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Cellebrite: Decoding mobile data, CSI Style

Zafar Anjum | Nov. 21, 2013
Zafar Anjum spends some time with Dave Golding, GM of Cellebrite APAC to learn about the unique offerings of his company in the cellphone retail and diagnostics areas

There is an immediate ROI to doing diagnostics, because there is an immediate savings. This is a huge issue in the retail space. What we have found is that although we claim to solve fifteen percent, in effect, we are seeing something like between 40 and 50 percent of all cases where a phone needs to be repaired, we are actually repairing it. We are doing what we call repair avoidance at the point of sale. Obviously, the other cases, these are mechanical problems with your phone, and obviously we cannot do anything about that.

Those have to be sent back to the repair center or the manufacturer, but at the very least, if they have our machine at the shop, then they can back up everything onto a USB card or somewhere, so when the phone does come back eventually, it can be restored. That, in essence - we do other stuff as well, but I would probably think that that is the main point of our retail business. The other part is our forensic business, which I said, again, the forensic is that we tend to keep the two businesses very, very separate, apart from our actual R&D.

The Forensic Side: You do not go to the Yellow Pages and look for James Bond in Malaysia

The reason is probably two-fold. First of all, the customer is completely different. In other words, what we are looking for is our target audience on the retail side, the mobile operators or maybe the independent shops, but on the forensic, we are  basically about law enforcement agencies, police, the security services, the armies. They are our target audience. When it comes to mobile operators, we are generally selling directly, and we have over 160 mobile operators around the globe, already our customers.

The forensic is usually done indirectly. Why indirectly? Because you are talking about the security services. This is, again, a very niche market, and generally speaking, if it is very difficult for me, for example, to go to Malaysia and try and get to the Interior Ministry of Malaysia or the Secret Service or the Army, because I do not know anybody. You do not go to the Yellow Pages and look for James Bond in Malaysia.

It does not work that way. You have to speak to somebody who is either ex-Army, ex-police. You are going through, usually, not a distributor but a reseller or an agent who is usually involved, or was involved in police or Army or security. That is already a different sort of sale. We are talking about a different sort of end target customer, and a different way to sell it. That is the reason why Cellebrite has sort of split into a cellular division and a forensic division.


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