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In 2021, Roel de Krom started working as product manager for GreenCom Networks. Since then, he pushed GreenCom’s Home Energy Management solution forward and introduced a whole new use case: Remote Monitoring. Time for an interview on the new product.
GreenCom Networks: Roel, soon after you started working at GreenCom, you began developing the Remote Monitoring proposition. What were the reasons for the new use case, and how did you know there was a market need for the new product?
Roel de Krom: For installers and energy companies, selling hardware to end customers has always been an important goal. They have been doing this for years, and now customers call raising questions about system performance. In the market, it is common to give product guarantees for up to 25 years. So, whenever the customer feels something is wrong with the system, he calls whoever sold the asset to him. Additionally, installers also feel a strong need for transparency. Looking at five- to six-digit numbers of installed devices, an elaborated Excel will not do anymore. Plus, the diverse market with many brands and different models surely does not help but adds complexity.
So, with each conversation I had with these companies, it became increasingly clear that soon they would run into problems: How do I deal with all those customer questions? How can we keep satisfaction high? How can I prevent or foresee issues with the hardware I sell to minimise complaints?
Out of this thinking, remote monitoring was created and had a clear goal: Offer installers a tool to prevent customers from calling and give customers the comfortable feeling of being in control. Also, stay in contact with the customer. The expected outcome: Higher customer satisfaction, lower service handling costs and higher revenue due to cross- and upselling.
Fortunately, GreenCom already had the means to gather all relevant data points and use its algorithms to establish relevant alerts and notifications. In the end, Remote Monitoring by GreenCom is not only an end customer app to have real-time insights into system performance but also an operational tool for installers to monitor the whole asset base.
GreenCom Networks: How does this work in the different European markets? Supposedly, markets like Germany with a fragmented installer landscape should pose different challenges than others with large installer companies dominating the market, shouldn’t they?
Roel de Krom: Of course, every market brings its own challenges. But then again, we must not underestimate the strength of this proposition: Every market is attractive, regardless of the number of installed assets! Why? Because the benefit of having our Remote Monitoring solution goes much further than cost-saving. It is a customer satisfaction tool and gives opportunities to open new value pools for each installer. No matter the size. Already, selling a service proposition together with hardware improves sales.
GreenCom Networks: So, would you suggest OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) evaluate Remote Monitoring solutions too?
Roel de Krom: Yes. An OEM can sell comfort instead of just an energy asset. The OEM or wholesaler could pro-actively notify the installer or even the customer whenever something is wrong or needs attention. This would create comfort and increase brand loyalty enormously. By the way: GreenCom is already working with several OEMs and runs thousands of their devices on our platform, so this is known terrain for us.
GreenCom Networks: Finally, where do you see this proposition going? Is Remote Monitoring part of an asset plus service bundle that will be the norm in the future?
Roel de Krom: Yes, that is highly likely. We can already see a trend that leads to end-to-end solutions rather than providers only selling hardware. That might be OEMs, utilities or installers adding services to hardware. In the end, the market is looking for a holistic solution catering to end customer needs. Anyone who sells assets into the market should include Remote Monitoring in the offer as it centralises the diversification in the market and fills a central gap.
Questions by Klaus Müller