Traditionally, Slovenian non-profit organizations itSMF Slovenija and PMI Slovenija are joining forces to propagate the knowledge on most current IT service management and project management practices at the one key regional event Together in Excellence.


Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez

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Opportunities of the project economy and how to evolve from project managers to strategy implementation specialist

In the next five years, the world will see more projects than ever. The reconstruction of the economy, healthcare, social care, and society at large, after the devastating global pandemic crisis, will be unprecedented in human history. According to McKinsey Governments’ have announced $10 trillion in reconstruction funds just in the first two months of the crisis, which is three times more than the response to the 2008–09 financial crisis. These are millions of projects, which will need millions of project managers.

We are witnessing the rise of projects as the main unit of work, as well as the essential model to deliver change and create value for individuals, organizations, and society at large.The move from a world driven by efficiency to a world driven by change will have enormous consequences in terms of strategies, culture, organizational structure, competencies, compensations, etc. More and more work will be carried through projects. We will soon all become project managers.

Yet, today, about 70% of projects fail to deliver their objectives. We urgently need to step up and significantly increase the project success rate. Considering that every year approximately 48 trillion US dollars are invested in projects, we fail to deliver trillions of benefits, value, and impact in organizations and society at large. It is colossal, unbearable, and embarrassing. What if we commit to doing much better? if we increase our success ratio from 30% to 60%? Just imaging the amount of value that we would be adding to the world, approximately the GDP of China in extra benefit. Imagine if we do that not only in 2021 but year after year.

To achieve this incredible goal, project management and projects managers will need to reinvent themselves, you will find out all the details during my keynote.


There are fewer “low-cost” ways of working more inclusive, impactful, motivating and inspiring than being part of a project with an ambitious goal, a higher purpose, and a clear fixed deadline.” Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez


Key takeaways:

  • What is the project economy, why it will impact everyone, and why it will disrupt every organization
  • How does project management need to reinvent itself to deliver projects more successfully
  • Which skills do you need to develop to succeed in a world driven by change
  • Antonio Nieto-Rodrigues, world champion in project management, thinkers50, director PMO, PMI Past Chair, professor, author, executive coach

    Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez is a leading expert in project management and strategy implementation, recognized by Thinkers50 with the prestigious award “Ideas into Practice.” He is the creator of concepts like The Project Economy and the Project Manifesto.

    He is author of Lead Successful Projects (2019, Penguin) The Project Revolution (2019, LID) and The Focused Organization (2012 Gower). He has been teaching project management for more than a decade to senior executives at Duke CE, Skolkovo, Solvay Business School, and Vlerick.

    Antonio has held executive PMO positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers, BNP Paribas, and GlaxoSmithKline. Former Chairman of the Project Management Institute, he is the co-founder of the Strategy Implementation Institute and the global movement Brightline.

    Born in Madrid, Spain, and educated in Germany, Mexico, Italy, and the United States, Antonio is fluent in five languages. He is an Economists, has an MBA from London Business School. He is a member of Marshall Goldsmith 100 coaches.

Fireside chat with Charles Araujo - being a leader in the digital era

We are in the midst of a fundamental transition from the industrial age to the digital era. The result will be a world that looks and operates much differently than the one we inhabit today. The implications for organizations — and those who lead them — are profound. What will it mean to you as a leader, and what you must do to prepare to transform your organization for the digital era?

  • Charles Araujo, keynote speaker, best-selling author, analyst, founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation

    Charles Araujo is a technology analyst and internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and Leadership in the Digital Era who advises technology companies and enterprise leaders on how to navigate the transition from the Industrial Age to the Digital Era. Having spent over thirty years in the technology industry, he has been researching Digital Transformation long before it became the uber-buzzword of today, and is now focused on helping Digital Era Leaders prepare themselves and their organizations as the macro trends of the primacy of the customer and the primacy of the algorithm collide, ushering us into what he calls The New Human Age.

    Principal Analyst with Intellyx, founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation, author of three books, and most recently the co-founder (with his wife) of The MAPS Institute, he is a sought-after keynote speaker and has been quoted or published in CIO, Time, InformationWeek, CIO Insight, NetworkWorld, Computerworld, USA Today, and Forbes.

