Mobotix unveils aggressive growth strategy at National Partner Conference

Speaking before a group of security installers, vendors and distributors at the Mobotix National Partner Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this week, Dr. Magnus Ekerot, the company’s chief sales officer, discussed the German-based surveillance firm’s ambitious growth strategy.

Ekerot, who delivered the keynote address at the conference, said that Mobotix, which currently has a 10 percent global market share in the network camera segment, would like to double that figure by the 2013/2014 fiscal year to 20 percent. For the 2010/2011 fiscal year, Mobotix did about $85 million in sales.

In addition, the company is also looking to establish itself as a major player in the building automation channel through the widespread implementation of its IP video door station product.

While doubling the company’s global market share in as little as two years may seem like an unattainable goal, Ekerot, in an interview with SIW, said that that figure is really more of a "internal target," but that he believed they could realistically increase their share of the market to 15 or 16 percent.

"If we come anywhere near that goal, I will be a very happy person," he said.

Ekerot emphasized, however, that they would not do anything to jeopardize their current growth and that Mobotix is not solely concerned with sales volume.

"We are prepared to walk away from deals if they don’t work," Ekerot explained.

At last year’s partner conference in Atlanta, one of the company’s stated objectives was to increase and promote awareness of the Mobotix brand in the U.S. Since that time, the company has increased its focus on developing case studies and getting the message out to installers and end-users on how Mobotix products can be used in a variety of applications, according to Steve Gorski, general manager for the Americas at Mobotix. Additionally, Gorski said that have also done some advertising and boosted their presence at industry tradeshows.

Attendance at the NPC itself is also evidence that awareness of the Mobotix brand is on the rise. According to Ekerot, last year’s partner conference was attended by just over 120 customers. This week’s conference, however, had over 170 attendees, 50 percent of which were new customers.

At its heart, Ekerot said in his keynote address that Mobotix is a software company, not just a hardware manufacturer and that what separates Mobotix from other companies is its "decentralized concept." Everything needed for a surveillance installation is integrated into the camera itself including video storage, two-way audio and alarm management among other features. All Mobotix cameras also use three-megapixel resolution, which the company has found to have the right balance for surveillance image quality.

Rather than embrace the H.264 compression format that most of the surveillance industry has, another factor that differentiates Mobotix from the rest of the marketplace is that they created their own security codec called MxPEG.

Ekerot explained that H.264 was born out of the entertainment industry and that while it may be great for compressing a movie onto a DVD, he said it’s subpar for security purposes.

"Let’s face it, (H.264) is a great marketing tool," Ekerot told attendees.

This resilience to adopting H.264 is also why the company is not a part of the ONVIF standards initiative; however, Ekerot doesn’t believe that standards are necessarily a bad idea.

"I think standards are really, really good, but what we have now is limited," he told SIW. "I’m not sure it’s the right business step for us right now because what would separate us from someone else?"

One untapped segment of the marketplace that Mobotix feels they are currently well-positioned to take advantage of is IP video door stations.

"I truly believe that market could be bigger than network cameras," Ekerot told SIW.

The company unveiled several new additions to its T24 Door Station on Thursday at the conference that will become available later this year, which include the development of a new iPhone and iPad for remote control capabilities, MxLightSense technology that can help illuminate a person standing in front of the door station, and a Doppler radar sensor that can alert a user when someone is approaching.

Mobotix is also working on a new touch panel display counterpart to the door station called iTenter that will be released sometime next year.

"We are a technology-based company. We are not going to make a 'me too' product," Ekerot told the audience. "If the technology is not right for us, we won’t do it. If there is no business possibility with a product, we won’t do it."