Late in 2013, Camgian Micro’s senior management team gathered for our annual strategic planning meeting, a three (sometimes four) day “lock-down” session, where we review a range of proposed initiatives and plans from the executive team, from which we chart the company’s course for the following year. As one would expect in any such session, proposals were fiercely debated, summarily dismissed, modified, discarded, adopted, combined and finally written (i.e. the proverbial making of the sausage) into our 2014 Playbook , a reference guide for all employees, which outlines our annual “rallying cry”, defining objectives, key performance indicators, etc.
As year-end planning has now transitioned into new-year execution, we are “off and running” on a number of initiatives that will push the limits of our team in terms of engineering, sales and marketing, but if successful, will result in major gains for Camgian Micro in 2014 in our core product and service segments. One segment about which I am keenly excited is the Internet of Things (IoT) or Machine-to-Machine (M2M) market (terms that I dislike but more to follow on a future blog post). If you are not aware of the IoT/M2M market buzz, solutions in this space wirelessly network everyday physical assets (i.e. vehicles, electric grids, appliances, equipment, etc.) to software applications to create a world of “smart things” that operate more effectively and efficiently. In fact, our research and client interactions continue to suggest amazing growth opportunities in this market, and we expect 2014 to be a strong year for us in the space.
As I read about the rapid rise of start-ups attempting to cash-in on this new boom in IT, Camgian feels like an old veteran to the space as we have been working with business clients around the country for several years on the implementation of these solutions. This includes the basic “blocking and tackling” aspects of value and product definition (i.e. not exclusively the sexy technical stuff), which are critically important to creating a profitable business model in this market. For example, it seems that many of the business executives with whom we interact love the concept of the “connected enterprise”, but possess a healthy dose of what I would call “show me the money” mentality. That is, business clients must buy-in to the value proposition (i.e. improved customer service, reduced operational costs, improved customer bonding, etc.) before taking even modest steps towards adoption.
Combined with the highly fractured nature of the market where “one-size-doesn’t- fit-all”, the ability to demonstrate the value of IoT/M2M solutions across diverse customer sets is a major financial and technical challenge as custom built, heterogeneous solutions that meet industrial standards are expensive and require long engineering lead times that quickly eviscerate financial value and profitability. To address this need, we began working on a new horizontal platform product in 2012 that would enable the rapid and cost-effective configuration of intelligent, sensor-enabled IoT/M2M solutions. The product, called Quantus™ Sensor Fusion Engine (SFE), connects wireless cellular sensors with a cloud based software platform comprising data integration, analysis, visualization and reporting tools that deliver unique sensor-driven business intelligence across a broad range of business applications.
After launch of the initial version of the product in the second half of 2013, the number of Quantus™ SFE deployments and customers continue to grow at an impressive rate. For 2014 our primary objectives will be to continue aggressively growing the current install base while launching a new version of Quantus™ SFE in the second half of the year. As it relates to our new product launch, engineering efforts are well underway to radically expand the functionality of the current product to address a much broader set of market segments and verticals in the IoT/M2M sector.
I will resist providing any additional information on our technology development as to not spoil the surprise. However, current plans include a major product launch event in Q3, which I will aim to discuss in future blog posts in the run-up to the event. In closing, as I look forward to 2014, our team is filled with optimism and enthusiasm about the IoT/M2M market and our role in this burgeoning technology revolution. Happy New Year to all and here’s to a connected 2014!
Gary D. Butler is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Camgian Microsystems® Corporation, a leading supplier of IoT/M2M products and services and named by Inc. Magazine as one the fastest growing private companies in the US. Prior to founding Camgian, Dr. Butler was a division engineer with Internet pioneer BBN Technologies where he led development programs funded by organizations such as DARPA in the areas of low-power, ad-hoc sensor networks and advanced signal processing. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge where he studied engineering and was a member of Churchill College. Dr. Butler is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, Vanderbilt University School of Engineering Board of Visitors, the Oxford and Cambridge Club of London and the Tulane University Athletics Advisory Council. He also is a senior member of IEEE and serves as a regional contact for Cambridge in America.