My Business: Why did you start your own business?
Bob Sharon: I guess I’m an entrepreneur at heart, as I saw so many ways that we could do things better in managing our energy, carbon footprint, pollution and its effect on society more innovatively, and in ways that will make a positive impact on businesses large and small, as well as on our planet.
MB: How has your business evolved since its inception?
BS: We started our entry-level service as an in-depth energy assessment that was quite pricey. Finally, we have come to a point where any large building or facility really needs a live feed from multiple sources at a low cost. So last year we embarked on the use of big data analytics, which we host from the cloud. This sits over any BMS and SCADA systems, as well as any additional meters and sensors not plugged in. Then, over weeks and months, we can find a treasure trove of information that no one previously knew.
MB: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and how have you overcome them?
BS: When I started in 2012, I confess I was quite cocky and thought every CFO would want to save money. I thought that on a major building refurb, stakeholders would go for a three-year payback as distinct from a five-year payback, which was more traditional. I was wrong. In most cases, different people hold the CAPEX and OPEX budgets. Other challenges included the fact we were small and not on supplier lists. One of the biggest barriers was that people are always comfortable doing things the same old way, even if the savings and outcomes are not as good. So all of this has been a very hard lesson for me personally.
MB: What’s the best business decision you’ve ever made?
BS: We re-invented our business last year, so we could help our clients understand what they don’t know in order to make real improvements to their risk, compliance, staff and customer health, and energy profile through the use of big data analytics.
MB: What has it meant for you to be recognised as a My Business Award winner in 2015?
BS: I was highly honoured to be awarded this prize. We had great feedback from our clients, too. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it and was so appreciative and humbled to receive this worthy honour.
MB: Share with us some of your bigger successes.
BS: Conducting the first ever NABERS assessment for a data centre back in 2013; NABERS certification of the greenest data centre in Australia in February 2016; and of course being one of the winners of the My Business Awards in 2015!
MB: Do you have a business motto?
BS: ‘Guaranteed sustainability results’.