KONE is a global leader in the elevator, escalator, and automatic door industry. The company is known for “People Flow” and solutions that make people's journeys safe, convenient, and reliable. KONE’s Global Head of New Services and Solutions* Hanna Inget is especially interested in business opportunities created by the platform economy.
“My team develops new solutions – most often digital ones – which we sell as value added services. We actively seek for new ideas on how to serve our customers better,” Inget explains.
KONE introduced the world's first digital elevator series, KONE DX, in 2019. KONE DX elevators use open application programming interfaces that enable customers to plug in additional elevator software and services provided by KONE and its partners throughout the entire lifetime of a building.
At the end of 2020, Inget and her team set out to investigate how the DX-platform could be developed further.
“I participated in Aalto EE’s Business Models with Intelligent Platforms program, during which participants develop their own platform project. Instead of working on the platform project on my own, I decided to include my team in the work, so we could reap the most business benefits,” Inget says.
The platform project was closely linked to the content; it was not a separate project. Every issue we dealt with broadened my thinking and helped develop the project further.
“My team and I focused on our DX strategy and considered the business model that we had selected: what we will concentrate on in the future, and how to develop DX platform further to bring more value to our customers,” she adds.
A comprehensive perception of the platform economy
Although the DX platform was launched in late 2019, Inget says it was beneficial to get back to basics and consider both the DX ecosystem’s mission as well as the value it brings to customers.
“We took a good look at things on a very concrete level. My team and I pondered issues like how to communicate the value that an individual robot app brings to an office building’s property manager,” she mentions.
“The program gave me a comprehensive perception of the platform economy: what others are doing and what research says – and I was able to convey a lot of this knowledge to my team when we worked on the platform project together,” she describes.
Aalto EE developed the Business Models with Intelligent Platforms program together with its customers. The program’s pragmatic approach receives thanks from Inget.
“The platform project was closely linked to the content; it was not a separate project. Every issue we dealt with broadened my thinking and helped develop the project further, which worked marvelously,” she affirms.
“I felt like I was in safe hands when I was working on our platform project. The instructors were very knowledgeable, and they had a knack for introducing the versatile, scientifically sound content in a very clear and comprehensible way,” she says.
The program gave me a comprehensive perception of the platform economy: what others are doing and what research says – and I was able to convey a lot of this knowledge to my team when we worked on the platform project together.
Tools for developing business models
Inget was very pleased with the results of the platform project.
“We came up with a number of platform economy related questions that we are now seeking answers for – and we also identified new opportunities to offer our DX services with certain partners,” she remarks.
“The platform project was highly beneficial. Above all, it was great to recognize that we have no need to make big changes at this point. The way in which we brought the DX platform to the market was definitely the right choice,” she emphasizes.
Inget says that the program gave her exactly what she was looking for: new insights and practical tools for developing platform economy business models.
“Now when I hear about a new platform, I am able to assess its business potential, strengths, weaknesses and development areas. This thought process starts automatically,” she says.
Inget underlines that the program is an excellent choice for anyone interested in the platform economy.
“You get a tremendous amount out of the program, no matter if your company is a novice in the platform business, or if you have taken the first steps at global scale like we have at KONE, or if you have gone much further. The program offers an excellent opportunity to reflect on your own situation and consider your next steps in the platform business,” she points out.
“I warmly recommend participating to all leaders, regardless of whether they are currently developing platform businesses or not. Every leader these days should have the knowledge and insights that this program offers,” she concludes.
* Note: Since this interview was conducted, Hanna has begun a new role at KONE as Head of Customer Solutions Engineering