The utilities industry is dynamic and fast moving, with disruption happening right now. The reality of energy transformation means new challenges, as the industry strives towards cleaner, smarter energy while adapting to the changing role of the customer. For organizations to remain competitive in a globalized and ever changing business environment, it is essential that they embrace digital transformation. The International SAP Conference for Utilities is built to reflect the diverse challenges faced by utilities in this era of digital disruption and represents SAP’s leading global utility industry conference. To enhance cross-industry networking opportunities, the event was once again co-located with the International SAP Conference for Oil and Gas. Both conferences aimed to gather SAP’s executive teams, solution experts, customers, and partners – all together in one place, at one time – to tackle the new challenges, and therefore also opportunities, that these changes and disruptions are bringing along to the industries.
Within that context SAP Startup Focus showcased four Utility relevant startups at the event last week, to demonstrate how their solutions is impacting and accelerating said Digital Transformation. The four ingenious startups that joined us were the following:
- Meteo Protect, who is fully dedicated to weather risk management. With Vivaldi technology, a risk assessment and hedging software solution that aggregates a global weather database and pricing platform. The solution is offered to insurance companies and cooperatives who want to distribute weather hedging information to their clients and affiliates, but it is also extremely valuable to Utilities and other businesses which performances are subject to weather influence.
- Enersis suisse AG, offers advanced analytics for smart-grid and sustainability management. Its 15 grid applications combine all internal and external energy-relevant Data to provide more transparency with the goal of energy transformation.
- HURU systems, proposes next-generation processes to track physical assets from their birth in the factory, during their time in the field and ultimately until the moment of their retirement. Using chain-of-custody methodology, real-time inventory management builds a wealth of cloud-based data from photos, time and GPS stamps, and proprietary authentication protocols. The asset-tracking platform supports the validation of tens of millions of assets installed in the field, as well as the active search for lost or stolen assets.
- Teknoleum. Their solution, PV², is a cloud-based analytical IoT-application for photovoltaic plant management to help increase revenues & lower O&M costs for better margins. It delivers role-based dashboards with a centralized view of multiple sites. It provides easy-to-consume, visual analytics to enable plant operations optimization and provide accurate energy forecasts.
Additionally, we were thrilled that a fifth (more mature) startup from SAP’s Startup Focus program was onsite as event Platinum Sponsor: Choice Technologies, whose solution helps utilities increase revenue and performance by detecting and reducing energy losses.
The event’s motto being “Networking is at the heart of the 2017 event”, the Startup Focus booth could not have been better located, as it was at the heart of the venue itself, between the four Microforum stages of SAP’s main stand. Additionally, Platinum Sponsors Choice Technologies were located right next to the Startup Focus booth.
In terms of engagement, Startup Focus team and members kept very busy. In fact, on the 28th of March a Pre-conference Day took place, during which our startups could join relevant SAP and non-SAP related workshops. The Pre-conference Day ended with a Welcome Cocktail, which was sponsored by Intel and held by the event’s host utility company: EDP. The cocktails took place at the Maat Power Station, EDP’s beautiful Electricity Museum, located along the Tejo riverbank. The reception represented another chance for our five startups to network like busy bees with interesting prospects as well as SAP experts.
The next day, which was the first official day of the Conference, kick-started with a 9am Keynote Speech by Henry Bailey, Global VP and Head of Utilities Industry at SAP and Ken Evans, Global Head Oil & Gas Industry Business.
From a Startup Focus standpoint, we were happy to see that the four showcasing startups sparked a lot of interest and attention on the booth, as several prospects passed by to receive further information about their showcasing demos and solutions.
In addition to the physical showcase during the conference, our beloved startup representatives were also given the opportunity to present at SAP’s Micro-forum Theatres. We were very enthusiastic that Enersis suisse AG and Meteo Protect were accompanied by their respective customers E.ON and Munich Re, to jointly convey how the startup solutions have added value to their companies. Each entrepreneur deep-dived into their subjects during the Microforums, for instance Ian Nazarri, CEO of HURU Systems, blew the audience away when telling about the company’s ”Supply Chain Solution for Utilities: Real-Time Inventory and Chain of Custody Management System”. Chief Finanical and Strategy Officer Christina Wuerthner from Enersis suisse and customer E.ON, represented by Ann-Kathrin Krimmel, gave a lecture on how they are together ”Lifting Global CO2 Monitoring to the Digital Level with IoT and the SAP HANA® Platform”. Multiple award winning startup Meteo Protect, represented by its President Gabriel Gross, explained how they are “Assessing and Hedging Weather Risk – Case Study: German Stadtwerke” jointly with Marcel Steffen Rief, Head of Weather and Commodity at MunichRe.
The first day ended with an Evening Network Event, where everyone was invited at the historical Convento do Beato for an evening of food, drinks, dancing, and relaxation. As per the event’s motto, this evening was aimed to “reconnect with past contacts, and make new connections.”
The second and last day of the event kick-started once again with a thought-provoking lecture about “Digital Energy 4.0 : The Disruptive Transformation” given by Mark van Stiphout, Deputy Head of Unit – Research and innovation at DG Energy – European Commission, and introduced by Maher Chebbo, GM of Energy and Natural resources at SAP. All throughout the day, our startups networked and pitched their solutions to continue to create relevant business connections that we at Startup Focus hope to help nurturing post-event.
All in all, the event represented a great success. We would like to conclude by thanking all the SAP HANA startups involved, and also SAP and T.A. Cook extended expert team, including Melanie Fiolka, Sonja Hagemann, Cathy Rincon, and Sarah Childs who created a great collaboration atmosphere at this event, supporting everyone to the smallest detail and coordinating Startup Focus presence.
To learn more about Startup Focus program, team and startups, click here.
We look even more forward to next year’s edition!
Maria Luisa Silva
Global Director Market Enablement & GTM, EMEA – SAP Startup Focus
Specialist Market Enablement & GTM – SAP Startup Focus