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50 Fastest Growing Tech Companies 2015

Building Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for a broad range of applications in the commercial and defense markets: Camgian Microsystems

“In 2006, Camgian Microsystems was founded in Starkville, MS with the goal of becoming a leader in remote monitoring solutions. Today the company provides an end-to-end remote monitoring solution called Egburt, which is used by commercial and government customers for a broad range of applications. The product remotely monitors assets in numerous markets, from retail operations to infrastructure health for bridges and dams.”

In 2006, Camgian Microsystems was founded in Starkville, MS with the goal of becoming a leader in remote monitoring solutions. Today the company provides an end-to-end solution called Egburt, which is used by commercial and government customers for a broad range of applications. The product remotely monitors assets in numerous markets, from retail operations to infrastructure health for bridges and dams.

Tracing the roots
Camgian combines innovative technologies in the areas of lowpower microelectronics, sensors, wireless communications and data analysis. It deploys advanced solutions that provide valuable decision analytics for customers in the government and commercial markets. Through contracts with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), or awards for various multimillion dollar advanced sensor projects for combat troop protection, Camgian has demonstrated immense expertise and excellence in service through the years.

The company currently sells solutions to the defense/military space as well as the smart infrastructure and smart retail market segments. They Have developed a low-cost sensor fusion platform called Egburt. It was released in late 2014 specifically for commercial markets and has received tremendous customer acclaim in multiple commercial market segments as well as numerous industry awards.

Leveraged edge
computing capabilities
“We create intelligence out of sensor data that protects our troops from enemy combatants, our nation’s bridges from failure and also helps retail organizations save and make money. We can quickly integrate virtually any sensor into a remote monitoring service and derive a higher level of granularity and intelligence based on the fusion of multiple types of field data”, says Founder Dr Gary Butler. Indeed, within the IoT Industry, Camgian has a relatively unique history of building advanced sensor solutions for the military to address the challenges encountered. “This has enabled us to develop some highly differentiated skills and technology and we leverage these capabilities to focus on a simple mission – we build the “Internet of Things that matter”, or rather those things that save and improve people’s lives”, he adds.

Focusing on blind spots to balance technology and customers’ business objectives
Camgian uses the latest IoT sensor and analytics technologies to help customers eliminate “blind spots” in their company. These blind spots are usually critical aspects of an organization that lack visibility. Enhancing the satisfaction of the customer’s clients in the commercial sectors and impacting lives in the military, the company constantly strives to innovate solutions for challenging problems. Camgian is constantly searching for problems that cannot be solved by ordinary means in order solve them through applying their unique expertise and using the latest IoT sensor and analytics technology. This allows them to improve customers’ visibilty of critical aspects of their operations, which allows those companies improve customer satisfaction.

In conversation with the Founder
1. How has Camgian’s journey been so far? What kind of clients has team Camgian served?
Camgian’s sensor solutions have been deployed throughout the United States with government agencies and organizations such as DARPA, NASA, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Homeland Defense and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. With Egburt, we have recently won a contract with the largest franchisee of the Fred’s Super Dollar retail chain.

2. What differentiates Camgian from its competitors?
Our military experience is our unique selling proposition. Additionally, our solution is differentiated by these key aspects:
1) Edge Computing – Our Egburt solution incorporates edge computing capabilities and enables greater processing and intelligence to be pushed out into the field. It allows combinations of different sensor data streams to be analyzed in real-time to generate alarms without requiring all of the data streams to be sent into the back-office. Besides supporting greater battery longevity for a wider array of applications by configuring alarms when needed rather than indulging in constant communications, it also reduces the costs of “Big Data” processing and supports real-time actionable intelligence.

2) Portablity- With extremely low-power operations and built-in battery power, our solution is portable. When coupled with cellular communications, it can be deployed almost anywhere and utilized in retrofit applications. Most other solutions require existing network infrastructure and power to be effective.

3) Sensor Fusion and Configurability- Egburt has the ability to support most types of sensor applications is multi-sensor capable and creates a greater degree of intelligence and analytical capability. A very simple example can be seen in the use of freezer alarms by retail chains to monitor the temperature of their perishable goods. In talking to these customers, Camgian found that they currently ignore any alarms, because false alarms are generated thousands of times a day by customers opening the freezer door. Depending on how long the door is opened, the temperature can vary greatly. However, by combining a second sensor, e.g. a door open/close switch, we can correlate freezer temperature increases to door openings and determine that the events are not an asset health issue, thus reducing the false alarms and making the system much more usable. A much more complicated example is when you start combining different variations of stress, vibration, fracture and erosion measurements to determine critical infrastructure health and based on a wide variety of concurrent values.

The ability to support sensor fusion and remotely configure the alarm algorithms necessary to support a higher degree of intelligence differentiates Egburt from most other solutions.

3. Does Camgian face any day to day challenges? Egburt is a product that is very flexible and can be utilized for multiple purposes in multiple market segments. Selecting the right application upon which to focus in the face of opportunity is at times challenging, particularly when presented with different types of large opportunities that bear few similarities. Our biggest challenge is to remain focused on solutions that allow us to continue to expand our offering into adjacencies while not diluting our resources and compromising the high value differentiators which we have built as a result of our prior experience.

4.How satisfied are your clients with the service that you are providing?
In our last annual customer satisfaction survey, our findings were:
– 100% indicated that Camgian’s solutions were easy to install
– 91% of respondents indicated that they were satisfied with service and support they were receiving

5. What are your future plans?
Camgian is currently focused on the North American market, but our solution, which is based on cellular communications, is geographically independent and has many global applications. We plan to expand our offerings to other regions of the world as we expand. We are also currently focused on delivering high-value applications for the smart infrastructure and smart retail markets. As our product is highly flexible, we expect to continue to move into adjacent markets that have similar needs and where we can take advantage of our differentiators.

Knowing the Key Executive
Dr. Gary Butler- Founder, Chairman & CEO
Through his work in IoT, Gary has become a recognized thought leader with speaking engagements at TedX and other leading industry conferences. Under Dr. Butler’s stewardship as CEO, Camgian has been recognized as an industry leader including winning the 2015 A-List Company of Excellence Award and being selected as one of the 50 Most Promising Internet of Things Companies of 2014.”

Prior to founding Camgian, he was a senior technologist with Internet pioneer BBN Technologies and has been awarded several patents related to the application of genetic algorithms to signal classification, multi-static radar signal processing and low-power networked sensor systems over the years.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in engineering and also holds an M.S. degree from Vanderbilt University in mechanical engineering and a B.S degree in mechanical engineering from Tulane University. He currently serves as vice chair of the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering Board of Visitors and is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, Vanderbilt’s Fred J. Lewis Society, the Oxford and Cambridge Club of London and the Tulane University Athletics Advisory Council. He also serves as a regional contact for Cambridge in America.