There is a reason that energy is on everyone’s minds when it comes to business. We have a current energy crisis in this country, spurred on by a lack of leadership by both sides of government. According to News.com.au, the cost of energy has increased by 20% this year alone. As a result, businesses are looking to implement sustainability policies to limit the environmental impact they have on this planet.
In today’s article I wanted to look at what business innovations are coming from small businesses in South Australia to address this issue.
An Interview with AZZO to Understand Small Business Innovations
AZZO commenced building remote monitored energy solutions approximately eight years ago. These original systems were based on multiple Server PCs running Energy Management Software connected via GSM or GPRS modems interconnected with electrical boards in buildings. Their purpose is to monitor and manage the critical electrical infrastructure of a site, ensuring power quality compliance, reliability and energy usage reduction.
In the last four years, AZZO has changed parts of their business model to include cloud computing as a platform to run their energy management software and analytics. They have built network and cloud infrastructure to enable their remotely deployed devices to feed data back 24/7 via 3G/4G networks to their cloud environment. Through their energy management software platform, they are able to reduce energy usage and supply costs by up to 30% in some cases.
When I asked John Azzollini, Managing Director of AZZO, how this cloud strategy had adjusted their business revenue model, he said:
“The cloud hosted strategy has changed the revenue model by enabling AZZO to provide a secure cloud based solution service to our customers with an ongoing hosting subscription for Energy Management as SaaS and private IPWan 3G/4G data services”
I then went on to ask John how the cloud platform built had benefitted AZZO’s customers, “The business analytics available by using our Energy Management System has enabled our customers to collect energy data and convert it into actionable information to reduce the cost of their energy. The cloud technologies have allowed us to create bespoke solutions for connecting energy devices and allowing customers to conveniently access this information from anywhere.”
Utilising Solar Energy
One example of AZZO’s work is at the Darwin International Airport, where they worked with centre management to install, manage and monitor critical electrical infrastructure along with recording usage of its various tenants across the site. It also included controlling the airports 4MW & 1.5MWH Solar Systems ensuring compliance and performance. Through the deployment of 5.5MWH of solar energy, Darwin International Airport are able to generate 100% of their power needs at peak during the day and 25% of their total energy needs.
AZZO also recently won the 2017 NECA SA/NT Energy Efficiency and Environment Project Award for their Energy Management System. This system monitors the electricity, gas and water usage, as well as the power quality of the electrical supply and major loads/equipment for the new Adelaide Uni Health and Medical Sciences building on North Terrace. To learn more about this award winning story, watch this short video.
What Can We Learn From This Story?
AZZO is a perfect example of a traditional electrical engineering business that is taking a technology as old as electricity through innovation with new technology such as cloud and analytics. They have created new business models that have only existed within the 21st century. Added to this, AZZO is a great example of a business that is tackling the issue of sustainability in different ways through the power of benchmarking and analytics, with the goal of reducing the impact that humans have on our planet today.
Questions that come to mind from today’s article are: How can your business learn from AZZO in reinventing themselves through technology innovation? And how can you use technology to reduce your energy costs along with your carbon footprint on our planet?