Early in January I was honoured to join the team at Solar Analytics as their Business Development Manager.
Why, you ask?
The short version is that as many of you know, I have been extolling the virtues of advanced monitoring and control for many years now. I was also a beta tester when the early version of the Solar Analytics monitoring product was first launched in Australia. Before long, I became a subscriber to the Solar Analytics dashboard and a world of insights was unleashed upon me.
Whilst this was geek heaven, it really showed me what smart solar was and the power of using data intelligently.
My first real world example was when I got one of my monthly performance reports and it highlighted a problem. “We’ve been comparing your system output to others in your area and there’s something peculiar”, it said. “We’ve used our smart algorithms and have detected an anomaly in the morning that has been getting worse as winter approached. You might like to check your system or call your installer for a check-up”, it said.
So I looked out the window to my solar array and lo and behold, my camellia had grown and was now shading my array. Holy crap, they can tell that, I thought to myself?
I immediately rang one of the founders and gushed about how astounding this was. I hadn’t noticed it. I wasn’t looking at the monitoring regularly and the fact that their algorithms picked this up was just what I needed; and perhaps more importantly, for solar more broadly, it’s the type of information that my Mum would really appreciate and understand (no offence Mum but you really aren’t that engaged in your solar, are you). Knowing that Solar Analytics was quietly going on in the background was a huge relief.
So, part of why I am here is because I am an absolute believer in the power of intelligent insights from data.
The second reason I am now here is because when the conversation started I learned even more about what the algorithms could unleash and what was planned. Having previously sold Solar Analytics Monitoring with solar systems, I probably knew of about five or six very cool things it could do, but still thought of it as mostly a monitoring device.
How wrong I was.
The monitoring function is the tip of the iceberg and in my first week I realised that hidden below the surface, there were (so far!) a mind blowing 51 features, benefits and value-adds that I can unleash now, or in the very near future.
On top of those realisations, the price had recently been dramatically reduced to the point where I really believed these guys have got something very special and I wanted to be part of it.
Lastly, the management spent a lot of time explaining how they retain staff, create a genuinely progressive work environment and are absolutely passionate about solar power’s role in the world. Cripes, they’re so progressive that when my electric bike needed a charge and an external outlet wasn’t available, they just said “OK, so wheel it inside and charge it in your office then”. Hallelujah!
I’ve learned about amazing techno-social experiments they have carried out to test new theories and products that are now progressing through development. I now know how advanced Solar Analytics are in the US market and their plans for other International markets. I now understand the amazingly rigorous internal processes that are used to constantly develop new features, products and services. I was told that all employees get a stake in the company's ownership, once you have demonstrated your commitment. Quite frankly, I have had an “ah-ha” moment every single day since I started.
It won’t be easy, or painless, or without bumps along the way.
But who wouldn’t want to work for a progressive, well-funded, leading edge tech company full of great, passionate people who have one of the cleverest energy monitoring devices in the world?
This is going to be fun.
Our Business Development Director Nigel Morris counts more than 25 years of work in the solar industry but it's his positive approach to life, good-guy attitude and his cool electric motorbike that we really value. We love the nickname that his son game him - Captain Solar.