20 Years of Focus
We’ve been so focused on our mission at OxBlue we rarely look back at what has been accomplished. Now, on our 20th anniversary, it’s a good time to reflect on the journey so far as we look towards an exciting future.
OxBlue was founded during the very entrepreneurial days of the dot-com boom. It was a time when some dreamed of building a website and never speaking to a customer again. We dreamed of combining the best of technology and making the customer our top priority. Our team had construction backgrounds and was ready and focused on solving the unique challenges within the industry. This specialization is a characteristic that continues to differentiate our service to clients.
From day one, we have maintained several fundamental beliefs: create value, make it effortless for clients and do it in a way that is scalable.
We knew that the secret to this was simple: provide answers to the problems our clients are actually facing rather than sell them something else. We took the approach of providing real-time, high-resolution images to help document accurate, timely and actionable information from the jobsite. At the time, most webcams were limited to a 320 x 240 video stream. Our initial OxBlue 3MP cameras were 30x the comparable resolution of the day, giving clients the superpowers of remote vision and a perfect memory of virtually every moment of construction.
At the time we started we never imagined years later that we would be able to provide clients 600x the quality of early webcams as is now available with our Cobalt 60MP system.
Making it Effortless
Our own experiences with late nights of troubleshooting and untold numbers of scissor lift rentals proved managing hardware products, custom software solutions and various connectivity challenges from numerous vendors, was anything but effortless. “Effortless” meant an end-to-end solution that works and one neck to choke — our own. Integrated technology was just one part of building something seamless. We had to focus on creating processes, values and a culture that allowed us to deliver the exceptional service OxBlue is now known for.
For example, we believed a warranty shouldn’t set the limit of what we will do for a customer — it should only establish the minimum. We also adopted a service pricing model option where, if a camera wasn’t being used for any reason, whether it be technical or otherwise, the client didn’t pay for the service. That meant if things weren’t taken care of, we literally weren’t eating; it was a level of self-imposed accountability that has shaped OxBlue’s focus on customer experience to this day.
Build it to Scale
In order to grow sustainably, we needed to ensure everything we did could grow alongside us, both for the company and for our clients. We needed to build solutions that could be deployed to any jobsite, anywhere in the country. We needed to avoid features that only a few clients would ever need. If there were features providing value to many, then we gave it to them all as part of our service.
An early example was how we handled internet connectivity at the jobsite before reliable high-speed cellular networks appeared around the mid-2000s. We went with an option available everywhere — but it was an option that many dreaded, the dial-up connection. Despite its bad reputation for being slow, we knew how to use it to develop a great experience. OxBlue cameras could be plugged into a phone line anywhere in the country and would call out on a 1-800 number. This meant the cameras worked virtually everywhere and clients experienced very fast loading times because the images were buffering on our servers. They got the best of both worlds: an easily deployed system with fast performance.
Those were three of the fundamental beliefs that OxBlue was intentionally built on — then came culture.
We were so focused on clients when we started, we didn’t have a name for how we worked together and the shared values across our team. As we began to grow, it became very clear how culture drives success for the team and the team drives success for clients. We became intensely focused on building an intentional environment driving employee engagement, the type of place we wanted to spend our life’s work. We have been fortunate in business and it would not have been possible without the focus on culture consistently driven at OxBlue.
Today when we reflect back on the last 20 years, the fundamentals have never changed. Create value, make it effortless for clients, make it scalable and do it with a culture that makes it all work.
This last year we have seen a dramatic change in the world. The pandemic changed the way some work and has accelerated the adoption of remote work technology for all, including the adoption of construction cameras. At the end of 2020, we experienced another change, one that created an incredible opportunity. The acquisition of OxBlue by Hexagon AB means we’re now operating with the support of Hexagon’s truly global 20,000-person footprint with access to unrivaled technology resources and as part of the rich history of Leica Geosystems.
When it comes to creating value for clients, technology and business processes that make it effortless for clients, and being able to grow at a global scale, we couldn’t have found a better place to keep building for the next 20 years and beyond.