Around the world in… 7 years!

AirplaneKrowne Communications has been the Marketing and Operations Secretariat for the Java Card Forum ( since 2005, and as well as the day-to-day running of the organisation, handling the treasury function and website maintenance, Krowne is responsible for organising the Forum’s highly successful Java Card Open Days. The Open Days offer companies in the smart card market an opportunity to hear from JCF members about the benefits of utilising Java Card technology. They are always free of charge and aimed at marketing and business development managers.

The Java Card Forum (JCF) has been running since 1997, and was set up by a group of companies in the smart card industry to provide recommendations to Oracle (at that time Sun Microsystems) for the Java Card specification. The companies have worked closely together over the years, releasing numerous Java Card platform versions, but with the imminent release of Java Card 3.0 in 2008 – a marked advancement in platform capabilities – more direct communication with the marketplace about its capabilities was needed. It was decided that if possible, the JCF would travel to a different region each year to spread the message about the possibilities that the new platform could offer.

First stop – Japan

The first location was Tokyo in 2007 – a natural choice with the high volume of Java Card SIMs and the early uptake of contactless technology. It was certainly a challenging region to start off in: a simultaneous translation service was needed for the presentations; invitation etiquette was important – as was providing all participants with a gift. And of course, the post event cocktail reception was where the barriers really came down and the Japanese felt comfortable enough to ask questions. Feedback was very positive, so another Open Day was planned for 2008 – this time in Hong Kong, to be run after SIMposium Asia. The event attracted attendees from all over the region and was again well received. In 2009, communication was focused on Europe, with presentations at the major European shows.

Travelling to China

In 2010, China was starting to show more of an interest in Java Card technology and so the JCF organised one of its most ambitious Open Days yet – a 2 day event attracting over 150 attendees. This was a challenging event in terms of organisation, as in China invited guests don’t confirm they are attending an event – they just show up! You can imagine the problems in trying to organise space and catering! Simultaneous translation was once again required, as well as native speakers for the registration area. But, it all went off well and the recently released Java Card 3.0 platform was demonstrated to the main players in the Chinese telecom, payment and ID markets.

Moving to Russia, then on to Singapore

In 2011, the JCF stayed closer to home, with an Open Day in St. Petersburg; the main complication being the very stringent visa application process (a JCF member arrived in Russia 3 hours before his visa was due to start and was held in custody until it started – good job he didn’t get it wrong by a day and miss the event!). In 2012 we went back to Asia – this time Singapore, once again following SIMposium Asia, to attract attendees from the more southerly area of Asia. And as it coincided with the 15 year anniversary of the JCF, we celebrated at the event with cake and cocktails!

Breathtaking Brazil

Although Java Card dominates the SIM market in Latin America, the JCF felt that there were plenty of opportunities in other sectors – especially with the advent of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine). So an event in Sao Paolo, Brazil was organised for late 2013. The response was overwhelming, and we even managed to secure a local user of Java Card technology in the ID market to present why they had chosen the platform, proving that it’s not just the JCF who believe in the technology. And thankfully, not a sign of any demonstrations in the streets!

Hello Hong Kong!

And this year we’re back to Hong Kong, to remind developers that Java Card continues to be the platform of choice, with the ever increasing need for multi-application functionality and reliable security. Can’t believe that it was 7 years ago when we started the Open Day concept. It’s not been easy arranging venue facilities in different time zones, corresponding with non-native attendees and respecting each country’s specific cultural requirements – but it’s all about being able to communicate with all sorts of different people, have infinite patience, (almost fanatical) attention to detail and most of all, being able to deal with situations on the fly.

Something that Krowne has learnt to do very well!

Karen Brindley is the Managing Director of Krowne Communications (UK) Ltd