30 years of innovation

30 years of innovation, trend outlook 2022 and beyond


Interview with Thomas Schmidt - Managing Director of Rosenberger OSI

Since its founding in 1991, Rosenberger OSI has evolved from a German assembly company to a global provider of integrated solutions. Reason enough to pause at the end of the anniversary year 2021 and briefly review the success story with Managing Director Thomas Schmidt, as well as get to the bottom of the exciting question of what the future holds for the company and what trends he sees for 2022 and beyond.

Rosenberger OSI started as a German assembler and is now a global expert for innovative cabling infrastructure solutions and services. How was this achieved? How much did the employees influence the result?

Thomas Schmidt: "We listen carefully to the customer. This is one of the most important characteristics of our employees at Rosenberger OSI. Knowing the pain points, knowing where the problems are, enables us to find the right solutions for our customers and the different markets. This is a very simple formula for success and expresses what others call Customer Centricity. From a strategic point of view, I would argue that our unique business model as an integrated solution provider offering cabling in combination with our comprehensive services makes us a strong partner in the global market. In addition, our employees in Europe and North America make the difference. The fun we have at work and the dynamism and efficiency of our teamwork are the basis for being perceived as an expert in cabling and services."

What are the most important innovative elements that Rosenberger OSI has brought to the market?

Thomas Schmidt: "I could answer it was the 144-fiber trunk we invented in 1991, or the PreCONNECT® PURE solution with its insensitivity to contamination in data centers, et cetera, et cetera.... But it is not the only outstanding product Rosenberger OSI is known for. Rather, it is the totality of all innovations that gives esteem to the Rosenberger OSI brand."

On the occasion of the "Digital Innovation Leader" award that Rosenberger OSI received at the beginning of this year, it was said that Rosenberger OSI has acted correctly in the past and is starting the journey into the future with the company's 30th anniversary. What were the best decisions made in the past, and where will the journey take the company in the future?

Thomas Schmidt: "A groundbreaking decision we made five years ago was to get rid of our old, cumbersome and inflexible organizational structure. The real wake-up call at that time came from our customers, who said: You are just as slow as your competitors. Suddenly we realized that this was true and that we were no longer different from the others. We suffered from longer delivery times, decisions were delayed and new product development took forever. In other words, we had lost our compelling success factors. After an extensive period of analysis and reflection, we decided to reinvent ourselves - focusing on speed, flexibility and innovation. In 2018, we completed our three-year transformation to a process organization without classic hierarchies and rigid structures. Today, we have a modern and future-proof organization with enthusiastic people working together in teams with generous decision-making freedom, and we all strive for continuous growth of our company. "Always be different from the others, be better and beat the competition", this motto is a good companion on our journey into the future."


2021 will be the most successful year in the company's history. How can that be explained?

Thomas Schmidt: "We are proud to have achieved cumulative growth of more than 40% in the last two years. Data center business in Europe and telecommunications sales in North America in particular have boosted our revenue. After analyzing this impressive revenue growth, we can say that the pandemic has accelerated the digitization of the entire critical networks. We benefited from the immediate investment in critical infrastructure after almost the entire world said goodbye and went into lockdown mode. Home office, home schooling, shopping from home, all these applications massively demanded a stable and adequate IT infrastructure and that's what our core business is all about. "

The following innovations were planned for 2021: a new solution for the LAN world, further expansion of the service portfolio and the large-scale digitization offensive. How did it go?

Thomas Schmidt: "We completed our LAN product family with cost-efficient and time-saving end-to-end solutions in copper and fiber. End-to-end also includes the active component for operating a LAN infrastructure. We recently won our first school digitization projects.

In Services, we have remained on our successful course. In 2020, Services already generated one-third of total revenue and has confirmed this dominance in 2021. Services became the third pillar of our business. So far we have been strong in installation and operation services and will complement these with planning and consulting services for new build, consolidation, refresh and relocation of data centers.

Our digitalization campaign is a long-term transformation to address the fast-changing and dynamic challenges of the business world. Our belief: Digitization is a must, otherwise you will disappear from the market. With the broad spectrum of digital know-how of our employees, we understand the flow of information and the handling of data and use the digitized systems routinely. By linking the individual specialist competencies with new digital solutions, new opportunities arise that we recognize, implement, use and consistently develop further. Digitization not only influences the way we handle our data, but also our daily collaboration. Fast, flexible and distributed working is now part of everyday working life."

And what does it look like in 2022 and beyond? What are the plans for the company and, above all, the trends Rosenberger OSI sees in its markets?

Thomas Schmidt: "After all, they are not my plans, they are always our plans! In 2022 and beyond, we will stabilize what we have already achieved and maintain our course of continuous growth. Growth will be supported by a high degree of digitalization of all our processes.

In terms of trends, we have identified five focus topics in which we see substantial business for us in the coming years. This relates firstly to the market for data cabling in buildings (LAN). The need for support in planning digitization projects, whether in schools, hospitals or SMEs, is growing enormously, and not just because of the pandemic. This is precisely where we can score with our expertise.

In addition to strong growth in the colocation market, we also see numerous projects in the industrial environment, for example in the smart grid or in transportation. Across industries, our IT consulting services are increasingly in demand to make IT infrastructures fit for the future, for example with regard to KRITIS V. And last but not least, online shopping is making its way into our industry and we are seeing increasing demand for 24/7 availability and deliverability of our products. We will therefore continue to expand our webshop to meet this demand."