Erlangen-based Astrum IT with New Shareholders and New Management
As a young startup company, Erlangen-based Astrum IT GmbH received all important founders’ prizes in the 1990s. After its founder, Walter Greul, left the company, the IT experts will now start into the future with new shareholders and a new management team.
Under the new leadership, Astrum IT will position itself as a specialist for digital vitality in the future and will intensify its focus on fast-growing business areas: IT engineering, security, IT services and consulting.
BayBG Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft accompanies business succession
Since 2020, BayBG has supported Astrum IT with its reorientation process focusing on succession and growth. Founder and former sole shareholder Walter Greul will pass his majority of shares on to Gerhard Pölz and BayBG by the end of the year. Step by step, Gerhard Pölz will thus become the principal shareholder of Astrum IT GmbH. Mr Pölz is not unknown to Astrum IT. He has been working as a consultant for the company for many years; since 2018, he has been a managing director and has prepared the company succession in cooperation with Mr Greul ever since.
Gerhard Pölz is the head of a strong management team
The strategic reorientation of the company is something that is emphasized also by the new management team. “We understand management as a team effort“, said Mr Pölz. “Therefore, we have established a powerful seven-headed team on the second management level over the past few months. Together we want to set the course for growth at Astrum IT and ensure our growth in our core areas in the region and far beyond.“
Despite COVID-19: growing in four areas
IT engineering is a robust pillar of our business: Astrum IT develops complex software for customers such as Siemens Healthineers or public sector institutions such as Anstalt für kommunale Datenverarbeitung in Bayern (AKDB). Especially in the field of medical engineering, the Erlangen-based IT experts have developed a strong market position; the company has been certified according to the EN ISO 13485 quality standard for medical products for many years.
Its proprietary software product VISIT, a software solution for the management of external visitors on company premises, has gained popularity also because of the pandemic. Factory premises from Asia to America are secured with VISIT, individuals such as visitors or drivers of delivery vehicles are recorded and can even be checked for COVID-19 symptoms with the automatic body temperature measuring feature. After the lockdown with a moderate second quarter, the interest in this solution grew significantly. Customers such as Bosch, Siemens, Edeka and Zott use VISIT.
Despite a visible deceleration of growth in IT consulting due to the coronavirus crisis, Astrum IT strongly focuses on consulting for companies with regards to digital transformation. “With our power week, we identify possible digitization potentials for medium-sized companies within five business days“, Mr Pölz described one specific offer. “The result is a comprehensive evaluation of the situation and a clear roadmap as to how digital processes and solutions can significantly increase the efficiency of the company from manufacturing to administration.“ IT consulting also comprises research projects with renowned partners such as Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nuremberg Institute of Technology Georg Simon Ohm or Fraunhofer Institute IIS: In the ERIK project, the developers at Astrum IT are working to develop a robot appropriate for children to be used in therapy for children with autism. In the CMLB project, Astrum IT uses artificial intelligence and data analysis methods to extend the maintenance intervals of wind turbines.
The young and fast-growing IT services business unit offers hosting and operation of IT infrastructure – for large and medium-sized companies. Astrum IT thus responds to two very current trends: The shortage of skilled IT workers becomes more and more apparent also in the administration of company networks. There are fewer and fewer people available to operate IT systems becoming constantly more complex. Outsourcing of IT infrastructure such as servers and storage is a solution for the companies and is in safe hands with Astrum IT. “Not least the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a reformulation of the question of resilience for companies – one single system administrator in a medium-sized company is hardly able to guarantee maximum operational safety”, said Mr Pölz. This is exactly what Astrum IT offers solutions for, which– thanks to regional data centers – are secure and GDPR-compliant.
Overall, Mr Pölz expects slight losses in sales of approx. five percent due to COVID-19 for the current business year as compared to last year's sales of EUR 13 million. The company has 150 employees in Erlangen, Munich and Augsburg and currently seven young trainees. “In the long run, we want to grow organically with the new structure and strategy. We have set the course to achieve this”, said Mr Pölz.
About Astrum IT
Software experts for digital vitality
Die Astrum IT GmbH – a proud winner of numerous awards – is an owner-managed IT company headquartered in Erlangen. The IT specialist established in 1992 supports other companies with operative engineering and customized IT infrastructure and product solutions. As a comprehensive IT consultant, Astrum IT also provides excellent and practical knowledge around the software development process, digital future topics and IT security. Due to their broad experience, the approx. 150 employees guarantee a high quality level, among others as certified suppliers for medical products (according to EN ISO 13485), and work closely together with national and international customers to constantly improve their digital vitality.