Charles Araujo

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David Cannon

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ITIL4 digital and IT strategy: What does it mean for you?

In a fast changing world, every leader needs to understand strategy.  Whether you are a department manager or a company executive, strategy is a key to your success.  In this presentation, David will show thinking behind ITIL 4 digital & IT strategy, and show its importance for business and technology leaders at every level.


  • David Cannon, executive Vice President nfinity3, Chief Strategist SLVA Cybersecurity, ITIL 4 Digital and IT Strategy Lead Editor

    David is an industry expert and has helped organizations understand and adjust to major shifts in the technology industry over the past 3 decades.

    David is known for crafting industry best practices for Strategy and IT Operations and uses them extensively to help organizations achieve their purpose effectively and efficiently.  He has led consulting practices in Forrester, Hewlett-Packard and BMC Software.

    David believes that successful digital strategy is an enterprise initiative that builds on existing strengths, while simultaneously adapt to a fast changing environment.  This requires change at every level of the organization, its practices, people, technology and culture.

    David is the co-author of the ITIL 2007 Service Operation book, author of the ITIL 2011 Service Strategy book and lead editor of the ITIL 4 Digital and IT Strategy book.  He was awarded two lifetime achievement awards by the itSMF.

Good to great user stories with story cubes

A user story is a foundation in SCRUM, it is simple and can be written in a minute. The non-functional requirements, like security, usability, or regulatory needs are defined as acceptance criteria or in definition of done. These requirements serve as important constraints for the team – leading it to a solution. Non-functional requirements are not optional, yet many a times these are missed the common reason being “Everybody knows’. Assuming the teams understand non-functional constraints leads to a lack of explicit definition and subsequent failure to define them.

What if we could use leverage games to uncover these non-functional requirements and explicitly define them?

What if we could make this entire activity fun rather than a stressful exercise?

Can this improve collaboration within the team and with customers? We will find out…

  • Priya Patra, PMP, SAFe 4.0 Agilist, Implementing SAFe 5.0, Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Professional, TOGAF 9 Certified Enterprise Architect, Organizational Relationship and Systems Coaching certified

    Priya in her own words: “I am a project manager, agile evangelist, I help customers formulate agile strategies, manage projects for improved business outcomes.”

    Priya is a mother of two, Author, Blogger, Women Empower believer, Dreamer, Creator and a Futurist.

    An Agile Evangelist and a Program Manager spearheading digital transformation, digital quality assurance and quality engineering program for a large conglomerate in Lifesciences domain. She Leads Agile Community of Practice within the organization of 546 members, across 40 countries evangelizing Agile practices across all levels in the organization. She is speaker for national and International conferences on IoT, Agile and Project Management. Since Jan 2020, she has been building a women community Women PowerUp Network – a virtual community of around 300 women across the globe.

Priya Patra

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Robert Barron

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AIOps & ChatOps; creating a virtual war-room

The war room is a time-honored tradition of problem solving. While it started out as a physical location, in recent years more and more problem solving has been done in a virtual environment, using ChatOps and collaboration platforms as extensions to engineer’s fingers.

In this session you’ll learn about working efficiently in modern, virtual, war-rooms and maximizing brain power and problem solving by adding AI Operations as a war-room participant.

  • Robert Barron, AIOps lead, IBM garage for technical solution acceleration at IBM

    Robert is the AIOps lead in IBM’s Garage for Technical Solution Acceleration. He is an SRE and ChatOps evangelist who enjoys helping others solve problems even more than he enjoys solving them himself.

    Robert has over 20 years of experience in IT development & operations and is happiest when learning something new.Robert is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, speaks at global conferences for IBM and creates assets that range from internal documentation to published books.

    Robert lives in Israel with his wonderful wife and two children. His hobbies include history, space exploration, and bird photography.

Keeping ITSM & ITIL 4 practical, pragmatic and not to bureaucratic

ITIL 4 takes ITIL to the next level with a key focus on value: I think it’s great!

To ensure management’s continued buy-in, you should start with the ITIL practices that will make the biggest difference to your IT, business operations, and key outcome areas.

