Dr. Tristan Haage
The last two years have been pivotal for MOBOTIX, the German IP surveillance manufacturer. In 2016, the company entered into a share transfer agreement with Konica Minolta, a provider of advanced imaging and sensor solutions. More recently, the company has welcomed new CEO Thomas Lausten, who joins MOBOTIX with a wealth of experience from companies including Siemens, ADI Global Distribution and Milestone Systems. The changes have been accompanied by an updated look for the MOBOTIX brand, with a simpler logo and more unified branding across solutions and regions. SourceSecurity.com caught up with CSO Dr. Tristen Haage and CEO Thomas Lausten [pictured left-to-right] to find out what we can expect from the new-look MOBOTIX. High-quality IP solutions in a commoditised market With a new CEO and Konica Minolta on board, MOBOTIX is set for expansion on a global scale. But how much growth can we expect for a company like MOBOTIX in an increasingly commoditised surveillance market, where many of the larger players compete on price as a key differentiator? While MOBOTIX respects those players, says Lausten, the German manufacturer wants to tell a different story. Rather than competing as a camera hardware manufacturer, MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software – camera units are just one part of an intelligent system. When MOBOTIX succeeds in telling this story, partners understand that it’s not about the price. "They stop selling boxes,” says Haage, “and start selling IoT devices." To this end, the company is deliberately moving away from promoting individual products and features, and instead concentrating its efforts on complete vertical market solutions where IoT devices can add the most value. These vertical markets include retail, transportation, perimeter protection and industry – although the list is set to expand with the addition of Konica Minolta’s expertise. “When you look at companies like MOBOTIX where there are people who have been on this ride for years, it’s clear they are passionate people” MOBOTIX has the potential to stand out in these markets; not only because of the company’s advanced IoT and sensor capabilities, but also because of its famous robustness. In challenging environments such as transportation and industry, MOBOTIX devices are ruggedised to withstand motion and shock, all the while providing reliable image quality and detection with fewer cameras. In the retail sector, MOBOTIX is already working on integrations with Point of Sale (POS) technologies, and hopes to add value for end users by partnering with experts in the fields of analytics and facial recognition. As Haage explains, “Driving innovation is not just about finding the best image resolution. It’s about finding new ways to innovate.” What makes MOBOTIX unique? Lausten sees MOBOTIX as distinct within the industry. This is due to the unmatched passion and longevity within the MOBOTIX community. “The passion in this company is unique,” says Lausten. “When you look at companies like MOBOTIX where there are people who have been on this ride for years, it’s clear they are passionate people.” The company has kept this enthusiasm from the beginning, through MOBOTIX’s continuing transformation to its new-look incarnation today. “It comes back to what [Dr. Ralf] Hinkel made: A community of partners.” According to Haage, this enthusiasm boils down to MOBOTIX’s mission to provide integrators with high-quality, smart products: “The people on the sales team appreciate they are not selling a commodity – not just a camera – but a smart IoT device with German quality, and this is what drives people in the company.” MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software – camera units are just one part of an intelligent system Developing MOBOTIX on a global scale Might the majority acquisition by Konica Minolta alter MOBOTIX’s distinct “Made in Germany” DNA? No, says Lausten, who wants to reassure partners. While MOBOTIX is 65% owned by Konica Minolta, with many other shareholders, it remains an independent company. What Konica Minolta brings to the table is a financially strong owner who can advise on technology development. By leveraging MOBOTIX’s existing IP technologies and Konica Minolta’s advanced optical systems, the companies can work together to develop Intelligent solutions for specific vertical markets, including perimeter security and healthcare, according to Lausten. The challenge is to take what is already great about MOBOTIX – proven quality, made in Germany – and develop this on a global scale In addition to technology advances, the deal aims to broaden the distribution of MOBOTIX products by leveraging Konica Minolta’s global direct sales network and support systems. Although there are no “open doors” between the two companies, there is ongoing collaboration between Konica Minolta and MOBOTIX channel partners. Konica Minolta has a customer-centric approach and good relationships with end users in Europe and beyond, and can share this experience with MOBOTIX and its partners. While MOBOTIX has traditionally had a headquarters-centric approach, says Haage, the introduction of Thomas Lausten and Konica Minolta allows the company to cater to the individual needs of various regions, including the US. One might expect this increasingly global focus to mean that MOBOTIX will be varying its approach to products from region to region. On the contrary, explains Lausten, the challenge is to take what is already great about MOBOTIX – proven quality, made in Germany – and develop this on a global scale. Unifying the company’s approach globally