Düsseldorf, March 15th, 2019 – It is high time to combine the digital and physical dimensions of living spaces in such a way that real added value is created for the customer. This is one of the results of a high-calibre panel discussion between GROHE, Miele and Viessmann at the ISH in Frankfurt a. M. At the "Intelligent Living Summit", Michael Rauterkus, GROHE CEO, Marketing and Sales Director Axel Kniehl from Miele and Co-CEO Max Viessmann from Viessmann jointly stated: "Customers no longer regard smart home appliances as toys, but expect intelligent solutions that offer real added value. The market potential is enormous: By 2030 the number of sensors and devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to rise worldwide from the current 21 billion in 2018 to around 125 billion. The Intelligent Living Summit is the prelude to a regular cross-industry exchange on the issue of meaningful digitization in the home and digital transformation in companies and industries.
"Together we form a great team, because we are all pursuing a higher goal: to develop new and intuitive solutions for the living spaces of future generations," said Max Viessmann. "For Viessmann, the reduction of CO2 emissions is a very high priority. If you replace your heating system with a modern Viessmann solution, you will improve the CO2 balance of your household by an average of one ton per year - more than one tenth of the annual per capita emissions in Germany. More environmental protection, but also more comfort for the user - the family-owned company Viessmann has succeeded in transforming itself from a pure heating technology manufacturer to a provider of integrated solutions in close, personal partnership with the trade.
"The future of 'Intelligent Living' lies not only in developing outstanding products, but also in making them an exciting experience for the user, and digitalisation makes an indispensable contribution to this," said Miele Managing Director Axel Kniehl. For example, Miele's Dialoggarer can be networked with recipe databases or a gourmet delivery service. In the new generation 7000 ovens, a camera delivers colour-fast HD-quality images to a smartphone or tablet. The status of a menu can be monitored and the cooking process readjusted at the click of a mouse. "With new products and services, the focus must be on customer benefit and ease of use. The software of all new devices can be completely updated via Remote Service, so that new functions can be added and proven programs further optimized over the entire lifetime of the device."
"We launched our intelligent GROHE Sense water safety system against water damage at ISH two years ago and have since experienced a steep learning curve with regard to the business model," said Michael Rauterkus. "In the beginning, we were convinced that our new product would be very well received by the end consumer. We are now working with a number of insurers who are providing equipment to thousands of customers to reduce the high costs associated with water damage". For GROHE's digital business, the CEO now takes just as much time as for the traditional business areas and has gained a very personal insight: "Listening is crucial – opening up to other ideas, experiences and opinions".
Christoph Keese, CEO Axel Springer hy GmbH and opening speaker, explained in an impressive lecture how important it is to develop a digitization strategy and to think far into the future. "Digitization has completely changed entire industries. Axel Springer, for example, makes about 80 percent of its profits with its digital business today". Anyone who wants to participate in the markets of the future has three options: to found new disruptive business areas or companies that also question their own core business, to enter into partnerships or to invest in existing companies. "Be digital and remain optimistic, because the chances of digitization are greater than the risks," concluded Christoph Keese. "But don't rely too much on your own experience, but identify and find people who are capable of fundamentally changing things.
Achim Berg, President of Bitkom and moderator of the panel discussion of GROHE, Miele and Viessmann, stated: "In my experience, the digital transformation of a company can only be driven forward by the CEO. This cannot be delegated to the Digital Officer or the Chief Financial Officer". Digitalisation is an exponential development. Those who do not adapt the speed of their company will have serious problems in a few years at the latest. Open platforms like the Intelligent Living Summit are an important key to success.
Further information is available at
Pictures can be found here: GROHE Digital Press Kit