This April is seeing the launch of EnergyPages, an initiative of EEIP, the industrial energy efficiency platform. According to EEIP, EnergyPages are a cornerstone of there "connect" strategy which aims to bring together all players of the energy efficiency market. From energy user to solution provider, from IT to finance, from policy to media.
Well, that sounds good. But isn't it at the end just another directory? The first thing you might appreciate is the clarity of the search page. It is more 'Google-like' and not full of banners, ads and other stuff one usually sees. And that also means you do not have to go through complex pull-down menus but just type in what you are looking for.
The database is structured along "expertise areas" and not based on products as usual. So whatever you search for, you get a short list of expertise areas matching your search and the companies who can deliver this.
We have asked a few companies what they think about such an approach and have also looked ourselves what EnergyPages offer - especially to find out what might be different from standard directories.
Patrick Fankhauser, Sustainable Investments
"For us this is a new way of getting in contact with possible clients who are looking for financing. Normally these kinds of directories are only focusing on technology, although financing is always a core part of any project. Here you have a one-stop-shop solution."
Herbert Hüning, Reining Heisskühlung
"We are a specialists for EPC contracts to implement furnace cooling systems to recover waste heat energy from industrial furnaces . How would you look for that in a product database? This kind of directory allows us to get found with our expertise. Also, we are a niche specialist but we operate globally. And as possible clients can also define the country where they are looking for such a service, even a company in Nigeria or Indonesia would find us."
Ulrika Wising, Pepite/ENERGYmaestro
"We provide cloud based predictive analytics and data mining solutions in combination with performance management. A directory like EnergyPages with an expertise focus can deliver benefits to us in two ways: 1. Potential clients looking for IT solutions see some related expertise areas – sometimes the first time that they see an expertise like ours and 2. The search for expertise areas is specific enough, that there is a chance for us to get found together with the big guys from IBM, Microsoft or SAP. The general search directories where you look for energy efficiency IT are too broad and the chance to get found is little."
So, what is our conclusion?
Beside the fact that it seems to be a straightforward directory without those annoying advertising banners, the focus on expertise areas really seems to deliver benefits for three groups of companies:
- SME's offering solutions in many countries, the typical niche specialists
- All companies in the energy efficiency area but not doing products, e.g. the financing or consultancy sector
- The "customers". Companies who want to do some energy efficiency projects.
In the list on the first page appears "EnergyPages Marketing", EEIP will use their industrial energy efficiency dedicated social media and online tools to communicate about companies. They also will produce country and expertise reports which will be widely and freely distributed. Producing visibility for companies and raise awareness amongst the EEIP energy efficiency community – which in turn would be exactly what the strategy "connect" is aiming for.
A final thought, that might also be interesting for US or Asian companies. It's internet, so it's global.