Commercialization strategies of the PERFORMER competitors
The following article presents the commercialization strategies for several of PERFORMER’s competitors, including: pricing policy, communication channels, technical specificity of the selected products and support offered to the customers. As it was identified by ASM – Market Research and Analysis Centre, the commercialization strategies prepared and implemented by analyzed competitors include several similarities; both in terms of price, technical opportunities offered by the product and maintenance services that improve efficiency of installed appliances. Keeping these facts in mind, the similar solutions and offers have been described in the following text in order to show how the PERFORMER solution can be sold in a competitive way and at a competitive price. The text focuses on the strategies implemented by five PERFORMER competitors.
The first case
The commercialization strategy of the first competitor is based on a fee which includes the scope of work to get the system implemented and customer staff trained. After the initial purchase (of a perpetual license), there is an annual fee for the system Maintenance Agreement (ECMA). The ECMA is included in annual licensing, and provides access to technical support, regular software upgrades, and access to data services (Weather Data, Greenhouse Gas factors, ENERGY STAR interface)”.
As the system provider emphasizes, “pricing is highly dependent on a number of factors such as total number of meters, advanced features required, and professional services needed”. Therefore, the provider offers two different commercialization scenarios, tailored to the expectations and needs of potential customers.
The system has 2 distinct service offers, the first being, Express, which is aimed at those with less complex needs to manage utility bills and energy data. The software is based on hosted solution and Web-based SaaS environment which can be used by an unlimited number of users. In that case, the basic price starts at €2,500 per year for up to 100 meters. The initial first-year purchase of the system includes two main types of fee; a Software License, and Professional Start-Up Services. A sales representative can work with the customer to execute a formal agreement with license and professional service terms.
The second service type is the Enterprise, which is tailored for those with more needs to manage utility bills and energy data. The price starts at €8,900 per year for up to 250 meters. Similarly to the Express model, this service would include two main fees; Software License and Professional Start-Up Services. The company provides the final customer with several additional activities offered by the Enterprise package, among which the following abilities can be found:
• implementation assistance,
• database hosting,
• database conversions,
• system interface development,
• custom development of features or reports,
• training services,
• initial bill processing services, or any other service required for a successful system deployment.
The Enterprise package can be used by an unlimited number of users and is offered via two technical versions; an “on-premise” local version, or a third party hosted web-based application (equipped with SQL Server Database).
The second case
Similarly to the first system, the second one is offered through two different packages,. The Starter package is dedicated for single site project and costs €395 per year. It can be installed in 10 data points, but the building owner can order additional meter points (each at €3.50 per month). As the provider emphasizes, some of the most important advantages of this system includes; a dashboard, alerts, reports, ability to implement simple analysis and access to the set of energy applications which includes unique applications aimed at controlling energy consumption. The set allows the potential users to:
• monitor the solar generation production of facility,
• observe trends, dependencies between variables and detect outliers,
• visualize and analyze consumption data from all devices,
• analyze how much are the building owner spending when he is not in the facility,
• visualize the consumption of your locations in a tree map,
• calculate the Load Demand for all your devices,
• create new virtual devices using existing devices and establishing formulas defined by the user,
• manage fuel tanks,
• forecasts consumption and costs for the coming months.
The second package, Professional, is aimed at multi-site projects and costs €995 per year. It can be installed in an unlimited number of locations, but the basic offer allows potential user to gather data from 20 data points. As in the case of Starter offering, each additional data point can be included at €3.50 per month. The Professional package provides customers with all the options offered by the Starter package, but additionally, it includes advanced analytical engine and multi-site management functions.
The company also offers a fully customizable Enterprise version of the service, which can be adapted for bigger projects and installed in an unlimited number of locations and data points (the price is bespoke to the project, and is negotiated between provider and customer).
The third case
The software provided by this company is offered in two versions; for single, and multifamily/commercial buildings. The first version, Single Family Software, can be installed in buildings with 1-4 dwelling units and costs €520. The system is able to aggregate improvements into packages, compare these packages and define improvements from onboard libraries. Thanks to that, the application provides customer with comprehensive information on potential energy savings in building.
The second version, Multi Family Software, costs €1550 and can be installed in multifamily and small commercial buildings. This version includes all functions offered by the Single Family Software, but is tailored to the greater needs of owners of larger, more complex buildings. It is worth noting that the license is associated with a single instance, on a single computer and the system will function on that computer for as long as the computer works. The license includes one full year of support (but the support is an additional €210 per year).
As the provider emphasizes, each Single or Multi Family license is “eligible for one year of technical support and software upgrades. Licenses must be renewed each year to be eligible for support, upgrades, and transfers, additional fees apply for licenses not upgraded within 2 years”.
The fourth case
The fourth system is offered in three versions; Entry, Pro and Enterprise. The Entry version is free to trial for one site, and includes functions aimed at tracking and visualizing energy use, bill auditing and validation, forecasting energy spend and energy budget for the next 5 years. The system is also able to create a strategic energy overview, and implement greenhouse gas tracking.
The Pro package costs €360 per year, per site and includes several additional options; quarterly reports, annual energy audits, benchmarking against peers, weather normalization system, energy tariff analysis, contract and tariff management, improved bill accuracy and carbon footprint breakdown can be found. The system is also able to eliminate unnecessary charges and penalties.
The most advanced version of this system is Enterprise, and costs €999 per year, per site and outsources all energy management, providing the customer with detailed analysis and priority support. The Enterprise package includes all the options offered by the Pro version, but in addition it is able to create detailed interval data analysis, import historical energy data, provide customer with energy investment decision support and building performance comparison. It is also worth mentioning that the Enterprise version includes certification scheme for controlled buildings.
The fifth case
The Basic version of the fifth system is available for free and comes with unlimited sites, meters and users. As the providers emphasize, the system “allows customers to upload their entire building portfolio as well as meters and metrics onto the platform”. It also manage all customer data in a single account, add unlimited admin users, track costs and get access to automatic performance benchmarks plus charts at building and portfolio level”. As the producer emphasize, the most important advantages of the basic version of the system are as follows:
• unlimited sites, i.e. buildings and subsites such as floors or building areas,
• unlimited meters & metrics, including electricity, gas, water, waste, travel etc.,
• manual data entry or spreadsheet upload of consumption data,
• data intervals from one reading/year up to one reading/minute,
• unlimited users at admin level (user roles require Standard Access).
The Extended version of this system offers not only all functions mentioned above, but also automatic data feeds to the customer account. Moreover, it allows access to Analytics, Reporting, Project Management. The system also assign different access levels and sites to users in the customer organisation. Standard Access starts at €210 per month. Pricing for automatic data feeds starts at €2,5/month.
How to commercialize the PERFORMER solution?
As the presented specifications suggest, there are several common features of the commercialization strategies implemented by the PERFORMER competitors. All described companies offer at least two versions of products tailored to the needs, expectations and financial possibilities of different stakeholders, such us small building owners, multifamily building users and commercial investors. Selected companies provide customers with support services or free versions of applications in order to show the most important opportunities of the Building Energy Management Systems and to maximize financial benefits which can be achieved by the final users. The system providers often highlight that their products are able to visualize and analyze consumption data from all devices, observe energy consumption trends and analyze dependencies between variables. Although prices of the systems are different, the final cost always depends on the number of controlled buildings or their size. It suggests that PERFORMER commercialization strategy should take into account various scenarios which would allow the project consortium to build flexible relationship with different types of customers.