Voltaware: The Power of Electricity Data11/05/2018
Voltaware, the electricity consumption monitoring specialists, were with ENGIE at CES 2018, and will also be at Viva Technology. We talked to Eleanor Schneiders, Business Development Manager, and Cecilia Manduca, Sales Manager, shown here together at CES.
Q: Hello ladies. What developments have there been since CES 2018?
We have made significant progress on several fronts. On the product side we have launched our automatic disaggregation report / bill which our utility customers have been waiting for. We have finalised the GSM/NB IoT version of our 3 phase sensors, launched our monitoring dashboard for Business Customers, and started new pilots with some major Utility and Telecom companies in Europe.
Q: Your company was founded three years ago. Are there things you would change if you were starting over?
First of all, we would focus from the start on the business market. Furthermore, we would spend a significant amount of time on finding out what the customer really wants. For example, time has taught us that the customer does not require real-time disaggregation, but prefers to receive a periodical report.
Q: What will you be presenting at Vivatech?
The "doll's house" that proved so popular at CES, a model house with real appliances: a hairdryer, an electric kettle, an expresso coffee machine and an iron. And, of course, the Voltaware sensor to demonstrate the real-time monitoring of energy use that is our speciality.
We will also be bringing demos of our single-phase and three-phase hardware, as well as a template of our monthly bill. By presenting our technology in an interactive way, we will be able to capture visitors’ attention... and even provide them with a free coffee!
Q: What are your objectives at Vivatech?
To meet potential partners and customers and to initiate pilots with new and existing contacts.
Q: How is your relationship with ENGIE progressing, and do you have any particular wishes for the future?
We are working very closely with the innovation team and have enjoyed exhibiting at international tradeshows as part of the ENGIE lab stand. This is our third exhibition, and we hope to develop further contacts in key EU countries; France, Italy, the UK and Germany. We would also very much like to develop further pilots with multiple ENGIE entities; previous ones have been of great assistance in developing key use cases.
Q: What advice would you give to someone on the point of launching a startup similar to yours, or in a similar field?
Study the competition. Work on your unique selling points. Be the very best in something specific. Develop relationships with potential business partners in the early days: they are crucial for testing the product and providing ongoing feedback and direction. Testing = feedback = improvement.
And venture capital funds are a great source of finance, which is important, but also of clear strategic vision.
Q: And for you, the future will be...?
...connected. Connection is going to play a pivotal rôle. It's going to be connected industry, connected shopping centres, connected cities. And the use of electricity is an essential part of the basic information!
Source: Martyn Crossland