European Business Journal: You started out as a telecommunications specialist. What made you focus on video conferencing in particular?
Jörg Weisflog: Having started out as a specialist in data, voice and mobile devices, we identified video conferencing as a market with huge future potential. It is a very wide field in which to operate because conferences generally take place in dedicated rooms that also function as venues for other forms of information sharing. They are equipped with beamers, projectors, audio conferencing systems, multimedia equipment and so on. New technologies have widened our field of activity still further, and we now offer complementary services such as audio/video integration and digital signage alongside cloud and hosted/managed video services. Video conferencing has become extremely sophisticated and is a valuable tool for our clients.
European Business Journal: Who are your customers?
Jörg Weisflog: Our customers are drawn from all branches of industry and all economic sectors. We focus mainly on small and medium-sized companies although we also work with some high profile names such as RWE, Schüco, Warsteiner and Volkswagen. We are the only video conferencing expert in Germany certified by all of the main professional videoconferencing equipment manufacturers. Most of our competitors can only offer a choice of one or two brands. We offer equipment from at least six different brands and can generally offer our customers solutions from eight or more manufacturers. Our in-depth knowledge of the strengths and advantages each of those manufacturers has to offer allows us to tailor solutions exactly to the customer’s requirements.
European Business Journal: DEKOM is also internationally active. Why is that unusual in your industry?
Jörg Weisflog: Again, this has to do with our extremely broad expertise in a relatively specialized niche. In addition to our dense network of offices in Germany, we are now represented in seven other countries through subsidiary offices in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine. We now employ a total of 175 people in eight countries. This growth has been entirely self-financed and has come about through organic expansion. Our vision for 2020 is to be one of the strongest and largest full-service providers of audiovisual communications in Europe. We have just had one of the best years in our history in 2014 and are confident that our goal will be achieved.
European Business Journal: Is there a typical customer or video conference audience? Is it just companies conducting business meetings over the ether to save on air travel?
Jörg Weisflog: Not at all. Our clientele is varied and large. A growing market for us is the medical sphere and in general the corporate market. Our technology is a vital teaching instrument that allows operations to be broadcast live between the operating theater and the lecture theater and for two-way interaction between students and teaching surgeons to take place. Important advances in medical research and development are also taking place thanks largely to our solutions, which allow experts to exchange opinions and information in real time. On the commercial side, we are also developing modern media technology solutions to stimulate interest at the point of sale and improve customer relations.
European Business Journal: What are the key trends we can expect to see in the future?
Jörg Weisflog: Digital media is of course the major trend of the moment. We are continuing to see the growth of mobile conferences and cloud video conferencing. The mix between the two is giving rise to the trends that will certainly shape the coming years. Things like 4K, WebRTC, H.265 and, on the audio/video integration side, routing of uncompressed video data through Ethernet networks in buildings are all on the horizon. We make sure that we stay abreast with the latest trends so that we can recommend the best to our clients. We are providers of creative ideas because we know what is up to date and possible.
European Business Journal: Do you see any challenges that need to be overcome?
Jörg Weisflog: The lack of a suitably qualified pool of potential employees is certainly something that could hinder our future growth, which is why we run our own internal trainee schemes. There is no nationally accredited qualification for the video conference sector, so we have to train up our technical and consulting employees ourselves. Luckily, we have been able to attract motivated and committed young workers to join us in building the company in the future.
European Business Journal: Thank you for the interview.
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