Quby: Energizing smart homes with APIs

About Quby

Quby believes in transforming industries with services that help people handle everyday challenges. Toon is the company's smart home platform that puts people in charge of their homes' energy usage, comfort, security, and more. Quby makes lives smarter, easier, safer, and more comfortable.

Industries: Technology
Location: Netherlands

Quby provides the Apigee powered Toon smart home platform so that utility providers can integrate energy delivery and smart home technology for their consumers.

Google Cloud Results

  • Integrates Quby platform with utility company systems in as little as one week
  • Connects over 160 smart home developers to more than 350K end users with the Apigee developer portal
  • Reduces time from development to go-live by a factor of five

Connected 26 internal services in weeks rather than months

The smart home market is developing rapidly, and for utility companies the barrier to entry for building their own smart home products is high. Enter Quby, a Dutch company that provides the Toon smart home solution to utility companies, supporting their digital transformations and enabling them to easily provide customers with modern smart home products and insights into their energy usage. Quby also offers APIs through Google's Apigee API Platform so that utilities can easily integrate their mobile applications and services with the Quby platform.

"Apigee is critical in integrating with third parties and utility companies. Enabling third parties' digital transformations mean rapid changes for everyone. With APIs, features can be brought online quickly and easily to keep up with customer demand."

Jean-Paul Dijkstra, Business Domain Owner, Quby

Connected living with APIs

Toon is more than a smart thermostat; it's also a smart hub that controls utilities including heating, water, and electricity inside homes. It also extends to third-party smart appliances including lighting, security cameras, plugs, and smoke detectors that connect the entire home to the Internet of Things. In contrast to many single-use smart thermostat products on the market, Toon also provides interactive data on energy consumption for consumers.

In keeping with the open nature of API-first companies like Quby, Toon can integrate with a broad range of third-party products and services, including devices compatible with Google Home. With a business this dependent on APIs for connecting customers, developers, and third-party solutions, Quby's choice of Apigee as its API management and developer platform was fundamental.

Jean-Paul Dijkstra, Quby's Business Domain Owner, says, "Apigee is critical in integrating with third parties and utility companies. Enabling third parties' digital transformations mean rapid changes for everyone. With APIs, features can be brought online quickly and easily to keep up with customer demand."

"The Apigee platform allows us to provide the features, scalability, speed, and security that our customers require, while giving us the ability to monitor and report usage data that helps them spot problems and improve their offerings in near real time."

Jean-Paul Dijkstra, Business Domain Owner, Quby

Transforming old-fashioned utilities into smart service providers

As a B2B company, Quby rapidly evolved from its original mission of providing smart home equipment. As the number of smart home products on the market grew rapidly, the company saw that if it pivoted toward offering an API solution to utility company customers, Quby could help them in their digital transformations. Quby's vision aligned with utilities who saw themselves evolving from companies that delivered energy as a commodity-like product toward service companies that deliver energy as part of a rich, customer-focused service offering.

Two of Quby's biggest partners are Eneco in the Netherlands and ENGIE Electrabel in Belgium. Both companies have realized significant benefits to their customer relationships since partnering with Quby, increasing customer engagement, satisfaction scores, and loyalty while setting the stage for future innovation.

Quby customers are using the Toon platform to collect energy data that fuels their own customer-facing applications. They use Toon APIs to add functionality such as setting rules for controlling home temperature, lighting, and other smart-home devices.

"We offer solutions to our partners so that they can build products and services on top of them and serve their end customers in the rapidly evolving smart-home market," Dijkstra says. "The Apigee platform allows us to provide the features, scalability, speed, and security that our customers require, while giving us the ability to monitor and report usage data that helps them spot problems and improve their offerings in near real time."

"Out of the box, Apigee provided all the functionality we needed and was the perfect platform for us to standardize our APIs on."

Jean-Paul Dijkstra, Business Domain Owner, Quby

Focusing on core competencies inspires innovation

Quby chose the Apigee platform for its singular focus on API management. The company felt that Apigee's dedication to accelerating the API market and providing top-of-the-line products for developing and managing open APIs made Apigee the ideal partner. Apigee's well-designed API Monitoring offering and support for external developers were also big draws for Quby.

"Out of the box, Apigee provided all the functionality we needed and was the perfect platform for us to standardize our APIs on," Dijkstra says.

Currently, Quby is exposing about 26 APIs while focusing on restructuring its internal platform. The company is moving to modernize its back-end systems by migrating to the Apigee platform in a bid to improve efficiency. Once every service is offered via the same platform, a change made to any service only requires a single adjustment, leaving the other services unaffected. This promises Quby a significant improvement in the quality and stability of the Toon platform.

In the past, a single update could take several sprints with an average cost of €10,000 to implement and validate all the affected services. With Apigee, the team needs to adjust only the specific API service that requires the change, secure in the knowledge that it won't affect the others. This greatly simplifies service changes, which now generally require a single sprint, delivery in just a few days, and a cost of only €1.000. That's about five times faster at only 10 percent of the cost. With over 70 services currently running on the Apigee platform, this kind of flexibility is key for not only maintaining productivity but also for the stability of the platform.

Quby plans to have all its services running exclusively on Apigee, forming the nucleus of the company's IoT platform. This paves the way for the company to use the Apigee platform for data intelligence, which Quby is building as a new business that will offer disaggregation and big data services.

With an intensified focus on integrating third-party products into the Toon platform, Quby sees an energized future ahead. As the company completes its transformation from a device provider to a platform provider, utility providers are traveling a parallel path. Together, Quby and its partners are providing the IoT framework for smart homes of the future.

About Quby

Quby believes in transforming industries with services that help people handle everyday challenges. Toon is the company's smart home platform that puts people in charge of their homes' energy usage, comfort, security, and more. Quby makes lives smarter, easier, safer, and more comfortable.

Industries: Technology
Location: Netherlands
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