DevicePilot is a Service Monitoring platform for connected devices. Essentially, we give the operations and service teams of connected device service providers a ‘single pane of glass’ view of their entire fleet of devices, enabling them to deliver a much better service to customers by becoming more proactive, and saving cost by making the team more efficient, too. We work with a range of companies from EV charging point providers, to utility companies, kitchen waste management solutions and agriculture technology.
Service monitoring is crucial to the success of connected devices, which have developed a reputation for being somewhat unreliable, which has really held them back. They have huge potential to streamline and revolutionise a number of critical processes for both companies and individuals, but only if they are working as they should.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Previously, I co-founded a company called AlertMe which was eventually acquired by Centrica as the basis for its HiveTM smart home platform. We had plenty of challenges scaling up the number of devices deployed at AlertMe, and I thought these challenges were probably universal to all connected devices, so set out to solve this universal problem with a universal solution, along with cofounders who had previously solved similar challenges for the Telco industry.
Essentially, once you’ve deployed more than a thousand devices or so, keeping track of them becomes extremely difficult. Up to this point, a mixture of human brain power and spreadsheets is usually enough to manage your device fleet, but this ad-hoc process quickly becomes overwhelmed when you deploy at scale.
Service providers have no idea what is happening on their devices and customers begin to ask questions about the standard of service they are actually providing. Building a picture of how bad your customer service is from an ever-increasing volume of customer complaints is not a very good approach. With Service Monitoring you can become the first to know when a problem happens, using the device’s connection to maintain an up-to-date picture.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
The pandemic has presented an opportunity for rapid acceleration of technological solutions to problems, and the energy sector in particular is a great example of this, which has really become a key area for us.
For instance, data shows that new car registrations have generally fallen overall during the pandemic, but the number of electric vehicles (EVs) being purchased has increased. Not only do EV charging points need to be effectively managed, but many consumers are looking to maximise their savings on fuel by charging their cars at off-peak times, which relies on smart meters and agile energy tariffs from utilities companies, which are increasingly relying on renewable energy.
This presents its own challenges for utilities – the sun shines when it shines, and the wind blows when it blows. This means that they not only need smart meters, but a slew of other smart home devices – such as heat pumps or smart boilers – to truly take advantage of renewable energy. This opens up opportunities for DevicePilot as these devices and the wider connected ecosystem all need to be managed in order to perform well, which is where we step in.
What can we hope to see from DevicePilot in the future?
Connected devices are set to play a huge role in the future. Flexible working drives a need to monitor and optimise lighting and heating, new forms of renewable energy supply and storage are hitting the market, and we’re seeing a complete overhaul of how we transport goods and ourselves.
These devices will all need managing, otherwise, they simply won’t be effective, and companies and people will not see the full benefit of these technologies. So, we will continue to evolve our service and enable all these exciting technology advances to deliver great results.