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Route1 Inc.


In The Boardroom With...

Tony Busseri
President and Chief Executive Officer

Route1 Inc.

Connect with Tony Busseri on LinkedIn
Via Email or Phone:   +1 480 500-7030

UPDATED Aug 4, 2022 Thank you for joining us again today, Tony.  We understand that Route1 was recently engaged at the 2022 Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo. What were the major highlights from your perspective?

Tony Busseri: First off, great event filled with parking thought leaders, educational information and industry participants such Genetec, T2 Systems, iParq, Passport, and many more. We met and chatted with a lot of end users of ALPR technology and it is exciting to see how far ALPR technology has come in terms of deployment and acceptance at the university and community parking level.  We found there to be a lot of interest in two themes: (1) the integration of ALPR data with other public safety tools particularly other forms of video capture technologies such as surveillance video, and (2) campus leadership’s want to better integrate with their broader community’s local Sherriff or police department. Clearly it is all about the data, and more specifically delivering real-time actionable intelligence. We’ve gone from helping early adopters of ALPR, to helping clients optimize their operations through the interpretation of data and analytics.

Tony Busseri, President and Chief Executive Officer, Route1 Thank you for joining us today, Tony, at this interesting time for Route1.

The “pivot” is well underway and before drilling down into all the new developments please give us a brief company history and tell us about your background.

Tony Busseri:  Good morning - let’s take your two questions one at a time.

First, Route1 was founded and then funded through the Canadian public marketplace in the mid 2000s as a technology company focused on delivering a best-in-class secure remote access solution but with an architecture that did not create new data or network security risk vectors for an enterprise when they adopted it. The technology is MobiKEY and it is from a “how it works perspective” the opposite of a VPN based solution.  Since its commercial launch in 2008, it also has been an attractive technology for many enterprises including the US government because of the approach Route1 takes to multi-factor authentication; MobiKEY uses a smart-card based approach.

In 2017 Route1 expanded its business model to include not only the security of data but also data analytics (license plate recognition and body worn camera technologies) and data visualization including the reselling of rugged devices. We acquired a number of rugged device VARs between 2018 and 2021 at attractive multiples of cash flow and primarily leveraged their public safety accounts to take a more wholistic outcomes based sales approach and pushed to sell our clients data security and analytics solutions. 

In 2020 we benefited from the pandemic, as government enterprises moved to quickly support their workforce that had to access enterprise networks and data remotely.  Route1 had a spike in MobiKEY subscriptions in 2020 but as the pandemic subsided so has our MobiKEY revenue base as federal government budget dollars have been pulled for other requirements.

Further, we are also dealing with the constant competitive pressures arising from cloud technology “giants” like Amazon and Microsoft as they push to displace MobiKEY with their own offerings. Our response to the competitive landscape is to diversify our revenue base.

With the significant disruption in the global supply chain for rugged devices in mid-2021, Route1 has had to adjust its acquisition target company profile and sales efforts (a sales paradigm shift) to push its turn-key engineering and professional services capabilities leveraging data capture technologies, while emphasizing its very strong data security posture. 

Since early in the third quarter of 2021, Route1 has moved at an accelerated pace to position itself for future success and value by growing its video capture based business. We are not an OEM for the video hardware or other rugged items. We are building recurring services and software revenue where we can control the timing of delivery in light of the macro conditions that have not and are not expected to come back to historical parameters in 2022 or 2023; hardware delivery times are in months, not weeks or days.

The last year has not been an easy time for many micro-cap technology companies including ours. But, we see a strong future centered around turn-key engineering and professional services capabilities leveraging data capture technologies, while emphasizing our very strong data security posture.  The turn-key engineering and professional services industry is fragmented and its client focus is transactional; we see these as opportunities and attractive industry attributes in which to invest.

