Interview with Christian Rutigliano, International Sales Manager, Green Bit
Peter O’Neill, president of FindBiometrics, recently had a chance to speak with Christian Rutigliano, the international sales manager of Green Bit, a global fingerprint biometrics company. The conversation begins with an overview of the company’s long and involved history in the fingerprint biometrics market, before going on to an in-depth technical conversation regarding Green Bit’s National ID solutions, and concluding with a look ahead at what we can expect as the company expands into the consumer markets.
Peter O’Neill, President, FindBiometrics (FB): Green Bit has been a leader in the fingerprint market for quite some time, what would you say are the key strengths of the company?
Christian Rutigliano, International Sales Manager, Green Bit (GB): First of all I would like to thank you and all the friends at FindBiometrics for giving us this opportunity. You are right, we have been around in the industry for quite some time and our key strengths could be summarized as integrity, validity, consistency and the one thing that is paramount for us in all things that we are doing and that we have accomplished is that we always look at the maximum quality for our partners, thereby giving them a leading edge in whatever tender or business endeavour they are going for. We are a company fully concentrated on consistently improving our technology, our complete product portfolio and to be always there with the maximum support we can possibly give to our customer base and partners worldwide. So if you go for Green Bit, you opt for top notch technology, very good – if not excellent – customer support and for sure we will also give you, on the economic side, a competitive edge which probably no one else can in the industry so far. We are very proud of what we have accomplished over the last 15 years from a new entry in a very close market back then, to one of the major players in the market today.
FB: Can you give us our readers a brief overview of your current product lineup?
GB: Our product lineup has been designed and optimized for two main markets within the fingerprint community. The first is the law enforcement market; everything related to criminal booking and criminal identification, strictly related to police forces. The second big market that we are following these days is the National ID market; so everything related to the issuance of new modern electronic and in this case biometric and biometrically enhanced ID documents. Those may be ID cards, electronic passports, electronic visas or electronic voter cards, which is one of the biggest markets we have seen over the last couple of years. So our product portfolio actually allows us to address each and every one of these markets and we have the right and best products.
We are starting with single fingerprint scanners that we can use for authentication and for enrollment scenarios for e-passports scenarios for example and in this case I would recommend our DactyScan26 series with a 1”x1” finger scanner completely FBI/PIV and BSI certified. This scanner can do absolute high quality enrollment as well beside the standard 1 finger one-to-one authentication which one finger scanners are normally used for. We have the DactyScan40i to do two finger scans simultaneously or roll finger scanners which has been requested here a couple of years ago in European scenarios, where a couple of national ID projects called for rolled finger enrollment when fingerprints were concerned, like, for example, in Spain or in Turkey.
Then we go to the best seller and the most requested product category right now in the national ID scenario, which is the ten print scanners and our DactyScan84c. I think this product offers today the best price performance ratio on the market. There is no fingerprint scanner that comes with more intrinsic features and ease of usability and integration like the DactyScan84c and thanks to several large volume deployments that we have done over the last several months I would say we have reached even a price point which makes the DactyScan84c the product of choice whenever mass enrollments of 10 fingerprint scanners are deployed.
Then we go to the law enforcement market which I have mentioned before and here I think today we are offering the most advanced palm scanner on the market; the MultiScan527. It is a 5”x5” FBI Appendix F certified palm scanner and we are the very first company to ever add new acquisition features to this palm scanner, doing also supplemental prints and as such we can say that our palm scanner the MultiScan527 is FBI Appendix P compliant as well. Appendix P practically summarizes all the additional supplemental fingerprints, like a full finger roll, rolled thenar and hyperthenar and rolled fingertips. Additionally the MultiScan527, through our MultiScan SDK, allows for upper vs. lower palm check using the interdigital area of the palm making sure that the upper and lower palm originate from the same. We are doing sequence checks both in upper palm images to make sure that the upper palm images are corresponding to ten fingerprint and the roll prints. I know this is pretty technical, but people knowing the industry for sure will perceive this value that we have added to this device. We are seeing a really great response in the market today, not only from our customers which are normally system integrators, but from the end customers as well. They are really, really happy with the product and we just deployed through one of our partners the MultiScan527 for the Illinois State police and to numerous other locations throughout the USA, Europe, Africa and Asia.
The MultiScan527 is, today – as already mentioned – the most advanced, the most feature rich and the most aggressively priced palm scanner on the market which makes it suitable not only for high end law enforcement markets but also for emerging markets.
FB: You have had a very good year internationally, can you tell us about some of your successes?
GB: As far as I can disclose names, I am more than happy to share with you Peter. Since I am actually responsible for all of our international business, I can proudly say that the last 6-9 months have been really, really great and satisfying. Lots of work done over the last year has eventually brought the expected results and we are thankful to all of our partners who trust our technology, our support and loyalty.
Let me mention a couple of our recent successes, starting with the National ID side. We just secured a win with a consortium of partners and deployed more than 10,000 DactyScan84c scanners in Eastern and Western African to various National ID projects. Moreover, we have been very successful in Central/South America with important numbers of units sold. Needless to say that we are also looking very closely to the US market where we are constantly growing and have also sold big numbers of the MultiScan527 and DactyScan84c over the last 6 months. We are also pretty satisfied with our growth in Asia and especially in China, where we deployed a couple thousand palm scanners just over the last two quarters, which go in addition to the more than 10,000 that we have already deployed in the last two and a half years.
The palm scanner sold in China, called MC517, is a special model developed to be in line with stringent Chinese GA standards, which partially differ from FBI standards, and exclusively offered to the Chinese Law Enforcement market. So, as you can see Peter, the list of our recent success stories is rather long, so one could state that the last six months have been great and when I look down our pipeline for 2015, there will be way more to come. Rest assured, we’ll keep ourselves busy and focused, so I’m sure the next time we talk, I can add several other projects to the aforementioned list.
FB: You mentioned the National ID programs and the law enforcement markets; what other vertical markets are you starting to look at or are perhaps on the horizon down the road?
GB: For sure we are not restraining ourselves to the National ID and law enforcement markets. We noticed a big push into what we call the commercial market defined by offering commodities and private user applications, like physical and logical access control. So currently we are scrutinizing a couple of markets that could be still in line with our current technology and expertise. For example the banking or health care markets, especially banking applications, have seen a big push in Africa recently where more and more banking institutes are going for biometrically based client identification.
FB: That sort of leads into my next question which you started to talk about and that is: what can we expect to see from Green Bit in the near future? I guess looking at and staying close to some of these evolving markets like financial and healthcare that you talked about, enterprise, commercial deployments and new products. Is this correct?
GB: That is true. We have a couple of new product features that we are developing and we have a couple of new products that we are very eager to present to the marketplace as soon as possible. I can’t talk about dates right now but I am quite sure by the end of this year Green Bit will show at least one new product and one new outstanding product feature on our current product. In an ever growing industry in which customers are getting more sophisticated and are always expecting something better and newer; this is surely a big challenge, which we gladly accept. Green Bit, as a tech company with all necessary IP in house and thus not depending on third party technologies, we know exactly what we need to do to constantly provide our customers with new features and products providing them with a competitive edge whenever fingerprint acquisition comes into play. Obviously I can’t disclose too much now but we are working full throttle and I’m confident to say that in over the next 12 months we will present new products and features which will be greatly appreciated by our partners and end-users.
FB: Well Christian thank you very much for taking the time to describe what sounds like a very successful year for your company and I look forward to hearing more about the international deployments you are involved in.
GB: Thanks for the time Peter and thanks for giving us the opportunity and for sure we will be talking soon with more success stories with our good friends at FindBiometrics.