is the best way to ensure customers’ needs are met efficiently. “When we do something,” says Lausten, “we do it properly.” Cybersecurity concerns drive innovation The company’s focus on innovation and quality is increasingly important in a market beset by cybersecurity concerns. Whereas two years ago end users were choosing products based on price, they are now asking whether devices have a back door to cyber threats. "The biggest concern for C-level people is cybersecurity,” predicts Lausten, “This will be a key driver moving forward." MOBOTIX's quality-driven focus means the company is well-prepared for this change: One hundred percent of software is programmed in-house, with frequent firmware and software upgrades to fix weak points. In the case of a software reset, this can only be carried out by sending the device back to MOBOTIX, which may seem less convenient from an end-user perspective, but significantly increases the security of the process. In light of cyber security threats, should users be concerned that MOBOTIX is becoming increasingly open to integrations with other video surveillance partners? The company is aware of the concerns, says Haage, and can therefore take countermeasures. While the market today is based upon open systems, MOBOTIX does not take partnership lightly. By integrating with key players only where there exists a synergy with MOBOTIX’s own technologies, the company can work on new aspects such as IT systems and processes, while taking MOBOTIX’s core products to the next level. “You have to comply with industry trends,” concedes Haage, “but that’s not the whole story.”
Thomas Lausten assumes responsibility as the new CEO of MOBOTIX. On March 27, 2017, the supervisory board has appointed Thomas Lausten as new Chief Executive Officer. This "rounds-out" the management board composed of Dr. Oliver Gabel (CTO), Dr. Tristan Haage (CSO) and Klaus Kiener (CFO). Lausten has both corporate and medium-sized business experience. He was responsible as Global Sales Director at Siemens, as well as the Managing Director of the Nordic region in ADI Global Distribution. As Vice President of EMEA, Lausten contributed significantly to the success of Milestone Systems. He is familiar with MOBOTIX due to his previous experience in this market. “With Thomas Lausten, MOBOTIX was able to win a top manager from the video security industry,” says Yuji Ichimura, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of MOBOTIX. “We are glad to have him on board as CEO of MOBOTIX”. Following Klaus Gesmann‘s resignation due to illness in February 2016 the company was led by the three management members without chairman. Effective from June 15, the management board consists of four members including Thomas Lausten.
Genetec and MOBOTIX will be able to offer customers an end-to-end IP video security solution Genetec, a leading provider of open-architecture, unified IP security solutions, and MOBOTIX AG, a German manufacturer of video surveillance devices, recently announced a technology relationship in which both companies will work together in research and development, testing, business development, and sales support for new and existing enterprise clients. Both companies have a global reputation for quality, reliability, great customer support and expertise in delivering flexible security solutions. Genetec and MOBOTIX will demonstrate their solutions at Security Essen, September 27-30th 2016; Genetec in Hall 2, Stand 2B30, and MOBOTIX in Hall 1, Stand 1B10. An end-to-end IP video security solution Genetec Security Center unifies video management (VMS), access control, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), and communications management into a single intuitive platform. This technology partnership will offer single and multi-site management for MOBOTIX edge devices, leading to greater efficiency for a higher level of security. MOBOTIX enhances video for physical security applications, business operations, process monitoring and sustainability through reliable camera hardware, decentralised architecture and energy efficiency. MOBOTIX solutions include both optical and thermal imaging sensors. MOBOTIX enables clients to deploy tactical solutions following CPTED principles to help prevent crime. Genetec and MOBOTIX have a footprint in more than 70 countries, and through this partnership, will be able to offer customers—from small-to-medium size businesses (SMB) to enterprise multi-site deployments—a flexible, world-class, end-to-end IP video security solution. Integrated hardware and software solution for enterprise deployments “We are happy to enter this technology partnership with Genetec, as we recognise a natural synergy with the highly scalable unified security platform that Security Center represents, and the catalog of IP cameras and compression technology that MOBOTIX offers,” said Dr. Tristan Haage, Chief Sales Officer, MOBOTIX. “With two recent 500+ camera customer deployments in Europe and the Middle East, both companies are already realising the advantages of a highly-integrated hardware and software solution for enterprise deployments, for which Genetec is very well known for in the industry,” added Hagge. “As Genetec grows its presence in Germany, we realised the many symbiotic advantages we share with MOBOTIX,” said Francis Lachance, Director of Product Management at Genetec. “With MOBOTIX joining the Genetec ecosystem of technology partners, we will be able to offer the many differentiating features and capabilities MOBOTIX brings to the table, fully integrated with Security Center. It is a win-win relationship,” added Lachance.