In this session Don will provide an easy-to-understand overview of ITIL 4 and its underpinning practices and processes.

If you want to be able to navigate through the ITIL 4 practices and processes in just a few minutes – then this is the session for you.

  • Dr. Don Page, co-founder and strategic director of IT service management (ITSM) for Marval Group

    Don is a straight talking, pragmatic and globally respected industry figure. Co-author and pioneer of ITIL, ISO/IEC 20000, SDI and BS15000.

    Don has spent his career helping to formalize and professionalize ITSM. He was awarded the ITSMF Life-time achievement award and co-authored the world’s first University Master of Science Degree in IT Service Management.

    Don has always been both a major advocate and critic of ITIL, and continually strives to innovate, transform and drive ITSM forward. Don’s practical expertise and experience of ITSM has allowed him to work with both public and private sector organizations around the globe helping to achieve successful business outcomes and deliver value.

Dr. Don Page

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Paul Smith

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Keeping ITSM & ITIL 4 practical, pragmatic and not to bureaucratic

Co-speaker, speaker to Dr. Don Page's lecture

  • Paul Smith, IT Service Management Consultant at Marval Group UK

    IT Service Management Consultant with more than 20 years of practical experience in the IT industry. Areas of responsibility involve helping customers to design, build, configure and transition their Marval Service Management system into the live environment, ensuring that the solution meets the business and operational requirements and will be implemented on time and to budget.


    With hands-on experience in the operation of the Service Desk, Paul has a deep understanding of the importance of adopting best practice, but also adapting it to the organisation’s own environment.


    He thrives on responsibility and takes time to fully understand the particularities of the customer’s environment, so he can suggest solutions that will provide optimal results, ensuring a fast return on investment.


     Paul is a Customer Service champion who believes strongly that the Service Desk is the best place to learn about IT and that’s where he began his career over 20 years ago. Service Desk professionals have their “finger on the pulse of what’s going on” within the IT organisation and the business at large, and because it’s client-facing, you get all the opportunities to develop great people skills and put into practice what it really means to deliver excellent customer service.

    Professional Skills & Qualifications

    ITIL Expert

    ITIL 4  Foundation Certificate

    Prince 2 Foundation


    Enthusiastic and driven with excellent communication and interpersonal skills

    Vertical Industry Experience

    Retail and Leisure

    Central & Local Government Healthcare

    Higher Education Manufacturing FMCG

    Recent project work

    NHS Norfolk & Suffolk Weetabix

    University of Westminster Leicestershire County Council

Keeping ITSM & ITIL 4 practical, pragmatic and not to bureaucratic

Co-speaker, speaker to Dr. Don Page's lecture

  • Allan Stear, ITSM Consultant at Marval Software

    What Allan says about himself: Someone who enjoys improving service and process aspects of ITSM. I love the challenge of driving service improvements through process and realism (because out-of-the-book approaches don’t work on their own).

    I’ve been on both sides of the ITSM tools customer/vendor relationship fence, so am well-positioned to ask those awkward questions and know how to get things done! Equally I know when a tool could be used versus when it should be used.

    Over the years I have come across some great, and some not-so-great, examples of service management in action and base my approach on these ‘lessons’​. I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in industry award-winning projects with some great professionals.

    Having been part of large improvement projects, small-scale ‘quick wins’ and Agile Scrum teams, I’m happy to tailor my approach: as long as things get better and add value.

    As an ITSM consultant and practitioner I’ve supporting more than 80 service management implementations/projects for UK and global organisations, mostly using adaptations of the ITIL framework. All of these have had service improvements at their core, whether it’s to improve process, service levels, management information, better change control, getting a fit-for-purpose CMDB, reducing incident/request turn-around times, process automation, compliance or ‘raising the profile of IT’.

    An ISO 20000 practitioner who understands the spirit of control and quality, I’ve helped customers achieve and maintain ISO 20000 certification. The best thing about it is identifying gaps and bringing my experience to the table, whether it’s helping Change Management shake off the ‘too bureaucratic’ stigma, or focus Metrics on value.

    Sometimes get let out to speak and contribute to ITSM events.

