Key Takeaways for PDF Days Berlin

by Conor Smith | May 24, 2018

PDF Days Berlin comes once a year, and it is the highlight of the PDF community’s year in Europe. Founded in 2006 by leaders in the PDF industry, the PDF Association, who organize PDF Days, promotes the adoption and implementation of International Standards for PDF technology. Foxit has a long standing relationship with this organization as Carsten Heiermann and Thomas Zellman of our European division helped set up and still run the association with other members in the industry.

Traveling from all over the globe, hundreds of PDF leaders came together for two days to discuss the past, present and future of PDF technology in Germany. Foxit’s SDK team was one of the leaders in attendance, and we used this occasion to help educate our newer team members on new and emerging PDF technology. Our group used the two days to discover everything they could about PDF 2.0, the standards and statistics relating to the industry. Learning from other thought leaders in the industry like Dietrich von Seggern from Callas, Duff Johnson of the PDF Association, Roman Toda of Normex, Armin Ortmann of Foxit Europe, and Matt Kuznicki from Datalogics, we decided to outline our key takeaways from PDF Days 2018.

Lau Jensen, Enterprise Sales Executive (Foxit SDK EU)

The PDF Days event was in the beautiful city of Berlin, and it certainly worked as an eye-opener for me in regards to the world of PDF. I had the opportunity to meet and listen to such a vast array of PDF experts and learn so much in a short period of time. Many of the talks were extremely technical giving me a better understanding of what PDF technology can do for our customers. It provided an excellent overview of the world of PDF, the standards and many of the technologies. It was a unique opportunity to talk to competitors about their business and projects. I very much enjoyed Neil Pitman from Aquaforest talk around GDPR and PDF Issues and opportunities. The best session for me was the final session on the “Five visions of a PDF future” which saw all the big names in PDF, like Carsten Heiermann CEO of Foxit Europe, present their ideas for the next 25 years of PDF. Finally, it was a delight to meet the Foxit German team and talk to some of them about their challenges and expectations.

Thank you to the PDF Association for organizing such a great event.

Karyn Corrigan, Content Specialist

The atmosphere in the room at the kick off for PDF Days was terrific. Thomas Zellmann stood in front of the room, soaking in the experience of everyone there. Listening to Stephan Jaeggi and Richard Cohen talk about their PDF journeys on different sides of the world for over 25 years showed just how important this event was to the world. From the conception of PDF by John Warnock to where it stands today it is clear that PDF means more than what the general population can understand. Initially released as an ISO standard in 1992, Jaeggi mentions that even in 2016 people were slow to adopt newer PDF formats, making the job of a PDF thought leader very important right now. With the introduction of PDF 2.0 in 2019, we need to shout from the rooftops just how vital PDF can be to a company if appropriately understood. Dietrich von Seggern’s presentation on the PDF ISO Standards is privy to this as so many standards exist for many different uses (i.e., healthcare, accessibility, engineering, etc.) but not enough of the general public know about these standards and how there is a lot of overlap between them.

A key takeaway for me is the importance that PDF technology can play in a company’s text processing, archiving and document protection, if only they understood the full extent of the technology. It is our responsibility to create and share this information freely.

Nicolas Derico, Marketing Manager

As Foxit SDK Marketing Manager, I have attended PDF Days for three years in a row now, and I have to say that it keeps getting better and better. It was especially refreshing to hear the opinions of industry leaders on their vision for PDF in a faster, more interconnected, more transparent world. Collectively, we are making PDF more accessible, smarter and easier to use. This, I think, was portrayed very well in Armin Ortmann’s talk on file accessibility from scans. Text and images can easily be identified from scanned documents through technology like PAC 2 or PhantomPDF, both of whom check for compliance with PDF/UA and/or VPAT 508. This PDF technology is cutting edge, and helping companies archive and move documents online quickly.

Innovation in the industry seems to be vigorous, with the cloud and even blockchain at the center of many discussions about where we could be heading as a collective. I am looking forward to the next 25 years of PDF!

Martin Ramos, Enterprise Sales Executive (US)

PDF Days Berlin was an excellent experience for me for many reasons. Firstly, as I am based in the US so I don’t get to talk to a lot of European PDF thought leaders and how the industry can differ between continents. Secondly, it was a great opportunity to speak with PDF Users at the event who were able to describe how PDF affects their jobs and what is important to them around PDF. And finally, the talks on specific features were a great eye opener as to how various industries can use them in many different ways, for entirely unrelated functions. The PDF Association organized an event with a great mix of speakers to ensure different points of view were portrayed.

It is clear from the conference that, to a certain extent, even people who work with PDF technology regularly do not understand just how excellent it can be for businesses. Knowledge sharing is a great way to improve this understanding for companies that specialize in a small area of PDF technology.

So there you have it – the key takeaways from the Foxit SDK team on the PDF Days Berlin 2018 event.