PARTNER CASE

COBA Middle East

Fidelix’s partner in the Middle East

In 2008, COBA International Oy established COBA Middle East FZCO to secure its presence in the region. Since then, the company has acted as distributor to high-tech Finnish automation companies for the construction industry.

Fidelix wasn’t actually one of our original partners,” says Tuomas Koskenranta, Chairman of COBA Middle East FZCO, “but today it couldn’t be a better match for us as a professional technology supplier. It’s a significant investment for us to learn about new products in order for us to support and provide optimal solutions for systems integrators.”

Cooperation between Fidelix and COBA has been made smoother through a shared set of values. “Our values of integrity, professionalism, partnership and agility match exactly with Fidelix,” says Koskenranta. “That makes it easy to work with them because they are fast, professional and honest.”

 

Years of SCADA experience

COBA stands for Connected Open-Building Automation. Originally, it was a project in which 16 global and Finnish companies cooperated to create a SCADA building operating system that integrates all systems – not only building automation but also security systems and metering, lighting controls, automations, and so on.

– “At the time, there were companies like Nokia, Hewlett Packard, Securitas, and some clients like Senate Properties funding it and creating XML specifications for this building operating system and so that integration has been the core of this company from the beginning,” says Koskenranta.

As a result, COBA’s SCADA software has a long history and has been crafted over time to become a high-quality tool. Today, there are high requirements in the Middle East for this kind of software with advanced alarm handling and reporting features. Fidelix provides us complete BMS solution which is easy to integrate via BACnet protocol.

-“We often combine our software with Fidelix products to meet the many integration requirements for third-party supplier solutions,” says Koskenranta. “We’re very familiar with those requirements, so Fidelix’s products fit well into that portfolio.”

A true value network

In terms of its business model, COBA isn’t a contractor – it’s more of a value-added reseller for Fidelix in the Middle East. It’s also a partner for the system integrators who undertake installations and projects there.

-“We source products and receive support from factories where Fidelix is a main supplier,” says Koskenranta. “We provide the integrators with full support and training. In that way, it’s a long-term form of cooperation, a deep partnership. In some cases, we do all of the programming for integrators, although some are very much capable of making changes themselves.”

This creates a linked relationship in which partners can share resources and knowledge to create added value.

-“The system integrators give us market requirements, and in return and we teach them as much as possible so that they can become self-sufficient,” says Koskenranta. -“Similarly, Fidelix has provided us with all of their insight so that we can support them independently. It’s a value network where learning is happening both ways.”

BMS experts in the Middle East

COBA recently completed BMS work on a luxurious set of villas on Palm Island in Dubai called XXII Carat. Each of the 22 villas spans around 1,000 square metres and so requires high-end BMS to cater to its clientele.

-“I think this project speaks to what COBA can really do. We used our software as an integration platform and provided all the monitoring and integration,” says Koskenranta. “We used EnOcean wireless sensors and integrated quite a few third-party systems.”

Fidelix also performed some EnOcean wireless sensor work as part of a project. This business was actually enabled through COBA being the first mover in the Middle East, and some Fidelix-based projects in Central Europe have also been based on successes there.

-“In our 13 years of operations, we have done more projects than I can count,” says Koskenranta. “From Nigeria to India, maybe 20 countries overall, so I can proudly say that COBA has a solid understanding of what’s going on in this part of the world, what the market needs are.”