Brandenburg Gate: A symbol of unity as we head to the OnBase Summit | EMEA


A few weeks ago while in Berlin, as I was out for a late-night walk, I actually stumbled across one of the most historical landmarks in Germany. It was the Brandenburg Gate, an 18th century triumphal arch where some of the most significant moments in modern history have occurred. From important political speeches set against the backdrop of a divided city, to its role in the emotional reunification of a nation, the gate is now known as a symbol of unity and peace.

After standing at the gate, and getting ready to go back to Berlin for The OnBase Summit, I was compelled to learn more. I did some research, and here’s what I found out:

October 1806: Napoleon steals a statue

Brandenburg Gate was topped off with a statue known as the “Quadriga,” which depicted a statue of the goddess of victory driving a chariot pulled by four horses. Napoleon Bonaparte, after occupying Berlin, ordered the statue dismantled and shipped back to Paris. It remained forgotten in storage until 1814, when someone found the statue and it was reinstalled atop the gate.

Nice guy, that Napoleon. I wonder if he was mad because the statue was taller than him.

June 1987: The line that almost didn’t happen

On June 12, 1987, Ronald Reagan addressed not just the crowd of more than 20,000 gathered at the Brandenburg Gate itself, but millions of listeners in the United States, the Soviet Union and around the world, thunderously calling for Gorbachev to “…open this gate… and tear down this wall.”

A great line, but it almost didn’t make it into the speech!

December 1989: Lenny takes Berlin

One of the most emotionally charged moments in the history of the Brandenburg Gate involved musicians, not politicians. Just weeks after the November 1989 opening of the Berlin Wall, American conductor Leonard Bernstein held a series of concerts in music halls on both sides of the famous divide. It was the first Christmas where people of East and West Berlin could mingle freely in 28 years.

Bernstein conducted two concerts and broadcast them to tens of thousands of spectators gathered at the Brandenburg Gate and throughout the two Berlins. They were the first television events transmitted to both East and West Germany in more than 30 years. It was also the high point of three days of performances that celebrated the end of the Berlin wall and the spread of political liberalization throughout Eastern Europe, according to the New York Times.

November 2016: Walking through the gate, together

Now I am heading back to Berlin to attend the OnBase Summit EMEA, where experts, customers and partners from all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa will come together to help continue to improve in the ways each of our companies work with information. This trip is making me reflect on how fortunate we are to be able to meet in such a beautiful city, with such a rich history of both turmoil and peace, where today we are free to gather in unity as a community to collaborate and share views on all types of topics related to enterprise content management and enterprise information platforms.

There will be almost 30 sessions. Since I specialize in insurance, the sessions specific to this industry will include:

  • Optimization & Innovation: Technology Drivers for a Successful Insurance Business

This session will address how to apply a customer-centric focus to complex underwriting and claims business processes.

  • Integrated Insurance

This topic is critical, as information platforms need to have interoperability and the ability to integrate and share information with core system applications.

  • The Future of Insurance

Wondering what’s coming next? We’ve got you covered. This session will share current trends, how technology addresses them and tips on how your organization can prepare for the future.

  • The Insurance Market

During this session, our insurance experts will instruct and assist our partners – both new and experienced – on how to best deliver OnBase to the insurance industry.

For me, the Brandenburg gate has taken on new meaning. Now, it stands as an invitation for us to walk through it into a new world of efficiency and effectiveness. To manage the information that inundates us daily, so we can make better decisions, help our customers, and ensure success into the future.

Are you coming with me?

Ruth Fisk has more than 25 years of experience working within the insurance industry and is a foremost expert on the practical application of EDMS technology. In her role as Global Director for Insurance at Hyland, she has travelled to more than 90 countries helping insurance organizations to successfully reduce operating expenses, increase efficiency, and positively impact their bottom lines.

Ruth Fisk

Ruth Fisk has more than 25 years of experience working within the insurance industry and is a foremost expert on the practical application of EDMS technology. In her role as... read more about: Ruth Fisk