    Well-versed in ITSM toolsets including ServiceNow, Marval MSM (to admin levels), BMC RoD, JIRA, and Xtraction reporting tools.

    ITIL v3 ‘Expert’​ – currently studying for the ITIL4 Managing Professional Certificate
    ITIL intermediate – Service Design, Service Transition and CSI
    ITIL v2 Manager (Red Badge)
    ISO 20000 Consultant Certificate
    Formerly an accredited course tutor for ITIL Foundation Certificate
    SC security cleared

Allan Stear

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Dr. Constantine ``Dino`` Kiritsis

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Human capital in project management in the Covid & post Covid era, why soft is the new hard…

Covid19 has been a human crisis and has highlighted the concern towards people. For Managing any project, it is essential to have the resources, capabilities as well as hard (technical) and soft (behavioral) skills.

This session will focus on recent research that highlights why the real ‘hard’ skills required to manage projects as well what organizations are looking for – are really ‘soft’ in nature and why we should all give more attention to the way we communicate, think and work with others.

The session will also make predictions and give solutions on how to handle projects digitally for better effectiveness.

  • Dr. Constantine “Dino” Kiritsis, BA, MA, PhD, DipCG, HRMP, SHRM-SCP, AICA, keynote speaker, author, entrepreneur & innovator

    He is a world-class inspirational professional who has delivered over 20,000 hours of professional qualifications and corporate training in the past 20 years in over 45 countries globally. Dino has developed the curriculum, methodology and mapping procedure for PwC’s Mini MBA programme being offered globally by PwC Academies. ACCA has named him in 2017 as a ‘tutor guru’ to help in rolling out its Strategic Business Leader (SBL) exam and has licensed his innovative interactive flowchart as a resource for candidates.

    His knowledge areas span from Business Mapping, business analysis, Governance, Ethics, Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Corporate level training to developing programmes, career management and education, Professional qualifications (PQs) and teaching topics such as Corporate Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Business Planning, Marketing and HR (for specialist qualifications (ACCA, CIA, CIMA, SHRM, ICA) and Universities (for the University of Surrey (UK), University of Strathclyde (UK), Henley Management School (UK), University of Nicosia (CY) and PwC Academies in Europe and the Middle East. Constantine has also been involved in a number of consulting & training projects for over 100 well – known multinational firms.

Multi-level risk management using the disciplined agile toolkit

This talk will address the multiple ways in which the DA toolkit can be used in order to address risk, namely:

  • at the enterprise and portfolio governance level,
  • at program and project level (i.e., lifecycles and phases), an finally
  • at the execution level, with guidance for overt, explicit risk management as well as fostering critical thinking at the practices level.

Discussion of each level will be illustrated by practical examples from Mr. Gagnon’s more than 7 years of working with a DA approach, at multiple large clients in the heavily regulated financial sector.

  • Daniel Gagnon, organizational agility advisor, Disciplined Agile Fellow, instructor trainer and coach

    Daniel Gagnon, is an organizational agility advisor, coach, and trainer with close to three decades of diversified project management and IT experience. For the past ten years, he has specialized in spreading the values and principles of the agile movement, mostly within extremely large organizations.

    He is one of two PMI Disciplined Agile Fellows and 9 Instructor Trainers in the world; was an active and vocal member of the DA advisory council for years; has contributed snippets of thought to 3 books on DA, and trained hundreds of CDA, CDAPs, CDAIs, and more recently DALSMs on all levels of the DA toolkit (DAD, DA Enterprise, DA DevOps).

    Over the years, he has thus provided training to more than 2,000 individuals in DA, Scrum, SAFe, the PMI Montreal Chapter’s ACP test preparation course, a 40-hour agile project management class at Montreal’s McGill University, and finally the Agile Leadership Journey for leaders and executives.

    His agile coaching and training engagements over the past 10 years have been with clients from the Financial sector as well as Public utilities and government entities (Federal, Provincial and Municipal). He has coached at all levels, from executives to teams, as well as diverse roles (POs, Scrum Masters, Project Managers, Business Analysts, Business Intelligence specialists, etc.)

