Interview: Katharina Geutebrück, CEO, Geutebrück GmbH
Every institution who needs a highly available video security solution is our potential customer. Public authorities, educational institutions, energy supply, financial institutions, airports, correctional facilities, forensic clinics, financial institutions, commerce, hotels, industry, hospitals, cultural heritage, media, food processing, production, shipping, sports, city surveillance, multi-story car parks and insurance. They all have their individual challenges. And it is our strength to find a suitable solution.
Talks: Damir Muharemović
a&s Adria: Mrs. Geutebrück, thank you for addressing to our readers. For a start, could you present yourself, your educational and professional background, your work in Geutebrück, duties you are performing, what are you in charge with, etc.?
K. Geutebrück: I have graduated from the Technical University of Darmstadt with a degree in industrial engineering, majoring in marketing. In my diploma thesis at the textile service company MEWA, I focused on the topic of quality control and then headed a project for tour optimization in the company’s subsidiary in North Italy. From 1994 – 1996 I worked as International Product Manager for technical fixtures for SLI AG in Saint Etienne, France. Then I joined my parents’ company in 1997, initially as Marketing Manager and in 1999 as Co-Director alongside my father. Since 2012 I am at the head of the company together with my husband Christoph Hoffmann.
I am a a member of the International Professional Association of the Security Industry ASIS International and of the Club of Logistics, and also a member of the board of the ASW-West Alliance for Security in Industry and Commerce, temporarily chaired the CCTV working group at BHE Bundesverband Sicherheitstechnik e.V. and a member of the board of trustees of the TrappenStiftung Bad Honnef.
a&s Adria: For almost 50 years, Geutebrück has served customers in over 70 countries. What were the most important milestones, what helped you the most on this way, how many people do you now employ, revenue, offices, etc.?
K. Geutebrück: Starting off form a garage 50 years ago we operate now in more than 20 countries. Since the first camera and the first interface that we brought to the market, our goal has always been to think ahead for our customers. Geutebrück is an international video-security expert. The high-performance software and hardware can be versatilely used to guarantee security, maintain transparency and optimize processes – always in accordance with the stringent rules of the European Directive on the Protection of Personal Data (DS-GVO).
a&s Adria: It is interesting that Geutebrück is a family business, which is managed in the second generation, independent of authorities, institutions, shareholders or banks. What are the benefits of that, why did you choose to stay on that road throughout these years?
K. Geutebrück: This year, we will celebrate our 50th jubilee. This makes us unique in this market. We always keep an eye on the rapidly changing market conditions and thus offer a maximum of investment security. And this form of enterprise enables us to work extremely flexible.
a&s Adria: In April, you have went through some organizational reorganisation, creating the Business and Development division. What does that division include and how it will help your company to compete with your biggest competitors?
K. Geutebrück: We have expanded our portfolio within a short time from being a pure CCTV supplier of products for distributors and installers to a provider of software-based all-round solutions for safety and process optimization, including for end customers. Part of this were not only comprehensive technical developments or a significantly higher range of services, but also organizational reorganisation, such as the Business and Development division that was newly created in April. It includes the Key Account, Key Market Development, Pre-Sales and Marketing departments. The new management team will ensure that we continue to be experts in a field that only a few providers worldwide are able to master
a&s Adria: Can you present your products and solutions portfolio?
K. Geutebrück: Geutebrück solutions protect all forms of properties against unauthorized access, vandalism, burglary and theft. Our software guarantees security personnel and managers, optimum and instant visualization of any situation. Automated alarm action sequences can be programmed to activate automatic barrier controls, door locks or to notify of responsible persons effectively and efficiently. With this solution, you always have control over the situation and the necessary ability to maintain concentration and composure, even during critical moments.
There are more benefits: Especially where goods are moved, Geutebrück solutions are the logical extension of a video security system, to achieve measurable profit opportunities in the entire value chain. Our systems link camera images with process data, for example, data from an ERP system. Information such as scanner data, temperature, weight, volume or time data are linked to real-time video images, therefore ensuring maximum transparency.
a&s Adria: At the heart the Geutebrück system is a powerful, open software platform, which guarantees security personnel and managers, optimum and instant visualization of any situation. Tell us more about it?
K. Geutebrück: What our software is capable of? Not only does it think, it thinks ahead
Video solutions protect property against unauthorized access, vandalism, robbery, theft or damage. Our software ensures that those responsible for security have an optimal overview of the overall situation.
