Dynamic software for dynamic markets
From energy 4.0, Compendium 2020/2021
MARCO BEICHT is founder and CEO of powercloud. The entrepreneur has already founded several companies before this one, including Intellishop in 2004, which he led as a board member until 2010. With his investment company, Karemha Holding, formerly MBB Technologies Group, he also holds shares in other companies, such as the electromobility specialist Chargecloud. Among other things, Beicht studied at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) before earning his MBA.
During the Corona crisis there are few optimists – Marco Beicht is one of them. The head of the IT company powercloud assumes that Germany will probably return to its former strength within 18 months. In his opinion, the pandemic will further accelerate the trend towards digitalization and customer centricity in the energy industry. “We will see more courageous decisions and new business models as a result,” predicts the IT expert. Courage is certainly a characteristic that aptly fits the 36-year-old. Immediately after graduating from high school, with a starting capital of 25,000 euros, which he had received from his father, he developed the e-commerce software company Intellishop, which works for companies such as T-Mobile and Eismann. This also laid the foundation for the path into the energy industry with the founding of powercloud. After a long period of financing the company alone, the US investor General Atlantic entered the market in 2019 with over 100 million euros.
The company, headquartered in Achern in southern Baden, has been causing a stir in the industry since EnBW and Eon became customers of its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution. Beicht explains the decisive characteristics: “We provide our customers with a standardized Cloud platform for the energy industry processes related to billing, market communication, metering, and accounting. We handle all regulatory changes centrally and without asking the customers to do anything more, so that they can concentrate fully on their customer relationships and on developing new products and services.” By its own account, powercloud now manages seven million end customer contracts. Speed is the decisive factor for Beicht. “We are faster and more agile than existing systems and players.” In addition, the focus is strictly on the utility and waste management industry.
The founder sums up the DNA of his company in this way: “We have the gift of youth. We are the breath of fresh air in the industry.” At the same time, he is well aware that it is never wise to rest on one’s laurels. That’s why they are constantly working on the IT architecture: “We are firmly convinced that we must constantly challenge ourselves in order to be successful long-term,” stresses Beicht. The focus is currently on the powercloud App Store. In addition, third-party providers already offer numerous apps that add additional functionality to the platform. According to the entrepreneur, this makes the system so flexible that new ideas can be implemented and processed in the shortest possible time and with very little effort. “The ecosystem grows with every partner and customer,” emphasizes Beicht.
This is fueling a market dynamic that is also being experienced by IT start-up customers. Beicht sees the situation this way: “There will be more new providers fighting over customers with low prices or innovative offers. At the same time, the existing players are gradually upgrading and want to continue to drive innovation with new platforms and new strengths.” According to the Baden-based company, some market participants will not be able to keep up with this innovation race, while many others will emerge from it stronger. Therefore, consolidations are also possible.