In regards to the second part of your question, I have been at the helm of Route1 since 2010, first pushing to stabilize a broken technology company and get it to cash-flow break even, then attempting to expand MobiKEY beyond a niche remote access solution, to now pivoting our Company’s business model to be more than being about a product and to drive cash flow growth through organic and acquisition initiatives. I am not a technologist per se, rather I am a business leader than drives growth, primarily through acquisition, talent and processes. What is your perspective Tony on the unique value proposition that Route1 delivers to your customers – in other words, “Why Route1”.  

Tony Busseri:  Turn-key engineering and professional services has a value chain like any other industry.  I feel that most participants are focused on the primary transaction and not the long term relationship that involves working with the client to realize on their targeted outcome(s) for the investment in the technology.  Service and particularly good service has been marginalized through the pandemic and we feel Route1 can excel in this area and draw new clients and more business by being very good at acknowledging that a client does not invest in a technology or product, they invest in a desired outcome.

To link back to my business experiences, from time to time I discuss a period early in my career where I successfully built a waste management company from zero revenue (1996) to going public on NASDAQ in 1999 (generating several hundred million in annualized revenue) while using service and a unique secondary market go-to-market approach as the principal business differentiators in a commoditized industry. It was then, and continues to be now about the outcome for the client and how that outcome is delivered to them.

Invest in talent and processes.

It would seem to me that Route1 has the opportunity to do something similar in the turn-key engineering and professional services arena leveraging video capture based technologies. Access to capital, the health of the economy and what we have become all too accustomed to, the unforeseen black swan event(s), will all have an impact on execution success and timing, but the business opportunity is currently healthy and being dictated by a public that strongly wants safety and stability in their communities.

Route1’s turn-key engineering and professional services that support its clients follow a complete life-cycle model. The model starts with traditional transaction-oriented services such as:

  • advisory and analysis including operations assessment,
  • design and engineering,
  • technology hardware and software procurement,
  • project management, installation and configuration

Importantly, Route1 continues to work with its channel partners and the end users of the technology beyond the primary transaction to deliver actionable intelligence that generates exceptional outcomes for the end user with the following ongoing services:

  • End user and administrator training
  • Technology life-cycle maintenance and support
  • Operations optimization

Operations optimization is centered around data integration and intelligence.  Areas of Route1 expertise are: (a) data transport, hosting and storage; (b) data presentation including cloud-based software applications to deliver data captured in an actionable format; (c) data analytics including integration of multiple data sets; and (d) data and network security, and user authentication. 

The real-time integration of multiple data sets to deliver the actionable intelligence is in itself a large business and engineering opportunity.  Care to mention any upcoming Route1 events? Are you engaged with IPMI, The International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI), we understand that is the world’s largest association of professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility?

Tony Busseri:  For sure. Elton Crawford and certain members of the Route1 sales and marketing team will be attending the 2022 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo in New Orleans from July 24-27.  Route1 will be located at Booth 802.

I should point out that Elton was recently hired by Route1 as its Vice President of Operations.  Mr. Crawford has most recently been the Assistant Director, Operations, Parking and Transportation Services with the University of Arizona. Elton brings significant campus parking and public safety experience and knowledge with him to his role as Route1’s Vice President of Operations. 

In his capacity at the University of Arizona, Elton has been an end user of the Genetec AutoVuTM automated license plate recognition (“ALPR”) technology for several years, which includes having worked with parking technology integrators such as T2 Systems and Passport as well as leading the University’s deployment of AutoVu at the University of Arizona’s state run COVID-19 Vaccination Point of Distribution site.

Mr. Crawford is a proven leader in managing stakeholder outcomes, projects, and people, as well as implementing processes to create transparency and timely communication that drive effective operational decisions.  As Route1 grows as a leading turn-key engineering services company leveraging video capture technologies at Route1, Elton will help steward our growth. Thank you for again for joining us today Tony! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Tony Busseri:  We are moving into our new sales growth paradigm as quickly as possible.  I expect the second and some of the third quarter of 2022 to continue to reflect our transition which means for our stakeholders that I do not expect we will close on an acquisition during that period of time. We are neck deep in the grindy tasks of cutting costs, improving processes and working with our video capture clients on what services we deliver, how we fairly value our engineering and professional services and building our recurring revenue base.