KEEPING UP WITH THE DATA-ASHIANS
COO of SimpTek
“Our platform offers customers an unprecedented amount of control over their energy usage. With the information they receive they are able to make the right choices.
With features like personalized recommendations, marketing to targeted customers and tracking engagement metrics, customers can now engage with their utility like never before.
Our goal is to make saving energy effortless. With our software, your customers will have the information they need to answer any energy related questions.” Learn more here: https://www.simptekinc.com/#
Q: Civic Technology can be defined as “empower citizens or help make government more accessible, efficient and effective”. Do you think that SimpTek does this? If so, how?
Yes, I would say that SimpTek falls into the category of Civic Technology. How? One of our guiding principles, or mandate, is to empower citizens in the realm of their energy consumption. How do we do that? SimpTek empowers consumers by providing them with an energy dashboard that acts like a personal energy fitness trainer. It shows them how much energy they are spending, what appliances is spending how much and more importantly what they can do to reduce their energy consumption.
Q: What are the biggest hurdles that SimpTek solves?
The biggest hurdles that we solve are two-fold. Firstly, we help the user – the everyday citizen like you and me – understand how they consume energy as opposed to getting a bill at the end of each month with a dollar value associated to the energy used. Not only does this help the user understand how they use energy, it’s huge for the utility companies providing that energy too. By understanding how the users consume energy, the utility companies are able to alter their product offering to cater to the specific needs of the user, targeting them with the service/products that are most adaptable to their lifestyle. This breeds efficiency and better financial planning for utility companies.
Below: the SimpTek dashboard
Q: How has the service developed over time?
It’s funny how the product has progressed really – when we started back in September of 2013, we had the idea of using wearable technology to control various energy products in one’s home, with a software to analyze how those energy products are being used. Through numerous conversations, pitch competitions and research, we pivoted in October 2014. We found that the real value wasn’t so much in the wearable technology as it was in the software used to understand how the energy is being used. Once identifying this, we shifted our offering to a service for everyday folks, a “fitness tracker” for energy consumption, something that users could pay for on a monthly basis to see how they could change their lifestyle habits to consume less energy, saving them more money. Through trial and error yet again, we discovered that this isn’t necessarily the audience our product is best suited for – which led us to where we are today.
SimpTek now sells directly to utility companies, and it works like this:
The utility company provides the service to the user, we track how the user consumes that data and relay that data analysis back to the utility company and the user. Through this, the utility company can then provide a refined and custom service to each customer, saving both the utility company and the user money.
Q: What is the role that data plays in your business?
Well to be completely honest, the data analytics is the core of our business, and without this data, there would be no SimpTek. It’s the fuel that is driving us to fulfill our mission. By collecting the data around how energy is consumed, we help both the user and the utility company. On a small-scale, the data informs the user on how they consume energy, and on a much larger-scale, the data communicates how an entire area (neighbourhood, town, city) consumes power. This lends to more informed decision-making and financial planning on both ends of the spectrum.
Q: How does the data you collect impact your business and operations? Does it impact the bottomline of SimpTek?
I think the above answer can also answer this question. Without the data, we’d be like a vehicle that doesn’t have any fuel, not really useful at all. The data is the fuel that runs the vehicle. It impacts what we offer to our customers (utility companies and everyday people), which ultimately impacts the purpose and mission of our company.
The data is the fuel that runs the vehicle. It impacts what we offer to our customers (utility companies and everyday people), which ultimately impacts the purpose and mission of our company.
Q: What role has the government played in SimpTek’s success?
The government has played a pretty big role in the journey and evolution of SimpTek. It started with government funding through programs like Planet Hatch and Propel ICT, and has shifted into partnerships with NB Power. It’s safe to say that the government has played an imperative role in our success.