Wittenborg Visits Divitel Exploring the Dynamic World of Data and Technology
Inside Divitel's Algorithm Factory: A Journey through Innovation in Apeldoorn
Wittenborg students with an interest in data and technology found themselves at the doorstep of innovation as they visited Divitel, a dynamic company at the forefront of technology and data solutions.
Located in Apeldoorn, Divitel opened its doors to students on 13 November, offering a rare glimpse into the heart of the telecommunications and digital video industries by giving them a tour of its algorithm factory.
Distinguishing itself from the ordinary, Divitel is a dynamic and forward-thinking company at the forefront of technology and data solutions. During the visit, students had a chance to talk directly with industry leaders, including the company's founder and CEO, Hans Kornmann, who established the company nearly 30 years ago.
Reflecting on Divitel's evolution, Kornmann shared, "I started the company in the 'old world'. That was just before the internet. And then everyone said, well, something is coming. It's called the internet and it's going to change the world."
Navigating transformations from analogue to digital and more, Divitel has continuously adapted its business models. Kornmann emphasised, "We are a small company, but have always been very innovative."
Exploring the company's trajectory, Kornmann discussed the pivotal shift towards data. Despite Divitel's roots in video distribution, the company has evolved from an SME (Small to Medium-sized Enterprise) to an IDE —an Innovation-Driven Enterprise with a global reach.
AI the next big thing
Kornmann painted a vivid picture of the transformative impact of AI, likening it to a revolution surpassing the scale of historical advancements like the tractor or the internet.
"If you link people and AI together, the revolution is bigger than the tractor or even the internet," he asserted. This 'revolution', he noted, will fundamentally alter how people work and live together, necessitating a reimagining of organisational structures and strategies.
The changes, he emphasised, are leading to the fourth industrial revolution, as outlined by the World Economic Forum and will have a massive impact on the world.
Wittenborg alumna joins Divitel
Zahra Abedini, a Wittenborg alumna who completed her MBA (Master of Business Administration) with a specialisation in smart industry, recently started working as a Data Engineer at Divitel. She shared insights about the growing changes in data and AI in recent times.
In her final year of studies, Abedini devoted her time to acquiring different skills. Her ambitious thesis delved into Deep Learning-based sentiment analysis in the motion picture industry, with a practical example analysing the IMDB review dataset.
Her transition from a data analytics background to data science highlights the global shift towards AI-driven technologies.
"With a background in data analytics, I shifted to data science due to the rise of AI. I realised that the world is undergoing an AI revolution. A friend of mine in Canada, suggested I move to data science for promising job prospects. Getting started was challenging because it involved studying coding that I wasn't initially familiar with."
Abedini, originally from Iran, is now 32 years old and transitioned to Data Engineering at the age of 28. Reflecting on her academic journey, Abedini emphasised the importance of internships in shaping both technical and soft skills, preparing students for real-life challenges and job interviews.
"I used the last year of my studies to learn a lot of skills. I chose a very challenging thesis subject for myself. I wasn't familiar with the material, but I studied for months. I also did internships. Take it very seriously; it not only hones your technical skills, but also refines your softer skills. It prepares you for real life. Utilise your time wisely and set clear goals."
Student insights and inspirations
Joy Aigbojie, an International Business Administration (IBA) student specialising in Information Management at Wittenborg, was familiar with Divitel after seeing them at the job fair and seized the opportunity to delve deeper into their operations.
"I've always had an interest in technological companies, and apart from my studies at Wittenborg, I've been actively developing myself in technology, including data analytics and generic ICT (Information Communications Technology) training."
What stood out for her during the visit was the sense of pride in seeing a Wittenborg graduate working at Divitel.
"For me, to see one of my fellow students working at Divitel, I feel a little proud. It's motivating. I just have to go back, check myself and work hard. I take my studies seriously. Whatever path I choose, whether it's in Information Technology (IT) or the business world, I want to be firmly grounded somewhere. If I aspire to be firmly fixed at a place like this, it boils down to what I have to do to develop myself."
by Erene Roux