Flux7 Case Study Flux7 Builds Dashboard to Monitor and Control Solar Panel Usage for Horan & Bird

Case Study

Overview

Horan & Bird, an energy company engaged AWS experts Flux7, to develop a complete end-to-end solution. Through an extensive evaluation, Flux7 engineers helped them select an inexpensive inter-enabled power monitoring gateway. Engineers wrote the entire software stack—from interfacing with the monitor to saving the data in the cloud to displaying the data and sending emails to customers. The overall aim was to improve customer engagement by informing them of the savings they earn from using solar panels, as well as disconnect the solar power of customers who are behind on their lease payments.

Meanwhile, also developing a whitelabel solution for other solar panel providers doing business throughout Australia. To do so, Flux7 combined AWS, SailWider and Power Gateway hardware with the client’s Python, Cassandra, Twitter Bootstrap, Celery and Amazon SES software as well as Flux7’s DevOps-related technologies, Chef, Capistrano, Docker and AWS CloudFormation. The combination of the overall solution with the client’s product and service portfolio created a powerful one-click dashboard that maximizes customer value using a unique blend of consultancy, innovation and implementation.

Business Needs

•  Improve customer engagement

•  Create new marketing channels

•  Enhance business accounting processes

•  Develop white-label solution

Horan & Bird wanted to ensure its competitiveness in the industry and challenge its internal resources to gain new business. Flux7 was selected to address two important business objectives for the client’s marketing and accounting divisions. First, the client wanted to improve customer engagement and interaction, focusing on an exhaustive view of each customer’s solar power usage and savings. By doing so, the client is able to identify potential new leads and upselling opportunities, then develop new marketing channels, thereby increasing business. The second aim was to decrease accounts receivable actions and increase collection rates by having the ability to rapidly recognize solar power customers who are not making lease payments.

Solution

The Flux7 solution was structured around giving the client the ability to monitor the power output of the solar panels and electricity consumption of each customer, log data from the consumption and make it available in a cloud environment, and allow for flexible individual customer data analysis on a weekly basis to derive important customer-level metrics as well as global metrics of interest to the business division. All of this is incorporated into a oneclick administrative dashboard that provides a view for connecting and disconnecting customers; sending a power usage and savings report to one or more customers on demand; control solar panel output as needed; and customize marketing messages using text, graphics and web content in timely emails sent to prospects and customers. Additionally, there is now support for white-labeling the solution as a Saas, whereby a super administrative dashboard can be used to establish new solar panel providers with their own customized administrative dashboard kept secure using Docker containers.

In only two weeks, Flux7’s use of Docker helped Horan & Bird go from a single-tenant app to a multitenant app with minimal resource cost. The application is now in a framework that supports DevOps by streamlining future development work and optimizing operations by easing deployment and access.

“We have been really impressed by Flux7’s ability to circumvent issues and progress in the face of engineering challenges. The solution is fantastic, and we are adding more and more customers.”

 

~ Horan & Bird

Flux7 Builds Dashboard to Monitor and Control Solar Panel Usage for Horan & Bird

Date
September 11, 2019
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