Our CSO Axel Möhring talks to the Wehrtechnik about the security market, its significance for INNOSYSTEC and its challenges.
wt: What significance does the German defense and security market have for INNOSYSTEC and what does the company offer?
Möhring: INNOSYSTEC is based in Germany and works closely with the German security authorities, among others. It all started in Germany. This is how we have grown and continue to grow. In the area of Big Data Management, we offer a solution for challenges of all kinds for various customer segments. However, the German market is particularly important for us – here our solutions are running for the first time and are subject to high demands – both technically and in terms of national security interests. This is often the litmus test for later use in an international environment. The procurement process on the German, but also on the European market is too cumbersome and too slow, especially for software solutions. This is where we have to start if we want to maintain the existing expertise in Germany and not lose it. Sometimes we would like to be heard more. As a medium-sized company, it is difficult to attract attention in larger projects. However, we can always score points with our know-how and our reaction time.
wt: How quickly can you provide product solutions for a potential demand in Germany?
Möhring: We have to distinguish between the product business and the project business. Depending on which one we aim to achieve with the customer, this also influences the respective delivery time. In the product business, the aim is to make our standard product available as quickly as possible without long waiting times for the customer. This can sometimes only be a few weeks. Our product development is at a high technical level, so that we can provide an innovative solution within the shortest possible time. Since our foundation in 2000, we have grown constantly and consistently with our product and projects. With 75 employees, we have reached a size that also requires certain processes and structures. We are moving more and more towards standards in the software market. This is good, as it enables all parties involved to act faster and smarter. In this respect, I consider us to be extremely agile compared to our competitors and in view of our experience and expertise.
wt: Does INNOSYSTEC link the marketing of its products for a potential German customer to close cooperation with other (defense technology) companies or partners in Germany? What does the marketing strategy look like?
Möhring: Our core market is still Germany and Europe. We have long been asking ourselves whether we should or must diversify. In the end, we decided to stay with our core business and integrate partners into our projects for further requirements. Due to our size, we are not able to serve all projects or requests, so another important aspect for us is the partnership with large system houses and integrators. INNOSYSTEC is one of the "hidden champions" on the market – with the emphasis on "hidden". We are little known on the market and have consciously chosen this path over the last 20 years. We have operated in the German market and have simply done a good job. This is the best reference and the best advertisement for follow-up business. If you can call it that, then this approach has long been our marketing strategy. As long as you do a good job as a company, however, you get more attention over time and honestly also the hunger for larger markets. Since mid-2019, we have therefore been seen more actively and visibly on the market. The topic of trade fair participation is now at the top of the agenda for 2020.
wt: Are there any considerations to address the international market as well?
Möhring: The international market has been an attractive field of activity for INNOSYSTEC for ten years now. For 20 years, we have been building up domain knowledge on how to operate nationally, but also internationally within the legal framework. Last but not least, we offer a worldwide standard for input data. But once again: Without the German one, the international market would not be manageable for us. For a medium-sized company, everything outside of Germany holds not only opportunities but also great challenges. Especially with regard to export regulations, legal situations, customs and other legal regulations. There are requirements that do not exist in Germany in this form. Here it is important to find solutions and to be faster and better than the global players. Or to work with a global player as the engine under the hood. With reasonable effort and expense, however, there are frankly only two possibilities for us on the international market to be active and efficient.
wt: What makes INNOSYSTEC?
Möhring: It would be fantastic if a customer could tell us why they trust us, wouldn't it? I am sure that customers appreciate our understanding of their needs and that we quickly recognize the challenges they face. We have gained deep insights, but at the same time our colleagues enjoy a very high level of trust among customers. Often it is not a "client-company setup", but rather a partnership that is built up over many years. Our customers highly appreciate that we stay with our core business. We are happy to advise, but what we cannot do, we do not do. We know our limits and we communicate them openly. We have a solution that can process, prepare and visualize enormous amounts of data from a wide variety of sources – that's our daily bread, that's what we can do, that's what the customer appreciates about us and that's what makes us special.
wt: In your opinion, would a company like Blackwater be conceivable in the world of intelligence and security agencies?
Möhring: In my opinion, absolutely not. An independently viable construct in a parallel world free of law must be prevented. Just like electricity and water supply or social housing, the state must not give up security. But the state and the economy must be allowed to learn from each other and also benefit from each other. We need close cooperation and closer links between security authorities and German solution providers. I personally also believe that we need to give our security authorities more room for maneuver, both legally and in terms of equipment. We live in one of the strongest and safest democracies in the world. We all share responsibility for ensuring that this remains so. Politics, society and industry. We at INNOSYSTEC make a central contribution to the security of Germany.