Meet our customer hero
From traditional to thriving digital business
Griesser has dominated the solar protection market since 1882, with a stronghold in automatic window blinds. Long-lasting products, timely delivery and an eye for high quality characterizes the company. Priding itself on the provision of outstanding customer service, the loyalty of Griesser’s customers is well deserved.
In 2018, with digital challengers growing, Griesser found itself struggling. Its long history had naturally led to accumulated complexity. Disparate sets of applications were strung together with little interoperability. Reliable information sharing was impossible. And yet Griesser knew that consolidating its data and then exposing it to create intelligent customer solutions was exactly what its market demanded.
Griesser set to work to find a vendor. The company was ideally looking for an open platform that wouldn’t just integrate everything but would be part of an extended portfolio with API management and maybe, just maybe, an Internet of Things (IoT) solution on top. As luck would have it, the company’s Head of IT & Digital Transformation recalled a positive experience with webMethods—Software AG’s powerful application integration platform. And he was naturally blown away to discover that Cumulocity IoT—the industry-leading IoT platform—was also part of their offering.
A proof of concept with Software AG sealed the deal and many others very quickly. It revealed that Software AG’s integration platform was quite unique. Not only did it offer all aspects of integration—from device connectivity to data, cloud and on-prem application connectivity, as well as API management—but it was open and independent. And Griesser would be able to manage it in the cloud with a transparent subscription model. Cumulocity IoT also shone.
“Cumulocity IoT’s ability to start quickly, scale faster, and its incredible simplicity truly caught our attention," said Dr. Oliver Gilbert, Griesser. Analysts agree. Gartner rates Software AG's Cumulocity IoT as “Visionary” in their Magic Quadrant and Software AG’s API management and iPaaS (integration Platform-as-a-Service) both appear on the Forrester Wave™.
The company was told it would be up and running with full integration in just a few short weeks. And it was. Now the fun could start.
“Having integrated everything internally, we turned our attention to Software AG’s open, standard and secure API management tools to help us share new data sources across systems," says Gilbert. So Griesser got to work setting up new applications that would start to improve the customer experience. The result for Griesser: API-driven customer support.
Often, it’s the features that present as the simplest to customers that involve the most work at the back-end. For Griesser, automating the calendar function to enable the reliable booking of service technicians—based on individual expertise—was a headache. But Software AG’s API management platform was able to gather and expose the relevant data and combine it with the company’s ERP system. Now Griesser could combine new data from applications with back-end systems for better internal transparency and happier customers. And as more and more data come from such sources, the plan is to use it to build a 360-degree view of customers and their preferences, and to build further apps around enhancing that experience.
But in the meantime, Griesser is blazing a new trail elsewhere: an innovative service powered by Software AG's Cumulocity IoT. And it plays to the heart of customer needs. For Griesser customers, seasonal hailstorms wreak havoc on installed blinds—the damage leading to costly, time-consuming insurance claims. Griesser hopes to make this a thing of the past. Through an exchange with Meteo Swiss, Switzerland’s renowned weather service, Cumulocity IoT extracts metrological data in real time. This can then trigger an IoT alert response in sensors built into the blinds. It works like this: A hailstorm is detected, IoT data communicates with an edge device installed in the hardware, blinds go up, and damages are avoided. Happy customers. Happy insurers.
“Our new IoT platform can do everything in one: raw data analysis, data connection, device application and device management. And this use case is the first of many exciting ones to come. I can confidently say that together with Software AG, we now connect technology and people for smarter buildings," says Gilbert.
With an incredible amount of progress made in very little time, Griesser is not stopping still for a second. The next obvious low-hanging fruit will be deploying predictive maintenance services—so that customers can be informed when their blinds require an overhaul. This has the potential to fit perfectly to Griesser’s Smart Buildings offering. And work is already well underway to roll out another use case involving API management and QR code data transfer for improved operational efficiency. With new digital products and services set to secure its place in history, what better partner to have at the company’s side than Software AG—the true champions of a thriving business.