USPTO issued a 47-page written decision siding with MOBOTIX CORP Following a request from MOBOTIX CORP to review the validity of U.S. Patent No. 6,975,220, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) ruled that the main claims of the patent are invalid and will be cancelled. Back in 2013, the digital video surveillance patent had been asserted in lawsuits filed by Texas-based ComCam International Inc. against MOBOTIX CORP and several other companies. Inter partes reviews Documentation on the MOBOTIX camera model M1 published at the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover, Germany, in 2000 as well as third-party documents found through an extensive prior art search show that patent claims an invention that was already publicly known well before the filing of the application for the patent. On this basis, MOBOTIX CORP challenged the validity of the patent claims by petitioning the USPTO to do an “inter partes review” of ComCam’s patent. On April 28, 2016, the USPTO issued a 47-page written decision siding with MOBOTIX CORP and finding that virtually all of the claims are un-patentable. MOBOTIX CORP has successfully pursued several “inter partes reviews,” which is a procedure available only since 2012. In those proceedings, five patents were challenged resulting in 2 patents killed and 3 largely cancelled. In total, MOBOTIX CORP has achieved cancellation of 171 patent claims. “We do not oppose the protection of inventions through patents. MOBOTIX, as a driver for innovation in the IP video surveillance industry, itself has been granted numerous patents. However, it is objectionable to bring an infringement action based on overly broad patent claims that should have never been issued. We will defend ourselves vigorously against such claims and request ‘inter partes review’ to challenge and cancel them,” says Dr. Tristan Haage, CEO at MOBOTIX CORP, explaining the company’s corporate strategy.
Dr. Haage, will assume responsibility in the Management Board starting 1st April 2015 The Supervisory Board of MOBOTIX AG has appointed Dr. Tristan Haage as a new member of the Management Board for the area of Sales. With a PhD in physics, Dr. Haage comes from Kaiserslautern and will assume responsibility in the Management Board starting 1st April 2015. With Dr. Haage, MOBOTIX AG gains a leader with many years of management experience in international sales. After finishing his studies at the Kaiserslautern University of Technology and completing his doctorate degree at the University of Stuttgart, Dr. Haage began his professional career at Siemens in Munich. In addition to leading strategic projects, he helped build a global Key Account Management system at Siemens’ industrial division. Over ten years he served as Director of Sales and Marketing and a member of the management at Steitz Secura, while contributing to the growth of this medium-sized company. Most recently, he served as an authorised officer of the international company Frenzelit Werke, division seals and new materials. Dr. Haage came to MOBOTIX AG in 2014 and has been supporting the Management Board in restructuring of the sales worldwide since then. "Dr. Tristan Haage stands out in particular because of his analytical and strategic way of thinking. He has many years of sales experience in technology-oriented SMEs and has already successfully been restructuring the US subsidiary of MOBOTIX AG", said Dr. Ralf Hinkel, Chairman of the Board of MOBOTIX AG.