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Vodafone helps Ferroli develop their connected boilers proposition

23 Jul 2020

Ferroli is an international player of home comfort, with a variety of brands, all devoted to customer excellence. The alliance with Vodafone to exploit IoT connectivity in our products will allow our customers to enjoy our cutting-edge and trend-setting products which will take care of their home comfort. We succeeded in reverting the standard paradigm of our industry.

Riccardo Garrè – CEO Ferroli Group

The challenge

As a leading provider of boiler solutions, Ferroli’s aim has always been to supply its customers with state-of-the art, innovative products and services. With the proliferation of smart services and solutions across the industry, Ferroli decided to create a unique boiler proposition. This would not only enhance and simplify end user experience, but would also allow for an improved experience for everyone involved in the process, from stakeholders to technicians, ultimately contributing to a more service-centric offer.

Ferroli envisioned an inclusive connected boiler solution that would provide operators, as well as end users, with high visibility of their boiler’s operation, in order to facilitate monitoring and maintenance. Furthermore, they wanted to create a boiler that was perfectly sized for both technicians and home users. Ferroli also aimed to overcome the general perception that boiler problems are often unpredictable until they happen, leaving the customer in uncomfortable situations and with the trouble of rapidly seeking for a technician. As a result, they decided to design an aesthetically pleasing boiler that people are happy to have in their homes, but with built-in intelligence which proactively communicates with a technical service centre and with Ferroli itself to prevent issues.

In essence, Ferroli wanted to provide its customer with a simplified, comfortable and proactively communicating boiler, on top of the sound technical solutions.

To aid this customer-driven approach, Ferroli required a partner that could provide them with comprehensive connectivity opportunities and a forefront experience in IoT with immediate results. Knowing that Vodafone is a market leader in bespoke IoT connectivity solutions, and building on an already existing business relationship, Ferroli decided to utilise our Global Connectivity Services and IoT expertise to help develop their connected boilers proposition, named “Bluehelix Sublime Boilers”.

The solution

Vodafone’s ability to understand Ferroli’s needs from the beginning and rapidly translating these into technical solutions played a significant role in the deal. Above all, Ferroli’s main objective was to create an integrated, end-to-end (from hardware to connectivity, platform, messaging and application) connected boiler proposition in order to be able to provide “Comfort-as-a-Service”, rather than a sole boiler/product, which links into the company’s aim to servitize connectivity.

The required solution was made possible by Vodafone Global Connectivity Services, Servitly’s Smart Connected Product solution and the Vodafone Invent IoT platform for the remote monitoring and controlling of the boilers. Vodafone’s dynamic and advanced connectivity links the boilers to the cloud and Ferroli’s service centres, which massively improves the quality of service and reliability. This is enabled by a specially designed, brand new OpenTherm gateway and the Smart Connected Product solution, which not only connect the boilers with authorised service centres, but also allow for remote control and monitoring for both the end user as well as the whole chain of stakeholders – fostering an all-around improved customer experience.

The connectivity,  established through an IoT application, works with all kinds of phones and offers end users remote service control with automatic alerts through a Mobile App, SMS, Mail and Vocal Messaging.

Thanks to the Smart Connected Product solution, each business user will be able to access the boilers through a dedicated partition. This helps product managers define the metrics and KPI for each product, while it also allows the final customer to configure and control the boiler through a mobile application and receive alerts. Furthermore, the support and service network will monitor the SLA and offer value added services to the end users.

The role of the Vodafone Invent IoT platform is to send data from the boiler to a device management layer. This ensures that there is no need for point-to-point integration to the service platform and that there is no impact on user experience in case there are changes to the product interface.

Finally, through this layer, Ferroli aims to position its boilers to become the main hub that communicates with other devices (e.g. Smart Home sensors).

Why Vodafone?

Servitization – Ferroli’s aim to servitize connectivity could only be made possible by Vodafone’s comprehensive connectivity infrastructure and IoT expertise.

Digital Transformation – Vodafone’s bespoke solutions help innovative companies gain momentum on the road to digital transformation.

A comprehensive solution – Vodafone’s ability to bring various services together under one unique solution is precisely why innovative companies keep choosing us.

About Ferroli

Ferroli operates in 14 countries across Europe and Asia. For 60 years, the company’s objective has been to drive innovation in the heating industry to produce appliances that are highly energy efficient, superbly built and suited to a very wide range of specifications.

Ferroli industries encompassed a huge transformation in order to be ready to offer their customers complete solutions, properly scalable into other comfort systems for air and water, applicable into houses as well as into large commercial and industrial surfaces.

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