Business & Marketing
Q&A With Steve Gorski, General Manager, Americas Mobotix
By Jennifer Brown
Mobotix is headquartered in Langmeil, Germany and produces digital, high-resolution and network-based video systems. CEO Ralf Hinker founded the company in 1999. Last fall, Steve Gorski joined the company after many years at Axis Communications. He now oversees sales, marketing and operations for the company in the Americas regions including Canada.
By Jennifer Brown
SP&T News: Steve, before joining Mobotix you worked for Axis Communications as national sales manager. Why did you decide to go to Mobotix at this point in time?
Gorski: I had been with Axis a long time and was looking for a new challenge. I was recruited by Mobotix from Axis and was impressed by the Mobotix technology — it’s very solid. People are intrigued by our technology. I love the company culture and I certainly loved it at Axis but when I was first working there it was a lot smaller company.
SP&T News: What challenges do you face in terms of educating the market about Mobotix?
Gorski: Our biggest challenge is getting the word out about how unique the technology is. According to industry reports, Mobotix is No. 1 in the world for megapixel market share, and No. 4 globally for IP cameras globally, but if you stop people at a trade show, most haven’t heard of us.
SP&T News: What products will Mobotix be featuring at ISC West?
Gorski: We have about four core products and will be featuring our Hemispheric Q24 technology. We don’t have 30 new products every year. We’ve simplified the product line. We will be demonstrating the Q24 Hemispheric camera IP network dome camera. The hemisphere technology in Q24 provides a 360-degree all-around view or when mounted on the wall, provides a 180-degree panorama, which delivers widescreen, high-resolution 180-degree view and creates different views from one camera. A micro SD/SD card provides up to 80 hours of continuous recording with audio.
SP&T News: What distributors do you use in Canada?
Gorski: We sell through Graybar Canada and Independis Information Systems Inc. (Halifax). We don’t use manufacturer rep firms.
SP&T News: How many people does Mobotix employ in Canada right now?
Gorski: For the U.S. and Canada we have three people — east, central and western regions.
SP&T News: What vertical markets has Mobotix had success with over the years?
Gorski: We’ve seen success in the education market, municipal and other government locations. In Europe our products are prominent in football stadiums and one market we’re very excited about is the retail market because the Hemispheric Q24 is really well suited for retail. You can replace four to six analogue cameras with one Q24 camera.
SP&T News: What about the video management software that is available with your cameras — the MxControlCenter? Mobotix touts itself as a “software company with in-house hardware development.” How is your camera software viewed by customers who may be used to working with separate video management systems (VMS)?
Gorski: While we work with Genetec, OnSSI and Milestone, we have our own software management system. Some soccer stadiums have 700 cameras all running on our own software. And the benefit is there will be people counting software and analytics on the cameras. These days it’s not just security but also the market research divisions that can use the cameras to assist them with gathering data. We feel there will be a trend towards customers paying more for VMS feature sets. Our cameras come with 85 to 90 per cent of the features available in Milestone. For the average installation the cameras will provide all the functionality required. It will be an interesting space to watch.
SP&T News: From a price perspective, is Mobotix considered to be more on the high end?
Gorski: We are price competitive and we offer a decentralized model where everyone else is offering a centralized model. All the processing is done on the camera and a PC simply becomes the tool to view the video. And with megapixel you don’t need as many cameras. The Q24 is $999, which seems high but the software and storage is on board. Even if you don’t consider a whole system, the Q24 is less than a similar Arecont product.
SP&T News: What do you think will be featured most at ISC West in Las Vegas this year?
Gorski: I think you’ll see a lot more megapixel. Customers are getting the benefit of better pictures. I also think you’ll see more on analytics and more user-friendly analytic solutions.