Mobotix: We’re more than a camera company

Conference focuses on company goals for itself and its partners
Thursday, March 31, 2011

ATLANTA—If there was one key theme at the Mobotix partner conference, which took place here March 27-29, it was that Mobotix is not just a camera company.

“We need to improve our messaging as a total solution provider. [Even our camera product] is not only a camera, it’s a solution,” Magnus Ekerot, Mobotix CSO, told the 150 or so integrators and distributors who traveled here for the conference.

During a series of presentations, Ekerot and other executives emphasized the benefits of Mobotix’ high resolution, network-based security solutions, and its decentralized approach to video surveillance.

They noted that the Mobotix’ intelligent camera contains a high-speed computer and internal SD flash memory card so recording and storage can occur on the camera itself. Additionally, all data is processed on the camera, which reduces bandwidth requirements. There were demonstrations of Mobotix 360-degree hemispheric technology with panoramic views and its virtual PTZ, a preview of its new analytics, lots of talk about the promises for its new IP Video Door Phone, and explanations of its VMS offerings.

Mobotix is making a big push this year to increase brand awareness. Next week, at ISC West, its 30-foot by 60-foot booth will be front and center, executives said.

While the company is considered the market leader for megapixel cameras globally, has close to 300 employees, and had global sales of EUR 53.8 million ($73 million) in FY 09/10, (a 20-percent increase over the previous year, according to the company), it is still not well known in North America.

However, brand awareness will not be an issue in the future, they said. Expect Mobotix—which considers itself a software company first, with in-house hardware development—to branch out into other products.

“We want to establish Mobotix as a major player in the building automation/electrician channel ... on a global level,” Ekerot said.

“We might make intrusion alarms or smoke detectors or building automation products,” he said, warning that companies that are not dynamic “will die.” He said that a few years ago there were not many IP camera companies, but “there are quite a few today ... and in a few more years there will be a lot, and then there will be competition over one thing—price.”

Companies that have not adapted and grown will have no choice but to lower their prices to compete and, as a result, “that will hinder the development of new products. That’s not a situation we want to be in,” he said.

While the channel partner program will not be introduced until sometime after ISC West, Mobotix provided some program details.

Executives emphasized repeatedly that they will not be “over distributed,” saying that’s a mistake others have made, and it’s not good for the vendor, integrator or end user.

"Over the past fiscal year, revenue in the Americas increased by 50 percent compared to the previous years, and growth for the first six months of the business year was 59 percent,” Ekerot said."We expect to continue to gain market share in the Americas and globally," he said.

“We want quality products. It’s not our goal to be the biggest in the world, but we want to be the best in the world,” he added.

He said Mobotix wants to develop a “best-of-breed international sales structure ... We want to look the same wherever we are in the world,” something Ekerot said will protect integrators. And he identified transportation, city surveillance and retail as target verticals.

He expects there will be three levels of partners: those who have not done training; a higher level of partner who has done training and will have some revenue goals; and the highest level will be the key/advanced partners who will have to sign NDAs and will test new products. “We’re not making a partner program in gain quantity in the number of partners. We want to create loyalty,” he said.