Mikael Långström: A Bullheaded & Passionate Pioneer

The Internet has already brought hundreds of millions of people together and created connections that were never before possible — but this is just the beginning. The Internet of Things (IoT) is here, as we know life, will be transformed. Since 1998, Fältcom, an IoT solutions provider is unlocking the true potential of Internet of Things by creating disruptive IoT technologies that have the power to be applied to seemingly unlimited devices and appliances.

Mikael Långström, CEO of Fält Communications is a fresh-thinking entrepreneur thriving Internet of Things with innovation and invention, creating the next big devices that will be fully utilized by the Internet of Things. Mikael studied Computer Engineering at Umeå University in northern Sweden in the late 90s. He became a part of Fältcom, which at that time only worked with elevator phones. He was tasked with founding the company’s second department, Machine-to-Machine or Internet of Things, as we call it today. He had previously worked as a salesperson in the grocery sector, an experience that was very useful during the Fältcom years.

The most important thing for Mikael has always been to practice what you preach, to be a role model for the company and to embody the corporate culture. Mikael remembers clearly the financial crisis of 2009 when Lehman Brothers collapsed, which he states as a difficult period with a lot of uncertainty. At that time, it was important for Mikael to provide a vision, to look beyond the crisis and start delivering on that vision right away. Today, the company has over 160,000 installations, 30,000 to 40,000 of which are online, in buildings, vehicles, and customized IoT solutions, which clearly show that what Mikael craved for most, and succeeded in it.

“We connect the world through the IoT. Our smart system makes it possible for customers to monitor and control devices in one place on the globe from another. We help our clients save money and resources as a result, while also contributing to a better world,” says Mikael.

 Fältcom: Transcending Internet of Things

Fältcom is one of the major global players in the Internet of Things. Taking the step from being a leader in the local market at home to being a global player is not easy, but they have got a good shot at it. Fältcom offers an open IoT platform ‘MIIPS’ with an ecosystem of apps for various industries which could make the difference for them and their customers. This platform allows endless opportunities to let ecosystem grow with new apps and features, even ones their customers and third-party developers create. It can connect a vehicle or a building to the Internet and can then add almost any feature: Communication Systems, Onboard Internet for Passengers, Security Cameras, Alcohol Locks and Infotainment. The customer can put a limit on the apps that can be installed or developed.

“We launch new apps all the time. One that’s coming very soon is Tachograph Data Manager, which lets companies explain their tachographs via the Internet. We also want to develop new ecosystems,” assures Mikael.

Fältcom’s IoT Platform, Giving an Edge over Competitors

Fältcom mostly differentiates itself by having an open platform that allows customers or third-party developers to create their apps and features, giving their customers freedom and flexibility, for which the company has meant a long line of partners that have helped them grow.

Mikael thinks that the most important thing for a growing company is to maintain the corporate culture and transfer it to new markets. That’s what got them here, so it’s important to maintain it.

Dreaming Big and Achieving Greatness

Today Fältcom have about 60% market share in Sweden, so their strategy is to grow by getting into new geographic areas. The U.K. and U.S. are the main focus areas. Fältcom’s goal for 2020 is a turnover of SEK 300 million ($35 million). After that, the next milestone is SEK 1 billion ($115 million). Most of the growth will probably be in industries where they are already established, but in new geographic areas, the U.K. and the U.S. are the next steps for them.

“My role has changed a lot since I started at Fältcom. I used to be a lot more operational – now I’m more involved with coordination. I think that will be my role in the future too, to support others in the growth period we’re facing,” says Mikael. He assures that: “I will also keep doing my best to be a role model, and work to strengthen our corporate culture. This is one of the most important things I can do as we grow and new people come in.”