iQuest is an innovative partner on our successful way to become the market leader in consumer home automation.
Dr. Norbert Verweyen
Managing Director, RWE Effizienz
The Business Context
RWE Effizienz bundles all energy efficiency initiatives within the RWE Group. In 2009 the company set out to create a secure and easy-to-use home automation solution for the consumer market. Branded SmartHome, the bespoke IoT solution would enable homeowners, regardless of their technical know-how, to reduce energy consumption and cut utility costs by controlling the heating and electrical appliances in their homes through a network of intelligent devices.
In 2011, iQuest was engaged as a partner in an international team, under the lead of Microsoft Consulting Services, to develop the SmartHome platform including the frontend, backend and central control unit. iQuest was then quickly selected as Product Care Partner and entrusted with the software maintenance of the live version deployed to customers. One year later, iQuest was appointed main Strategic Software Development Partner for the project. During the span of the collaboration, iQuest has continuously supported RWE in further developing the SmartHome platform and in delivering seven major product releases.
RWE SmartHome is a comprehensive family of intelligent devices that users can install in their homes and configure according to their needs in a very short timeframe and without any previous technical knowledge. An intuitive interface makes SmartHome very easy to operate locally from a PC, tablet or smartphone, or remotely via the internet
A secured wireless network within the house connects any household appliance, radiator and lamp with the SmartHome central control unit – to provide intelligent, centralised control of heating and energy management.
The SmartHome system is operated on a high-performance RWE infrastructure and is maintained in all areas of the solution by the iQuest Product Care Team.
The engagement with RWE Effizienz marked iQuest’s first major project in what is today an industry trend – the Internet of Things. Our agile and flexible approach, and deep expertise in cloud technologies, allowed us to successfully deliver complex solution packages and versions with high-quality in the given timeframe.
The successful delivery of the solution was also a result of a combination of local, and near-shore resources and IT services provided by iQuest. Covering our delivery and support methodologies, project structure, as well as the configuration and distribution of our teams, this tailored approach ensured that iQuest was able to supply flexible and scalable services based on an optimised price and performance ratio.
The Business Impact
As essential development partner, iQuest helped RWE Effizienz realise their vision, making SmartHome a continuous success story and establishing RWE as the market leader in consumer home automation.
The first version of SmartHome was released in March of 2011, and has since won several industry awards for security, reliability, usability and design.
- Integration beyond Home Automation
SmartHome provides intelligent smart meter and photovoltaic integration plus electric car charging to control the energy management in a modern household.
The SmartHome architecture is designed as a platform to integrate with a wide range of partners (e.g. new partner devices like washing machines, tumble dryers and dish washers can now be connected with already existing SmartHome devices). Virtual devices like the Sunrise/Sunset App, Wake-On-LAN, SMS and eMail Actuator enrich the functionality of the system.
- Security & Reliability
SmartHome features a new wireless solution based on the highest encryption standards for security and data protection. An IPV6 based protocol ensures a high security and confidentiality standard, while the remote firmware update option keeps all devices up to date at all times.