20 years ago, in 2002 two young and ambitious engineers left the telco they worked at to start their own business. The first mobile internet networks (GPRS-based) were just launched. They were aware that was the beginning of a new era, the Internet Of Things. The concept of the IoT first became popular in 1999, at MIT. They saw a huge potential in new mobile communications technologies and decided to use their skills to design cellular communications devices for industrial applications.
In the beginning the company started distributing the products of well-known international brands, such as PCMCIA cards, but at the same time, our engineers started developing our own products. The company’s first self developed product launched was a GPRS alarm signal transmitter, since we realized the problems the security industry had with landlines (because the cellular technologies are cheaper, more secure, more reliable). We offered connectivity upgrades compatible with the existing security systems, so operators would not need to replace the whole system, only a signal transmitter. Obviously, it was a great success that allowed the company to grow.
The next big milestone was a complex GPRS-based communication system we developed for the Hungarian National Health Insurance Fund. Pharmacies nationwide used our system to verify the eligibility of patients to subsidized drugs. Those modems are in use today.
We also developed a small personal GPS tracker device that was used to monitor the elderly and people working in remote dangerous locations. Sold tens of thousands to the Hungarian Postal Service (which used it to monitor the postman working) and the largest utility which used it to monitor it’s staff doing maintenance work on top of electric posts (if they fell an emergency alarm was sent).
By the 2000s we started developing industrial cellular modems and routers. In 2006, Elster, a large German electricity meter manufacturer contracted us to develop a modem for one of their meters. Mass smart metering was just starting and they realized that modem development is not their core business. Then they asked us to develop a modem for their other meter, and then yet another.. In a couple of months other meter manufacturers also trusted WM Systems to develop their modems. In the last 15 years, we have sold more than 800k modems to utilities around the world!
Today, we have 15-20 modems, alarm signal transmitters, personal GPS trackers and a few industrial routers in our portfolio. Our long-term partnership continues with some of the largest meter brands and utilities. We sell our products in more than 20 countries. Today, our organization has 40+ employees, most of them engineers.
During the two decades, we have learned a lot! We have a deep understanding of cellular technologies, their potential application in different industrial automation projects, embedded systems, information- and cyber security, industrial protocols, energy efficient applications, mobile hardware environments and smart metering. Using these skills we offer custom development of high-quality IoT devices for our industrial clients.
We currently work with 2 well-known EMS companies in Hungary and one in Romania, but have 2-3 others on stand-by, among them one that is contracted by Honeywell company to produce their PCBs. Also, we have negotiated buffer stocks for key components, so scaling is not a problem. The last 2 years, we have managed the component crises very well. There were slight delays, but nothing serious, and we did not have to cancel any projects. We have grown up and become one of the most renowned IoT developers in Europe!
We are very proud of our past and hopeful for the future! We are full of plans and ready to become a key player in industrial IoT.
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