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Over the years, Commend technology has advanced to a point where it is not always easy to briefly explain the key concepts, features and benefits to someone without going into technical details.

Easy Engineering: Tell us a short story of origin of the company

COMMEND: Commend was developed in the 1970s out of a cooperation with a leading provider in the Intercom industry, which it soon outgrew, thanks to a range of cutting-edge innovations. At its founding as an independent company it was named Ring Control. Their flagship product at the time was a novel communication/control terminal. It was a big seller, and the search for a proper name led to “Commend”, which stuck as a brand name and soon also became our company’s official name. It was the birth of our core value: to provide communication that can be trusted to be available anywhere, anytime, under any conditions. Things went from there, with a steady stream of industry-wide innovations, opening the Intercom world to the Cloud and AI apps, to name our most recent ones. But our commitment is still the same – and it’s still the driving force behind our corporate “Why”: Trusted. Communication. Always.

E.E: Which are the fields of activity where you are operating?

COMMEND: Our key market segments are:

  • Buildings (office and residential buildings, business complexes, schools and universities, healthcare facilities, malls, and many more);
  • Traffic & Infrastructure (roads, tunnels, car parks, trains, train and bus stations, airports, etc.);
  • Industry (manufacturing, petrochemical, pharmaceutical premises, harbours, clean rooms, and more);
  • Maritime (ships and yachts).

They all come with their own highly special requirements, norms and standards. All our communication and terminals, control stations and applications are designed, developed and operated from bottom up with the specific requirements in mind.

E.E: Which are the most significant projects in the history of the company?

COMMEND: You’ll find a representative selection of some of our key projects here: https://www.commend.com/solutions/case-studies.html.

E.E: What projects were the most challenging?

COMMEND: Actually, our challenges vary greatly from project to project, and they couldn’t be compared, really. Each project is a unique challenge in and of itself, although certain large-scale projects (which we are not permitted to disclose for security reasons) can involve several thousands of components and special customisations and pose an extra challenge in terms of project management. But that’s just as well, as we thrive on challenges like that!

E.E: What are the ranges of products and what types of services do you offer?

COMMEND: Our current product generation is centred around our Commend Symphony Cloud platform. Symphony services include, for example, building communication and security, with all related sub-services, controls and management levels. Our latest addition to the Symphony ‘orchestra’ is Ivy, the world’s first Conversational AI developed specifically to support security and help desk staff in handling routine caller queries and support desk tasks.

Best of all, as a cloud-native platform, Symphony is able to leverage the world’s highest-rated, best performing IT security and cyber protection arsenals. Plus, all our Symphony applications are designed, developed, optimised and tested in a comprehensive DevSecOps evnironment. It allows security updates as well as regular feature upgrades to be implemented, tested and rolled out in fast, agile fashion. Everything can be tuned and adjusted to individual requirements, up to custom software and hardware builds. Overall, it’s trusted ‘(Inter)communication as a service’.

One aspect that makes Commend products stand out far above other brands is our unique commitment to what we call “Evergreen technology”. It’s a comprehensive concept that includes high product quality and durability and extremely long backward compatibility of new product generations. Our current cloud-native Symphony platform with all its services is open to all Commend Intercom stations all the way back to models from the 1990s (just try and see how far your mobile phones from only 10 years ago get you today!). It’s thanks to all this that our products come with the best TCO (total cost of ownership) of the industry – by a (very) long shot. 

With the rise of networking and cloud computing, we’ve also been able to offer hardware-free solutions like our 100% software-based “VirtuoSIS” server for virtual IT environments. And Evergreen Technology goes even further by reducing waste and hazardous products, with extremely low power consumption and only a tiny eco-footprint.

E.E: Which are the most innovative products / services and what special features do they have?

COMMEND: At the moment, Ivy (see previous answer) definitely dominates that category. It uses cutting-edge AI to help users solve everyday problems and answer routine queries in the form of perfectly natural, human-like conversations. Details are available at https://www.commend.com/en/ivy-virtual-assistant/platform.html.

E.E: What was the research behind the products/solutions and how important is R&D?

COMMEND: For us as dedicated innovators R&D ranks extremely high on our list of priorities. We currently have 60+ research engineers working in a variety of hardware and software fields. And we are very actively engaged in audio/acoustics research at our facilities in Salzburg and Graz, where we cooperate closely with leading university professionals and experts in the field. Research partnerships with technical colleges, universities and research facilities generally play a very important role within our R&D framework. Over the years, these efforts have proven extremely fruitful, leading to several innovations that have gone on to become de facto industry standards: Open Duplex Intercom connections, for example, or Intercom over Internet, as well as numerous features and functions that have raised the bar in terms of audio quality: Intelligent Volume Control, for example, adjusts an Intercom station’s volume setting automatically to ambient noise conditions (e.g., on a noisy factory floor or in a train station) to ensure unique levels of intelligibility, no matter what the acoustic environment. To name just another example, highly balanced echo cancelling compensates for sound distorting reverberations at emergency call stations in road tunnels. A lot of dedicated research by many passionate experts has gone in these and countless other innovations, developments and enhancements of the years.

Commend; Image

E.E: What products / solutions are you going to launch in the future?

COMMEND: Our new id8 modular Control Desk solution will premiere in Q4 2024. It brings together the latest and greatest in Commend control desk technology: a fully modular design with ultra-convenient, fully customisable touchscreen interaction, extra fast call management, comprehensive situational awareness and status overviews, support for crystal-clear hands-free communication, and lots more. It’ll be awesome: cloud-age control desk management as it’s meant to be!

E.E: How important are the after-sales services?

COMMEND: They are an essential part of our solutions. As such they are focussed especially around software upgrades as part of the Symphony cyber-security toolset, and maintenance agreements that ensure that customers can rely on years of trouble-free operation.

E.E: Tell us about social responsibility and what part does it play in the company?

COMMEND: Commend was founded as a family business and has always been known for putting a premium on social responsibility, always putting people first.

A high share of our products (75-80%) are sourced locally (i.e., within 150 km) to support regional providers.

Commend is also actively engaged in cultural sponsoring, e.g. by publishing an annual Art Calendar in cooperation with local artists. And we promote social sponsoring events like the annual “Charity Challenge”. Initiated by a Commend colleague, this charity running/hiking/walking/strolling event takes place from mid-June to mid-September in the Salzburg area. It has teams of local companies challenging each other in pairs to “run up” the most number of kilometres in aid of a charitable organisation. For details see https://www.charity-challenge.at  (site in German only) and https://app.do-more-sport.eu.