TTTech in 2017: When Market and Technology Trends Align with Company Capabilities

By Robert Siegel, Ryan Kissick
2017 | Case No. E635 | Length 22 pgs.

“TTTech in 2017: When Market and Technology Trends Align with Company Capabilities” examines the Austrian technology company TTTech.  A global leader in robust networked safety controls, TTTech developed hardware and software solutions that improved the safety and reliability of embedded electronic systems across a variety of industries, including automotive, manufacturing/industrial, aerospace, energy, and off-highway machinery.  In 2017, cofounders Georg Kopetz and Dr. Stefan Poledna were thrilled with the state of TTTech, which generated nearly $100 million in annual revenue.  For 20 years, TTTech had honed its innovative suite of technology solutions, developing cutting-edge products for customers such as Audi, General Electric, Cisco, Boeing, Airbus, and HYDAC International.

Yet the two cofounders were perhaps even more excited by a confluence of market and technology trends in TTTech’s favor—trends that aligned perfectly with TTTech’s products and capabilities.  One of the most pronounced tailwinds was the race towards fully autonomous vehicles.  Within the industry, there was growing consensus that cars would become fully autonomous in the next decade or two.  Given the complexity associated with developing the networks and electronic systems that would enable autonomous vehicles, manufacturers looked to companies like TTTech to provide the underlying technology needed to turn this vision into a reality.  Yet the trend towards increasingly complex electronic systems was not restricted to the automotive industry.  Across every industry, physical devices, machines, vehicles, and buildings were becoming embedded with electronics that allowed for the collection and exchange of data, all of which enhanced automation.

Against this backdrop, Kopetz and Poledna believed that TTTech could reach more than $200 million in revenue by 2020.  Yet achieving this success would not be without its challenges.  TTTech would have to align itself with the right strategic and financial partners, continue to hire top managerial talent, and compete in multiple industries, each of which had its own set of unique regulations and standards.  TTTech was in a strong position to achieve explosive growth, yet Kopetz and Poledna would have to navigate several hurdles in order to realize that growth. 

Learning Objective

Through an in-depth examination of TTTech’s technology, as well as current market and technology trends related to autonomous electronic systems, the TTTech case highlights several learning objectives: 1) Managing multiple business units that utilize similar underlying technology; 2) Finding the right strategic and financial partners to expand the business; 3) Taking advantage of emerging market opportunities to achieve scale and profitable growth.
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