It is about time to combine the digital and physical dimensions of living spaces in a way that creates real added value for the customer. That is one of the results of a top-class round table initiated by GROHE, Miele and Viessmann at the ISH in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In the course of the “Intelligent Living Summit”, GROHE CEO Michael Rauterkus, Miele Executive Director – Marketing and Sales Dr. Axel Kniehl and Viessmann Co-CEO Max Viessmann jointly claimed: Customers no longer regard Smart Home devices as toys but increasingly expect intelligent solutions that offer real added value. The market potential is enormous: By 2030, the number of sensors and devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to increase from 21 billion in 2018 to about 125 billion worldwide. The Intelligent Living Summit was the kick-off to a regular cross-industry discussion on the question of meaningful digitization in living spaces and digital transformation in companies and industries.
“Together we are a great team since we all strive towards a higher goal: to develop new and disruptive solutions for the living spaces for generations to come,” said Max Viessmann. “For Viessmann, the reduction of CO2 emissions is of utmost priority.” If you replace your heating system with a modern Viessmann solution, you will improve your household’s CO2 balance by an average of one tonne per year – more than a tenth of Germany’s annual per capita emissions. More environmental protection and greater convenience – the family-owned Viessmann company is succeeding in the transformation from a pure heating technology manufacturer to a provider of integrated solutions in close partnership with traditional crafts.
“The future of ‘Intelligent Living’ is not only to develop outstanding products, but to create inspiring experiences for the users. Digitization makes an indispensable contribution to this,” said Miele Executive Director Axel Kniehl. For example, Miele has launched a Dialog oven that can be connected to recipe databases or a gourmet delivery service. And on ovens from the new Generation 7000, a camera delivers true-colour images in HD quality to a smartphone or tablet. With just one click, users can check on their dish via their screen and readjust the cooking process. “For new products and services, the focus must be on customer benefits, and simple application must be the ultimate goal. The software on all new devices can be completely updated via Remote Service, so that new functions can be added over the entire service life and proven programs can be further optimised.”
“At the ISH two years ago, we launched our intelligent water security system GROHE Sense to prevent water damage and have since experienced a steep learning curve regarding the business model”, Michael Rauterkus said. “Initially, we were convinced that our new product would be very popular with end-users. Meanwhile, we’re working with multiple insurance companies to provide devices to thousands of customers, reducing the high costs of water damage.” In the meantime, the GROHE CEO devotes just as much time to GROHE’s digital business as he does to traditional business areas, gaining a very personal insight: “Listening is crucial – opening up to other ideas, experiences, opinions.”
How important it is to develop a digitization strategy and to think far into the future was presented by Christoph Keese, CEO of Axel Springer hy GmbH, who gave an impressive keynote presentation. “Digitization has completely changed entire industries. Axel Springer, for example, now derives about 80 percent of its profit with its digital business.” Those who want to participate in future markets have three options: to found new disruptive business areas or companies that might question their original core business, form partnerships or invest in existing companies. “Be digital and stay optimistic, as the opportunities afforded by digitization are greater than its risks,” was the conclusion of Christoph Keese. “But do not rely too much on your own experience, rather identify and find people who are capable of fundamentally changing things.”
Achim Berg, President of Bitkom and moderator of GROHE, Miele and Viessmann’s round table, stated: “In my experience, the digital transformation of a company can only be driven by its CEO. That cannot be delegated to the Digital Officer or to the Chief Financial Officer.” According to him, digitization is an exponential development. If you don’t adjust your company’s pace, you will have serious problems within a few years at the latest. In his opinion, open platforms, such as the Intelligent Living Summit, are an important key to success.
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Pictures can be found here: GROHE Digital Press Kit