Talk to Rey. Leading the way for Griffeye Inc
Griffeye is proud to announce the opening of a US office dedicated to serving our North American customers. This is the natural step given the many important and ongoing partnerships with the defense and law enforcement communities, including vital projects such as Project VIC. We talk to the person in charge of the North American office, Rey Navarro, and find out why he’s the perfect man for the job.
Exciting news! How does it feel to lead the way with the new Griffeye office in the US?
I would say excited but that barely scratches the surface. I am truly honored to lead Griffeye’s first subsidiary outside of Sweden – and to be at the forefront of a big step in Griffeye’s history. There’s a huge demand over here, not to mention a loyal following that has been eager for us to do this.
You’re certainly getting closer to your customers. What will that achieve?
Griffeye’s Johann Hofmann and Pelle Gara have made great strides in North America over the last couple years and identified a large interest for our solutions. Alas, the commute between Sweden and the US can only yield so much. Based here in the greater DC area, it’s win-win for our existing customers and ourselves. We can take our business to the next level in terms of revenue, market share, and even new markets, but most importantly give our current customers the local service and support that will help them get faster and better results in their work.
READ MORE: Griffeye opens US subsidiary
Can you elaborate a little on how you’ll support customers?
I have developed a multi-pronged strategy designed to take care of our existing US customers within law enforcement, grow that user base, and expand the use of Griffeye even more into the areas of national security and defense. Existing users will now have a chance to attend more Griffeye certification training sessions in the US as well as have access to a dedicated North American resource. Also, I’m arranging site visits for larger, regional units that could benefit from our collaboration server platform. Lastly, we’ll be carrying out workshops in newer markets to see exactly how and where we can most help.
You mentioned training. That’s a big thing for you, isn’t it?
I can’t stress the importance highly enough. We offer fantastic, highly intuitive products but you barely appreciate the power of our tools without the proper training. When we have fully trained users, they realize their full investigative efficiency. And not only that, they also become the best ambassadors for Griffeye! One thing I’ve learned is that law enforcement trusts law enforcement. So if their friends and colleagues believe in Griffeye, they will too.
LEARN MORE: Griffeye Analyze Training programs
What made you jump on this opportunity?
How could I say no? The company has been helping law enforcement for many years and, as a father of three young ones, I am proud to be a part of the Griffeye family whose roots are built on protecting children. Every person believes in the company’s core mission with a passion – from the developers, trainers, support, to the executive leadership. As for me, I believe I have the right tools in my toolkit to take Griffeye to the next level in North America.
Then there are the Griffeye products themselves. Of course, they were originally designed to catch perpetrators and rescue their child victims, as we’re showing with an anchoring role in Project VIC. But what caught my attention was how the power of Griffeye’s tools could also be used to help in any type of investigation involving large quantities of digital media.
So investigators are facing the same type of challenges there too?
Yes, it’s basically the same landscape. We are living in a digital society with fast-changing technology that is growing exponentially in storage capacity, access, and proliferation. It’s yielding new types of criminal and, in turn, a new breed of high-tech investigators in need of sophisticated tools just to keep up. The problem is that they get inundated with so many tools siloed to proprietary formats, which don’t necessarily work well between platforms. With Griffeye, we are changing that by partnering with major technology providers so that investigators have a common digital workspace to blaze through massive amounts of digital media collected from all sources … hard drives, thumb drives, cell phones, CCTV, body-worn cameras, social media, the internet, you name it.
Helping investigators is more than just a job – you’re also head of an HTCIA chapter. Tell us about that.
HTCIA is the High Technology Crime Investigation Association, an international community of criminal investigators and industry partners whose aim is to educate and collaborate for the prevention and investigation of high-tech crimes. I’m President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, which includes members from the DC Metro, Maryland and Virginia area. It’s a unique member base, with largely folks from federal agencies, the military, and the intelligence community. I’ve also been a guest speaker at other chapters around the country. My most memorable presentation was at MIT; in fact it’s probably my proudest nerd moment. And yes, I’m proud to be a nerd!
It’s safe to say, you like being at the cutting edge.
HTCIA certainly helps me stay on top of the latest criminal investigation technology. And it’s also about building relationships in the digital forensic space. I have been in the business of building relationships for the past decade, specifically with US federal agencies and the military, as well as state and local law enforcement. I enjoy immersing myself in the technology and training law enforcement on digital investigation techniques. As I said, I’m a big believer in training and being able to train folks on your own technology. Prior to joining Griffeye, I led the state and local law enforcement effort at another Swedish company, MSAB, whose XRY tool revolutionized cell phone forensics. MSAB was about the same size as Griffeye when I first came onboard, fresh to the US market with a new US-based office like Griffeye today. I look back with pride on the amazing accomplishments achieved with that team and am excited about doing the same with Griffeye’s new arm.
Pride, excitement, passion. This business really drives you, doesn’t it?
It’s who I am. My professional career started in the military where I served in the Navy after graduating from the US Naval Academy in 2001. This included two deployments to the Persian Gulf aboard guided missile destroyers and a boots-on-ground tour in Iraq protecting soldiers from roadside bombs. Doing something that mattered was important to me back then – and it continues to be the foundation of my life of service today.
By Johann Hofmann, CEO, Griffeye.
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