The slogan “Go West, young man” is closely associated with Manifest Destiny for some, and with the Pet Shop Boys for others. – But what does the American dream look like for a small medium-sized company from Houston’s twin city in Saxony? Our colleague Stephan Knoblauch, CEO of GUSI, answers our questions.
Stephan, how did the idea to found GUSI come about?
Back in 2011, we assessed the potential of GEOMAGIC’s software products in such a way that they could be used in other countries without any problems. Configurability and flexibility have always been important to us. The U.S. market is particularly suitable because there is a large number of potential customers there.
At first, we collaborated with partners who distributed our products as a supplement to their own portfolio. However, our goal was to be able to handle sales directly with end customers without intermediaries. Then in 2018, the time had come: GEOMAGIC Utility Solutions Inc. was born.
What are the current projects in the US?
At the moment, we are supporting our customers in implementing the new regulation for operating gas pipelines in the USA, which makes the designation and treatment of so-called Moderate Consequence Areas (MCAs) mandatory.
Moreover, we support customers in setting up and operating pipeline integrity management systems and processes. In this environment, a variety of tasks arise, such as the maintenance of assets and the regulation of technical and maintenance guidelines. In this context, GUSI is currently negotiating with Dominion Energy Transmission on the use of the GeoNAM software platform to implement maintenance activities for all assets, technical equipment, cathodic protection and public communications.
What are the trending topics in the U.S. pipeline industry?
Natural gas also plays a major role in the U.S. in meeting climate goals. Consumption in natural gas is steadily increasing and, in some cases, replacing other energy sources.
With the gradual entry into force of a comprehensive amendment to the legal requirements for operating gas pipelines, there will also be a need for software in the coming years. Increases in efficiency and the fulfillment of legal requirements will be the main focus.
And what are the GUSI plans for 2021?
After the Corona pandemic, the focus will first be on supporting our customers on site again and winning new customers at trade fairs and congresses. Aside from that, we will continue to expand and stabilize business with existing customers by entering into long-term commitments and setting up maintenance contracts.