Meet our customer hero
Solenis—a service company providing equipment and chemical solutions—recognizes the critical role that data insights play. Currently it’s using data to understand the customer journey, interaction with applications and system operations, even how chemistry impacts critical processes and more. But with access to vast amounts of data from its own equipment, as well as from lab, field, operator, and customer sources, Solenis saw the need for an enterprise-wide approach to collecting and centralizing this valuable flow of information. Unfortunately, previous attempts with an internally built solution fell short of expectations. The lack of a powerful global solution that could be leveraged by the whole enterprise resulted in disparate and fragmented data sources, resulting in a competitive disadvantage compared to those who had invested in custom built systems many years ago. Solenis needed a single platform to collect, analyze, and unlock the value of this data benefiting both itself and its customers.
Solenis knew that choosing the right IoT platform was key, so it spent two years testing a wide range of solutions on the market. Even after selecting Cumulocity IoT, the team spent more time building solutions on the cloud version of the platform before committing to it at the enterprise level. The benefits were clear: Cumulocity IoT's core capabilities removed critical tasks such as data ingestion, device management, and security from Solenis' plate, allowing them to focus on building custom solutions. Andrew Ledlie, Digital Solutions Team Lead, notes: "When I work with our commercial teams, we explain that we’re using a platform favored by many Fortune 500 companies. That in itself is a statement that puts customers at ease."
Once the choice was made, Solenis' first major task was to migrate everything from its legacy platform to Cumulocity IoT, which took only 5 months. During the migration, Solenis discovered things that had been built previously that they wanted to be able to reuse. No sooner said than done: the new platform allowed the team to use a “buy and build” approach—giving them the speed associated with an off-the-shelf purchase and the flexibility to customize individual features. At the heart of Cumulocity IoT’s DNA is empowerment. 85% of the IoT functionality most companies need is there, out of the box. The other 15% enables IoT pioneers to develop their unique strategy themselves aided by customizable add-ons and enablers. Coupled with the webMethods integration and API platform, it was easy to see the potential to completely transform Solenis' business though a holistic approach to data capture, integration, management and monetization. Andrew Ledlie adds:
"Our ready-to-use solutions have helped us to achieve strategic business outcomes fast, while intuitive tools enable us to easily build our own services on top. Now we’ve got a solid, reliable, scalable IoT platform as the foundation, with the ability to drive innovation and differentiation."
There’s no doubt the new IoT platform has been a game changer. It’s allowed Solenis to mix and match data from multiple sources, including customer history, devices, manual data feeds, and other customers' APIs. Despite the enormity of the change, Solenis has seen impressive adoption rates, with the number of devices growing from 800 to 1600 in the first 9 months. The number of data sources has also more than doubled.
The platform's benefits go beyond automation and real-time data collection—and the first “live” solutions are already adding value. Named “technical performance dashboards,” Solenis has made remote monitoring available to its after-sales teams comprising over 1500 people. This empowers them to see and better understand their customers performance data and use forecasting for proactive customer engagement. There's also been a soft launch of the Solenis Cloud, which focuses on providing qualitative indicators on aspects such as business drivers, value and sustainability. No wonder, since the launch, Solenis has been innovating like crazy. Take, for example:
The Recovery Boiler Asset Health solution: In the pulp and paper industry, recovery boilers are critical assets. Any downtime can bring the entire mill to a halt. Traditionally, customers have relied on a manual assessment during the annual audit. Now, Solenis has developed a pilot program using the Cumulocity IoT platform. This innovative solution automates data ingestion and updates, providing customers with crucial maintenance insights. The benefits? Simplification of complex processes, and real-time monitoring that ensures business continuity and resilience.
Tank level monitoring: To ensure smooth supply chain management, monitoring inventory levels at the customer site is critical. Now, Solenis has used Cumulocity IoT to build a platform that not only collects essential measurements but also converts them into meaningful qualitative results that customers can act on. By leveraging this derived data, both Solenis' commercial team and customers are using data to ensure operational efficiency. Running out or shipping prematurely are things of the past.
Solenis' use of the Cumulocity IoT platform has allowed it to not only provide customized solutions for their customers but has also contributed to ESG target fulfillment. With a deeper understanding of water efficiency, carbon footprint, and energy use, customers are able to harness their data for a greener future. In the past too many metrics would have been notoriously challenging for customers to understand. But with access to a powerful platform with simple dashboarding—this data is now democratized. Looking to the future, Solenis plans to continue developing data-driven solutions, scale up and out, and explore supplementary technologies such as digital twinning, deeper analytics and expanding their data sources via API gateways.