Change is happening at MOBOTIX, and the German company wants to get the word out. “This company has been around since 1999, and people still give us a blank stare because they don’t understand what’s behind the curtain,” says Joe Byron, Vice President Sales Americas, MOBOTIX CORP. “As we gain visibility, people really want to know ‘what’s going on over there?’”
There’s a lot going on. A new CEO, Thomas Lausten, who joined the company last year, is a former Milestone employee who brings with him the Milestone philosophy of open systems. It’s a culture shift for MOBOTIX, which has historically favoured closed systems.
“We needed a new leader to take us to the next level,” says Byron. “Thomas brings an open-platform mentality. He listens to a variety of opinions – from end users, architects and engineers, and MOBOTIX employees – before formulating a smart decision. That will take us to the next level.”MOBOTIX has been well ahead of the industry’s technology curve, and several early innovations have recently become more common
The MOBOTIX ecosystem
Over the years, MOBOTIX has developed a unique “culture” that has many rabid devotees; some say it’s the security industry’s version of tech giant Apple. “MOBOTIX has many loyalists, who are enthused about the products and the culture,” says Byron. “We can build on that with a new level of products, more excitement and a new direction.”
In addition to a new CEO, MOBOTIX will soon have a new chief technology officer (CTO), Hartmut Sprave, who will be joining this summer. Providing “fresh eyes on the subject” and an outside perspective from the IT industry will drive further innovation. “We don’t want to be on the bleeding edge, but on the cutting edge, and know the audience and its needs and challenges,” says Byron.
MOBOTIX’ existing technology mix provides a foundation as the company makes the transition. In some cases, MOBOTIX has been well ahead of the industry’s technology curve, and several early innovations have recently become more common. An example is MOBOTIX’ decentralised system approach with edge-based recording.
Products highlighted by MOBOTIX at the recent ISC West show included the M16 AllroundDual Multisensor IP camera, S16 DualFlex IP camera and the Q26 Hemispheric 360-degree panoramic IP camera for indoor and outdoor applications. MOBOTIX Management Center (MxMC) 1.8 can change the camera settings on 80 cameras at a time. MOBOTIX IP Video Door Stations can interface with iOS and Android smartphone apps.
“We have had so many things in place over so many years that people haven’t known about,” says Byron. He argues that MOBOTIX’ emphasis on technology development sets it apart from some camera companies in the U.S. market.
Joe Byron, Vice President of Sales, and Ashley Grabowski, Regional Marketing Manager, at ISC West 2018
“People have been let down in the U.S. market with cameras that have been over-marketed, over-reaching and have little substance,” he says. The German engineering of MOBOTIX products and systems provides an antidote to the technology void, he says. “They are looking for the substance, and that’s what we have,” says Byron.
What was missing – until now – was the “layer of integration” with other systems in the market, contends Byron. That separated MOBOTIX from the rest of the industry.MOBOTIX offers cybersecurity features that pre-dated the current industry obsession, such as HTTPS/SSL encryption in recording and playback video
“But now we are an open platform, and we have these features sets and are the best of both worlds,” he says. “We can align with technology products and bring MOBOTIX to the masses. It’s a matter of listening to customer challenges and formulating a path to meet those challenges.”
The fruits of that open system approach were on display at ISC West. The MOBOTIX booth featured integrations with ClearSite, Omnicast by Genetec, Konica Minolta and Mx-MSP by APB Technology. Other MOBOTIX technology partners include Avigilon, Bosch, Exacq, Gallagher, IndigoVision, Lenel, Milestone, Pelco by Schneider Electric, Salient Systems, Verint and Video Insight (Panasonic).
Targeting local markets
Another change under the new leadership is more flexibility to address the needs of local markets. “We need to be aware of our audience in the Americas,” says Byron, “and how approaching the market and the product mix may be different. We have the ability to create what we need here to be successful.”
One particular concern in the Americas market is cybersecurity, and MOBOTIX offers cybersecurity features that pre-dated the current industry obsession, such as HTTPS/SSL encryption in recording and playback video. “We already have it, but we have never broadcast it to the masses,” says Byron. “We have the substance but haven’t communicated it.”
Looking to enter the government market, for example, MOBOTIX faces the important requirement to be “IA compliant.” The company qualifies as IA (information assurance) compliant but just needs to go through the process of getting the “rubber stamp.”
“We have so much under the hood when it comes to our products,” says Byron. He says MOBOTIX’ Internet of Things (IoT) approach can meet any end user challenges. “We can be all things to all people, if they truly get to know us. We just need to develop a vehicle to allow customers to communicate with us: What is the challenge? Nine times out of 10 we can meet that challenge with one of our cameras.”