Automated alarm action sequences provide effective and efficient support, e.g. with image switching, automatic gate control, locking of doors or alerting of persons responsible. This ensures that those in charge in the control room always keep a cool head.
a&s Adria: Last year, you organized European roadshow in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Birmingham and Paris with the topics Predictive Maintenance, Face Recognition and Cloud. Recently you also introduced AI-based detection of objects using the example of “protective clothing”. What do you have to offer when it comes to these technologies?
K. Geutebrück: Each of our AI solutions is unique, because each customer has different requirements as to what should be ” identified “, e.g. the wearing of correct protective clothing. Geutebrück recognizes if persons are entering a safety area with the mandatory safety vest and helmet. Otherwise, admission will be automatically blocked.
a&s Adria: The second part of your business is Value Imaging, process visualization solution that identify profit potentials along the entire value chain. What does it consists of, how can your solutions maximize profits, and how can one achieve ROI in the shortest possible time?
K. Geutebrück: Video solutions also provide transparency throughout the value chain, particularly wherever goods are being moved. Our systems link images from cameras with data from processes, such as the ERP system. Our interfaces allow us to connect with virtually anything. Information like scanner data, temperatures, weights, volumes or time are linked to live images and guarantee for more insight. Delays, defects or inaccuracies in the supply chain are displayed as an image on the monitor and provide the necessary metadata simultaneously. Downtimes are reduced significantly, goods or components that are missing are located more promptly, risk transfers are conclusively documented, and theft and questions of liability are clarified immediately. We can identify where unnecessary costs arise. The user is saving significantly.
a&s Adria: What vertical markets do you have a strong focus on, and could you present some installations which were hardest to carry out or have some sort of cultural, historical or national significance?
K. Geutebrück: Every institution who needs a highly available video security solution is our potential customer. Public authorities, educational institutions, casinos, energy supply, financial institutions, airports, correctional facilities, forensic clinics, financial institutions, commerce, hotels, industry, hospitals, cultural heritage, media, food processing, production, shipping, sports, city surveillance, multi-story car parks and insurance. They all have their individual challenges. And it is our strength to find a suitable solution.
a&s Adria: For years now, the industry is concerned about cybersecurity issues. What do you do to prevent data breaches and loses?
K. Geutebrück: What everyone should do – we have to be faster than the hackers and keep the software up to date. We recommend this to our customers as well. Other than that our proprietary image format “gbf” sets standards. A “gbf” is unique and is accepted as evidence in court, even in the USA. Video export is encoded, and password protected if required. Any attempted fraud or manipulation is immediately visible.
a&s Adria: You state that Geutebrück users take a relaxed view of the General Data Protection Regulation and the Federal Data Protection Act. In what way do you find your products compliant with these regulations?
K. Geutebrück: Long before the introduction of the DS-GVO, our systems already had reliable protection mechanisms in place that made unauthorized access to images impossible – fraud is immediately detectable. Our proprietary software will mask or pixelate any protected image area or movement. Every situation is kept in sight – at the same time the privacy of employees, customers, suppliers or passers-by is guaranteed.
If necessary, it is possible to make certain image areas visible again with the correct user authorization and, if required, also exclusively in pairs with a 4-eye password.
a&s Adria: Your opinion on Adriatic Region security market (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Kosovo), its pros and cons? What are you plans for this area, are you looking for a regional partner, do you plan to expand market share?
K. Geutebrück: The security market in the Adriatic region is a challenging and ever-changing market. We are an image-based supplier of video surveillance technology for security and process optimization purposes. We have a long-standing history of excellence in this area and are proud to celebrate this year our 50th anniversary, in the Adriatic region we are already 25 years present.
The Adriatic region was one of the first markets adopting new technologies with a strong focus on quality and pricing, which can be at times contradicting. In recent years we have seen the globalization trend effecting our markets as local companies get sold to global players, security companies as well as end users. These developments might at times delay projects but in the long run we expect very positive effects for the region.
As a global solution provider, we work with strong local partners. With new vertical markets emerging and new technologies entering the markets we are very interested to partner up with companies that want to co-create projects with us. Integration has been and will be for the future a key factor for projects to be successful. We are one of the strongest players in the market and are convinced that we will grow our presence in the future in all relevant markets.
a&s Adria: What can we expect from Geutebrück in the years ahead, in terms of expansion of portfolio, new business strategies and technologies, new offices and markets?
K. Geutebrück: Geutebrück is versatile and tailor-made at the same time. Our team has the expertise to offer our customers exactly the solution they need: from consulting to the system to supporting services such as patch management, maintenance, performance tests and certifications. Geutebrück provides one-stop software and the matching hardware components – perfectly aligned and tested together.