    Daniel describes himself as a passionate host leader and ethical disruptor. When not disrupting, he likes to cycle, collect early 20th century first editions of novels by British and American writers, and paint watercolours of urban landscapes he has photographed in his travels.

Daniel Gagnon

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dr. Andrej Bregar

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Challenges and common information security management practices to successfully manage cyber risks in IT processes and services

Information technologies and business systems are becoming substantially exposed to cyber security risks and vulnerabilities, especially recently in the context of industry 4.0, continuous operations, 24/7 services and remote work. Cyber security and information security management is hence one of key factors that each organization must address to conduct its business. Because security management is complex, it is necessary to employ a strategic and systematic approach which utilizes appropriate best practices. This also requires project management skills and essential processes to ensure the success of all security efforts.

In the presentation, we will discuss challenges, common practices, strategies and methodologies for cyber security with the purpose to efficiently prevent cyber attacks, cyber risks, security breaches and data misuses that pertain to informatized business processes and services. We will establish the cyber security process as an integral part of IT service management. We will identify a comprehensive set of elements that target key aspects and phases of the cyber security life cycle (prevention, detection, response and recovery), and also address information security management, risk management and incident management at different organizational levels. We will recap recommended practices based on the cyber security capability maturity model (C2M2), as well as ITIL 4 and NIST CSF frameworks. We will particularly apply operational aspects of cyber security practices and strategies to the energy utilities sector and the underlying critical infrastructure.

  • dr. Andrej Bregar, IT, OR/MS, MCDM, DSS and cyber security expert

    Andrej Bregar obtained a PhD degree in computer science. He is employed at the Informatika d.d. company, where he has worked in the areas of research and development, cyber security, project management and business process management for the energy utilities domain. His other fields of interest also include operations research and management science, decision theory, decision support systems and information technologies. He has published in several scientific and technical journals. He regularly gives lectures at international and domestic conferences from the fields of IT, OR/MS, MCDM, DSS and cyber security.

End-end Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) management to support your ITSM, PM and other business initiatives

Managing governance, risk, compliance and audit processes is complex and resource intensive. Companies have multiple frameworks to adhere to, significant volumes of data to collect and assess, a growing number of third-party vendors to monitor and a global customer base.

Risk and compliance programs exist to protect your business from ever-emerging threats, as well as to meet ever-growing customer expectations for data privacy and security. Yet without a holistic understanding of company-wide risks and a fast and efficient way to respond to them, risk management can seem more like a guessing game — and, odds are, it’s one you may lose some day.

  • Njeboša Živković, SCRUM, DevOps, ISO/IEC 27001, Cloud Computing Trainer

    Mr. Živković has wide range of experience in different fields. In past few years his professional focus was mainly on Information Security Management and Agile methodologies. After working in many public and private organisations including Tax Ministry and IDC Slovenia, Nebojša joined ITSM CENTER d.o.o. in 2013. Ever since he is our leading force to make us all being safer.

Nebojša Živković

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William Bello

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Privacy engineering for PMO and ITIL practitioner

Data protection by Design and by Default is emerging specialized organizational capability and vital part of the new discipline: “privacy engineering”. GDPR put it as mandatory in Article 25, new India privacy Bill define that all “data fiduciary” must demonstrate PbD/D practice, as well as new Canadian and evolving number of US federal privacy laws. How PMO should respond to these requirements? How ITIL support privacy as value? How certification for new privacy technicians role map to tech infrastructure, tech engineering, InfoSec, data science marketing and HR?

  • William Bello, FIP CIPP/E CIPM CIPT

    William Bello is a privacy professional and expert in Enterprise architecture design and IT Service Management.

    He studied in University of Zagreb and he has a Master degree in mathematics and informatics.

    William build his management carrier and professional skills in pharmaceutical industry as PLIVA CIO and later INA (gas & oil) and Mladost (publishing). Trained by Apple, Oracle, TechGnosis and IBM he sharpened his professional carrier as CTO of Business System Planning project teams in Pliva and INA.  Starting 1993 he founded telecommunication and networking company that build state of the art networking solutions in banking, utilities and telco sector across SEE Europe.

    Since many years William has been working as senior business consultant for a number of projects ranging from Data Center Tier-4 design, functional specification management, project portfolio management, SW development and testing and many others.

