust business models against potential competitors.

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