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Interview with Guido Gloy, CEO of Ascom Deutschland GmbH and Ascom Solutions AG

Ascom Deutschland Myco 4
Myco 4: Smart smartphone for critical business communications

In critical areas, whether in healthcare or industry, mistakes can have fatal consequences. Ascom Deutschland GmbH, based in Frankfurt am Main, and Ascom Solutions AG, based in Mägenwil, provide security with their ICT solutions in these situations. In conversation with Wirtschaftsforum, CEO Guido Gloy reports on how the company's alarm systems ensure smooth operations and thereby protect human lives and property.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Gloy, can you give us a brief overview of your company?

Guido Gloy: The history of Ascom goes back 160 years. The company was previously a large conglomerate. Now, we focus on the area of Wireless Solutions. This has developed very successfully. Because we are dealing with alerting in critical environments. This is not only an exciting, but also an important area in all parts of the economy, in the security sector, and especially in healthcare. Our solutions are used everywhere where human lives or significant assets are at stake. We are a Swiss company, our holding is based in the canton of Zug. Ascom employs over 1,400 staff worldwide, 160 of them in the DACH region.

Guido Gloy, Managing Director of Ascom Deutschland GmbH and Ascom Solutions AG
Guido Gloy, Managing Director of Ascom Deutschland GmbH and Ascom Solutions AG

I am the Managing Director for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Here, we have branches in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, and Berlin, in Switzerland in Mägenwil and Lausanne, and in Austria one in Vienna.

Wirtschaftsforum: How long have you been with the company, and what impulses have you been able to give it and can you give it?

Guido Gloy: I joined Ascom in 2016. I am an electrical engineer and have an MBA, and had already been active in the telecommunications and IT technology sector before. Ascom is currently undergoing transformation. We are moving from a very hardware-centric company to a focus on software and services. A topic that is driving us is Software as a Service. Customers demand flexibility. They are less interested in what happens under the hood, but more in the benefits for each area and the employees. We are focusing on that. Decisive for success in the market are on the one hand the technical solution with its advantages and benefits for the customer, and on the other hand the method of provision.

Ascom Germany Alarm System
Smart alarm system: Every alarm arrives directly at the responsible office
Ascom Germany Software Suite
The software suite from Ascom collects data from various devices

Wirtschaftsforum: Which of your products and service areas are particularly important today?

Guido Gloy: Our alarm management suite is capable of capturing various alarms, for example from medical devices in an intensive care unit. Intensive care units are very noisy due to the number and intensity of alarms. We want to use an intelligent platform to ensure that prioritization takes place and important alarms reach the responsible persons directly. We can capture data from over 300 medical devices and distribute it via our software suites to, for example, our own infrastructure and devices. Other important products are our smartphones for mission-critical communication, where, for example, the battery can be replaced during operation, guaranteeing 24/7 operation without interruption. Our robust devices also perform their duties in unfavorable environments. In the breadth of our portfolio, we are practically without competition.

Wirtschaftsforum: So, you are implementing digitization and Industry 4.0 one to one...

Guido Gloy: Digitization means minimizing human interaction and transporting existing information to people who need it at the moment, without anything having to be manually transferred. The automations save a lot of unnecessary work. The main driver of digitization in many industries, including the security sector, is the shortage of skilled workers. We have set out to make processes more efficient and better.

Wirtschaftsforum: What do you see as the reasons for Ascom's success?

Guido Gloy: At the top of the list, I would mention the quality of our products and solutions and the skills of our employees. Another success factor is the development and provision of innovative solutions in cooperation with our partners and on-site support. With new topics, we repeatedly prove that we are capable of co-creating innovations. We invest a lot in the further education of our employees to keep them up to date with the latest technology. Additionally, our hybrid sales system; we sell both directly and indirectly.

Wirtschaftsforum: What vision do you have for the company?

Guido Gloy: It is evident that there is a trend away from hardware. Therefore, we will increasingly focus on flexible, high-performance software solutions. A customer with five employees, who operates a sewage treatment plant, doesn't want to buy a huge system. We secure his employees with a device and the corresponding part of an alarm server. And if a sixth employee comes, they will be equipped in the same way. The future lies in further refining our solutions and offering a flexible delivery model. We will integrate AI where it makes sense.