Annual report 2016 – agility stories
Bosch Thermotechnology makes the remote control and maintenance of heating systems possible
Reading time: 12 minutes
With its connected products portal, or CPP, Bosch Thermotechnology is turning up the heat in the heating technology market. An interdisciplinary team of associates used the scrum method to develop this user-friendly connectivity solution for the remote control and maintenance of heating systems.
It’s a situation we all dread: winter, sub-zero temperatures, and the central heating suddenly stops working. The house quickly turns icy cold. What do we do now? Until very recently, the answer was to call a service engineer. Frequently, the engineer had to make two trips – first, to find out what the fault was, and second, to bring the right spare part and install it.
All that is now a thing of the past. Bosch set its sights on streamlining heating-system repair, and is now ready to launch a smart portal for control, maintenance, troubleshooting, and debugging. The CPP connected products portal for installers and end customers means that many central heating system functions can be controlled from any end device – including PCs, smartphones, and tablets. At the moment, it can be accessed by Junkers (HomeCom) and Buderus (Buderus Control Center Connect) devices. Associates also worked overtime to get the portal rolled out in Austria, Switzerland, and Luxemburg.
It took just 15 months for Thermotechnology to develop the portal solution to connect home central heating systems with heating professionals. It did so using the scrum method, a procedure developed for agile product development. With the support of Bosch Software Innovations GmbH in Immenstaad, Germany, and Mobility Media GmbH in Berlin, Germany, three scrum teams comprising five to nine associates each filled the connected products portal with more and more new functions, which were quickly brought to life. One such function was setting up remote diagnosis, where an engineer uses the internet to log onto a customer’s appliance in order to find out what has caused a fault. It also creates a kind of remote control function with which engineers can access heating systems’ functions and change their settings.
“To realize the project, we brought together associates from Immenstaad, Wernau, and Lollar in Germany, and Aveiro in Portugal.”
Thomas Matthis, Bosch Thermotechnology
One of the team’s objectives was to make the user interface intuitive, since experience shows that many customers shy away from complex online applications. The positive reactions of both engineers and customers shows how well they managed to do so. “With the support of the Fraunhofer Institute, we also did eye-tracking studies to assess the portal’s user-friendliness. The results led us to fundamentally revise the interface design and navigation,” Thomas Matthis says. The efforts paid off. In August 2016, the HomeCom portal won the prestigious Red Dot design award.
Bosch Thermotechnology’s CPP connected products portal simplifies the remote control and maintenance of heating systems. The connected solution offers advantages for installers and end customers.