    During  more then 30 years of practical work William acquired a broad expertise in the number of ICT and business subject matters running many mission critical projects. William is cofounder of ITSMF Croatia chapter and he is ITIL and IAPP privacy certification trainer.

    For a long time William is a privacy and data protection practitioner and “William Bello Lectures on Privacy” trainer. He is external Data Protection Officer for a number of organizations from wide range of industries. William is a regular speaker and educator in number of conferences in ICT and business.

How to become a lean, mean ITSM machine?

Today’s customers want fast, flawless service and IT teams are under pressure to efficiently deliver that service, while cutting costs and demonstrating value. This is also intensified by the rise of the DevOps and Agile movements which are putting increasing pressure on the traditional approaches to ITSM.

In response, IT teams should be following the spirit of ITIL’s processes and best practices rather than treating them as strict rules and guidelines that aren’t flexible to evolving needs. Applying lean and agile principles to ITSM leads to collaborative service delivery and iterative service improvement. By harnessing the core principles as guidelines from both ITIL and Agile, your IT Service Management will transform from “doing things right” to “doing the right things”.

  • Tilen Čuk, Sales Consultant @SmartIS

    As a consultant on Atlassian solutions, he is involved in the design and implementation of numerous ITSM projects in some of the biggest Slovenian and Croatian companies. With experience in sales and project management, he specializes in helping IT Operations managers improve, their ITSM Strategy by adopting Agile and DevOps ways of working.

Tilen Čuk

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Hermann Erlacher

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Project Management in the age of remote working: Real-time integrated project management in the cloud

Despite the availability of numerous  resources, project management tools, training materials, and flexible methodologies, some companies are still struggling to tackle the project management challenges and issues they face.

Connect your teams in one application.  Empower them to win more orders, make optimal use of resources, accelerate project delivery times and maximise profitability – from lead generation to billing!

  • Hermann Erlacher, Presales Consultant @BE-terna

    Hermann Erlacher is an expert in the modern digitalization of company processes, project operations, project management and asset management, who has taken part in more than 40 business digitalization transformation projects, from presales activities to consulting, in the DACH region. He specializes in industries such as professional services, manufacturing and trade, and has more than 21 years of experience working on the most challenging ERP implementations. At BE-terna, Hermann is responsible for the implementation of Dynamics 365 solutions such as Finance and Operations, and Project operations of medium and large enterprise companies. In his experience, despite their significant enthusiasm and high hopes surrounding digital transformation, many people are still a little fuzzy on exactly what it means and how to implement it. This is why he has made it his mission to help companies to get the digitalization of their processes right the first time, every time.

STRATEGY day closing panel participant

  • Nenad Šutanovac, Director of ICT Association of Slovenia

    Nenad Šutanovac, M.Sc. is a Director of the ICT Association at Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia. Numerous activities of the ICT association are focused toward the digitalization of Slovene economy and building the ecosystem to support the digitalization and digital transformation of the entire economy and society. Here, an important element is also support for B2B e-business including the standardization of electronic documents for B2B e-business and Artificial Intelligence promotion. ICT Association is also closely collaborating with the government (ecosystem, regulation, support for companies to digitize, …), research and education system in Slovenia. He was also one of the creators of the concept to build Digital Innovation Hub Slovenia. He is an active member of Management board of Slovene Digital Coalition, member of Supervisory board of Digital Innovation Hub Slovenia and president of Supervisory board of SRIP Smart Cities and Society.

Nenad Šutanovac

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Marko Praprotnik

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BACK2BASICS day closing panel participant

  • Marko Praprotnik, Managing Partner and Services Manager, SmartIS

    As a Service Manager, he has more than 20 years of working with some of the most complex IT solutions on some of the biggest IT projects in Slovenia, Croatia, BIH and Serbia. With Smartis, his main focus is on ITSM, EAM, IoT, Big Data and Security. With his extensive knowledge in ITIL, Agile and DevOps, he is transforming the way organizations work.

    Certificates he holds:

    ITIL v3 Expert, ITIL v4 Master, PRINCE2® Foundation

Linkedin event TIE 2021