Episode #469: How to tackle big issues for big rewards with Siamese Systems co-founder Alex Kottoor

Episode #469

Cops. Bacon and sausage. Cherry Tops. Fuzz. Heat. Smokey. Digital natives?

Remember those scenes in the Dukes of Hazzard where Sheriff Rosco Coltrane and his sidekick Enos would end up in a ditch, a lake or upside down while Bo and Luke Duke would ride away in the General Lee without as much as a speeding ticket? That set the scene for an entire generation of kids (my generation of kids that is) who looked at the police as a, er, less sophisticated bunch. Throughout the years, as technology has emerged and adopted by the police, they have been shown in a more favourable and innovative light and now it is time for the mobile device to contribute to busting crime.

Alex Kottoor and his team at Siamese Systems have set their sites on helping crime scene investigators do their jobs better with a smartphone. This is no small task. Aside from the human factor of changing the way information is collected, the technology has to be secure, simple and 100% safe or it won’t get used – or worse – won’t be admissible in court. So why attack this market? What are the opportunities for a mobile-first approach in law enforcement? Where are the other opportunities for adventurous entrepreneurs looking to change how the police do their jobs? What have been some of the challenges? How has their product evolved? How have they used their customers to help evolve their product? Questions that are answered in this episode, plus more insight into what it takes to fulfill a big, hairy, audacious goal.

Alex is definitely attacking a big issue but he’s doing it in a way that makes it seem like a natural next step. Once that happens, the true and grand innovation will begin.



Key takeaways from this episode. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip

1. What is Siamese Systems 2:15
2. Why build a product that targets the CSI? 3:25
3. Has it been hard to sell into police departments? 5:00
4. How do you sell to the police departments? 7:00
5. How did you gain credibility in an industry you aren’t from? 8:00
6. Why did you feel compelled to pivot with your first product? 10:55
7. What has your process been for product development? 12:00
8. How do you sell 14:25
9. How does Siamiese Systems add value to police officers? 16:00
10. How do you handle privacy and security for your customers? 19:05
11. Is there a hesitancy to move to iOS from BlackBerry for your customers? 21:45
12. How do you manage new feature requests for the product? 23:15
13. How do you know you are building the right product? 26:25
14. How do you make money? 28:00
15. Why choose law enforcement first? 29:40
16. What does mobile do to law enforcement? 31:55
17. How does Siamese Systems think about contextual data? 35:35
18. Where are the other opportunities for entrepreneurs in law enforcement? 38:15
19. What is the role of big data in law enforcement? 41:30
20. Do you diversify? 44:55
21. How important is simplicity of UX to create adoption of a product 46:00
22. How did you find investors for a business like this? 49:00

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About Alex Kottoor
Alex Kottoor Siamese SystemsOver the last 12 years Alex has worked in increasingly senior sales leadership roles in the enterprise hardware/software space. Prior to founding Siamese Systems, Alex was a Senior Account Executive for CDW where he built and managed a $22M book of business across the Financial Services, Government and Healthcare verticals. Alex graduated from the Eric Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, B.Comm.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of UNTETHER.tv and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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