bioLock: an Interview with Thomas Neudenberger, COO of Realtime North America
Leading the charge against fraud prevention inside SAP, Realtime North America’s bioLock system is the only biometric identity and access management software certified by SAP.
The company started as a consulting firm in Germany in 1986, and was founded by former SAP managers. The company’s flagship bioLock system makes use of fingerprint scanners to control access to files, securely facilitate and approved purchase orders and closely monitor and audit internal activities within the SAP environment.
SAP (which stands for Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing) makes enterprise application software for businesses and is the third largest independent software manufacturer in the world.
I had a chance to chat with Thomas Neudenberger, realtime’s COO, to talk about his executive post and vision, the bioLock system, as well what to expect down the road from realtime.
Here’s what he had to say:
BU: What brought you to Realtime North America?
TN: “Originally from Germany, I helped to start and grow a Bavarian Software Company and eventually founded a US headquarters to manager International Sales from North America. When realtime, which is a company with German roots (dealing with German SAP software), was looking for a COO to run their International Sales out of North America, a recognized senior IT leader shared my prior success stories and recommended my expertise and unique skill set to realtime’s board.”
BU: Describe your day-to-day — what are your responsibilities as COO?
TN: “At realtime I oversee the day-to-day operations including finances. My key focus areas are to establish and manage International Partner Channels. Establishing a partner requires a tremendous amount of due diligence and education. Keeping a partner going requires patience and a lot of hard work: A typical day starts with a 7 a.m. online presentation to our partners or customers in Asia. Then we support one of our key partners in South Africa with RFP’s and handle new development requests. In the afternoon we deal with our partners in North and South America and finish the day with some late calls to Australia.”
BU: What are your goals as COO?
TN: “My goals as COO are to represent realtime in the most professional way possible while still giving our partners and customers the assurance that we are open-minded, easy to work with and understanding of their individual needs. With over 20 years of International Business Experience I have seen my fair share of miscommunication and we are working very hard to understand and support our foreign partners and customers. I want to build an internationally recognized organization, where customers appreciate our work and recommend and promote us because of the way we do business.”
BU: What challenges does realtime face in today’s market?
TN: “Our key challenge is that we were originally in the market of fraud prevention. While everybody knows that fraud occurs, and everybody knows that the damages are enormous, companies still have problems with spending larger amounts on fraud prevention until they have occurred actual measurable losses. The next challenge for North America is that the adaption of biometrics has not been as smooth and fast as we have seen it in other countries. I have witnessed users that would under no circumstances put their finger on a biometric device to log onto an SAP system. Nobody would think twice about this in most countries.”
BU: What’s next for bioLock?
TN: “We have added extensive functionalities for SAP logging, auditing and analysis. Last year at Africa’s largest SAP show we launched an SAP based Employee Self Service Touch Screen Kiosk with biometrics, where Employees can log into their own SAP HR accounts and handle all employee HR needs while being uniquely identified. A “fingerprint” signs off on employees requesting vacation. In the US we launched our first installation for biometric time and attendance which is recorded directly in SAP HR (CAT2 tables). This functionality is being extended now with physical access through biometric turnstiles that are controlled out of the SAP system. Of course there is the mobile market to secure access to corporate SAP functions from mobile devices and tablets.”
BU: Where do you see realtime in five years?
TN: “Realtime’s bioLock technology became the first SAP certified biometric technology over 10 years ago and we still feel that we are in a premature market today, especially in the US. With the adaption of biometric devices in theme parks, door locks and soon the leading mobile phones, we predict that the acceptance of biometrics will see a remarkable acceleration. Suddenly executives will understand the ease of use and the benefits of biometrics. This new understanding will allow us to successfully engage and protect their organizations with our bioLock technology. Our goal is to become recognized as the leading fraud prevention company for SAP.”
The realtime team is currently at the SAPPHIRE NOW SAP event in Orlando.