Christoph Hoffmann, CEO and Katharina Geutebrück, CEO
“Wouldn’t it be great to have a photo of a bank robber?” This is how the story of Geutebrück started about 50 years ago. Today, the company is a global solution provider for premium video surveillance-security systems.
Nearly half a century ago, an engineer, Thomas Geutebrück visualized a huge market opportunity. During the mid- 1960s, bank robberies were on the rise in Germany, and there were no measures in place providing usable evidence for prosecution. The banking institutions needed a solution: special photographic cameras for surveillance. With only two manufacturers providing this type of cameras worldwide, and their offering being far too complex and expensive, Thomas set his sights on designing a simple but highly effective photographic surveillance camera for the banks. Providing solutions leveraging imported cameras and self-designed matrix switches was the logical next step for Thomas. This is how the journey of Geutebrück started, in a small family garage near Cologne, Germany.
Today, Geutebrück is an international provider of video surveillance solutions for security and process optimization. For almost 50 years, Geutebrück has been a global leader serving customers in over 70 countries. The company that Thomas started in 1970 continues to grow today under the steady leadership of Katharina Geutebrück, Thomas’ daughter, and her husband, Christoph Hoffmann.
At the heart of each Geutebrück system, is a powerful, open video management software. This software is developed in-house and designed to work most efficiently together with the Geutebrück hardware, carefully selected, designed and configured by Geutebrück. Accentuating the value proposition of its software and hardware combo, Katharina remarks, “We are often regarded as the favorite colleague of security personnel in the control room. We are an example of the best in German Engineering!”
Highlighting the prodigious history of the company, Katharina reflects, “One of the most important aspects of Geutebrück that has contributed to our success, is our flexibility to attend to customers’ most minutely-detailed needs.” For Geutebrück, no amount of time or money spent is superfluous when it comes to fulfilling customer expectations. To add to that, Geutebrück’s rich history in banking security coupled with a strong emphasis on research and development further fortifies the company’s reputation as a leader in the industry. “Because of these principles, we have a long list of satisfied clients, many of whom have been working with us for generations.”
That said, Geutebrück’s versatile software is not just used as another video supervision tool. The comprehensive end-to-end software can help a bank detect unusual activities or identify an anomaly. Upon such detection, the system can be set-up to immediately notify security personnel, set off a central alarm and/or secure all exit points.
Geutebrück adds a third dimension to its solutions portfolio, apart from its robust hardware and the software offerings. This third aspect is the company’s ability to communicate easily with third-party systems through open, individually programmable interfaces. “With these interfaces, we combine existing data with the live and recorded video images, in real-time.” All recorded data is securely stored and encrypted in such a way that the image format is fully admissible in court. “More importantly, this data and the associated images can be retrieved quickly, even after several months,” explains Katharina.
One of the imperative aspects that has brought us this success is our flexibility to attend to customers’ most minutely-detailed needs
When it comes to devising and implementing a surveillance solution for a bank, Geutebrück is all about versatility. “Every project has different technical and logistical requirements, so we approach each one independently,” says the CEO. Citing an existing end-user example, she explains: a bank in Mexico may have a mix of physical branch offices and ATMs in hundreds of locations, all of which must be connected to a Central Monitoring Station. On the other hand, a bank in Germany might have branch offices of varying sizes that require localized surveillance with onsite personnel to keep them secure. Geutebrück’s expertise lies in identifying those needs and tailoring a “perfect fit” security solution. “Even after installation, we support our customers through patch management, extended warranty, and maintenance contracts,” Katharina adds. Alongside, to complement this comprehensive set of solutions, Geutebrück offers certification services for banks to assess the performance of their existing and new security systems.
Although security solutions are crucial to any banking institution, more often than not, as Katharina notes, financial institutions view these needs as a capital expense that does not create direct profits or a measurable ROI. “Keeping this in mind, we provide data integration and process optimization solutions within our surveillance portfolio. This allows an organization to look at their entire operation, manage it better while adding more security to their workflow, thereby improving their returns,” says Katharina. To explain the solution further, Katharina refers to a case in point where Geutebrück provided its process optimization solutions to a major cash management specialist. The internationally operating company uses Geutebrück’s systems to document the cash handling process and the un-bagging of cash that comes back from its customers. To ensure that the counting is accurate and there is complete transparency in the workflow process, Geutebrück combines the clients’ counting system’s data with their image database. With this, the client has full visibility on every event from the linked video. Any discrepancies are quickly identified. “This solution has helped clarify and minimize complaints and added an extra layer of trust among their customers,” mentions Katharina.
While addressing these vital banking surveillance needs, Katharina also notes how the banking security parameters have become more complex over the years. Today, physical bank branches are reducing all over the world, while the use of ATMs is expanding. “Twenty years ago, the idea of securing an ATM only meant ensuring that no fake or stolen debit/credit cards were used for transactions. In cases where allegedly fraudulent transaction was reported to the bank, the issue was investigated and resolved using the images from the integrated ATM cameras linked to the transaction in question,” says Katharina. Nowadays, ATMs are subject to more time-sensitive and critical challenges; they are often physically damaged, sometimes even blown up using explosive gas. Proactively addressing these new kinds of threats is where the future of Geutebrück lies. “We intend to combat the burgeoning ATM attacks by devising new solutions. As an example, we are integrating sensors that can help banks detect the presence and intensity of gas inside the ATM, and proactively avert an explosion. Along with that, video analytics algorithms based on artificial intelligence look very promising,” says Katharina.
Geutebrück has an unsurpassed passion for helping its customers advance its digital banking security, and this new offering adds another feather to the company’s innovation hat. Forging ahead, the firm plans to continue expanding its technology and methodologies to ensure its clients stay at the forefront of modern banking surveillance systems. With such uniqueness, Geutebrück is poised to continue their legacy of staying the world’s most sought-after provider of banking security solutions.