Welcome to our first CEO Update! This is a new format in which we would like to give you a bird’s-eye view across our TTTech Group businesses, industries, and where we believe technology may take us next from the perspective of TTTech CEO and co-founder Georg Kopetz.
Georg, the first quarter of 2023 is already behind us, how are you starting off a new year?
I like to use the beginning of each new calendar (and financial) year, to reaffirm our vision and think about the impact TTTech’s work and products shall have on both our business relations and people outside and inside our company in this new planning period. So, I think having this interview at the end of the first quarter is a good opportunity to give you some insights into our priorities and plans for the year.
What’s your plan for 2023?
In 2023 we aim to continue the tremendous progress we have made in the last quarters in terms of real business impact based on our leading tech solutions. This means profitably growing revenues with existing and new satisfied customers and partners while at the same time pushing new product developments. We have enormous traction in the Off-Highway segment with hundreds of successful applications across multiple markets, like construction and agricultural machinery. Our safety control technology helps further the transition from automation to autonomy. We are investing in building up our technical capabilities across the company for safe autonomous systems.
In Aerospace, we have prominently put space network technology from Europe on the map as part of the first successful launch of the NASA Artemis I mission. We might see the first launch of the Ariane 6 launcher with TTTech networks on board later this year. A McKinsey report recently highlighted that the space sector is at an inflection point, similar to what commercial air travel experienced after World War II and what the internet represented in the 1990s. With our space-qualified chips, software, and hardware solutions, our company is primed to capture a healthy share of this new space opportunity. We will continue this growth momentum in both the public and private market sectors and expand our technologies’ reach to other projects in different parts of the globe, like Japan. Besides space, I also expect the other aerospace markets will have a very solid performance in the next quarters, even years. We might know more after the Le Bourget Air Show in June of this year.
What are some concrete examples of markets you see TTTech’s solutions break into?
For example, our aerospace technologies are ideal for use in the emerging sector of urban air mobility and our technologies for mobile machinery can play a central role in precision farming, which is making agriculture more efficient and sustainable. Our TTConnect Wave is a high-performance, ruggedized IoT gateway designed and manufactured to connect agricultural machines to the cloud via wireless or cellular interfaces. TTConnect Wave also supports the universal agrirouter data exchange platform to enable the data exchange among a complex value chain independent of any service provider or agriculture machinery manufacturer. Today, the agrirouter ecosystem offering already incorporates numerous agricultural machinery manufacturers, including CNH, Same Deutz Fahr, Grimme, Amazone, Horsch, AGCO Fendt and Pöttinger,
Which emerging technologies are you particularly focusing on this year?
Rather than focusing on individual technologies in isolation, I think it’s better to focus on connecting the dots between multiple industries and tech trends. I believe that TTTech’s innovation form part of some of the most exciting technological developments of our time. I am particularly proud of our Deterministic Ethernet switch offering with NXP, which is shipped in millions of devices as the network backbone for various control applications in the automotive sector. The Internet Protocol is becoming part of our everyday machines. The Internet of Things, or rather, the “Internet of Everything” makes our machinery world more connected than ever, and the rate of connectivity is increasing at lightning (Gigabit) speed.
What can TTTech’s technologies contribute to the Internet of Everything, as you call it?
Building dependable networks, that is, networks that are both safe and secure, has been part of TTTech’s DNA from the very beginning. The increased need for such networks coincides with a strong trend to full electrification and autonomous operations of not just mobility, but almost all industries. This means that machines are no longer seen in isolation but become part of an interconnected system that offers new avenues for innovation, what I like to call “systemic innovation”.
Do you have an example of systemic innovation put into practice?
There are many, but to name just one example: The energy market is facing unprecedented environmental and territorial challenges. TTTech’s networking and edge solutions (Nerve and Oblo) become part of the solution in making green, connected, distributed energy management systems a reality for everyone.
How would you summarize TTTech’s recipe for success?
A high-tech company’s success depends on a vital balance, to navigate between short and long-term objectives: Improving on and scaling with the solutions and systems that have been doing well for years, while simultaneously continuing to innovate and explore new markets, new approaches, and still somewhat “foggy” business opportunities. A company that wants to innovate needs a stable business foundation that rests on several strong pillars. Important parts of our foundation are our innovative customers and motivated employees as well as the leadership capacity of our management team.
With Werner Köstler, TTTech has welcomed a new board member to its management team. Co-Founder Stefan Poledna is now focusing on his role as CTO of TTTech Auto and acts as TTTech Chief Technologist. Can you tell us more about the change? What’s it like to work in this new constellation?
It’s going very well! In 2022, we entrusted the role of TTTech Auto CEO to Dirk Linzmeier, who is doing a great job preparing TTTech Auto to conquer the software-defined vehicle market space with MotionWise. We decided that Stefan Poledna as a company co-founder would focus primarily on the automotive market, which still represents the largest business opportunity for the TTTech Group overall. At the beginning of the year, we also welcomed Werner Köstler to the TTTech Executive Board as Chief Performance Officer (CPO). His focal areas are our Aerospace business, chip development, the dependable network portfolio and to further improve important business processes like IT and Operations. Our COO Manfred Prammer focuses on TTControl, electronic design, Quality, and Supply Chain Management. Together with the rest of our senior management, they form a dynamic and experienced leadership team that is keeping our business at that optimal balance between optimization and innovation. As we go deeper into our 25th year, I very much look forward to the things we will achieve together.
Thank you, Georg, we look forward to your next CEO Update!