How Can You Sell Air? As a Service, Of Course

Paul Clark

How do you sell something that’s intangible? As a service, of course. Digital technology is enabling companies to completely reimagine the way they provide products or outcomes to their customers, and the “as-a-service” model is gaining traction in many sectors.

Even well established, traditional enterprises are innovating their business models to adapt to new opportunities in the digital economy, such as integrating Internet of Things (IoT) technology into their business.

Generate new revenue with the IoT

The IoT can help companies find new revenue streams that didn’t exist before. Kaeser Kompressoren is a good example of this. Kaeser has been around for almost 100 years selling machinery including air compressors. Despite its history with large, tangible equipment, Kaeser decided to use innovative technology and embrace the as-a-service model to sell something as intangible as (compressed) air.

According to the ASUG News article, Using the Internet of Things to Provide Air-as-a-Service, Kaeser began putting sensors on its equipment and monitoring the usage and condition of the machines. After analyzing the data, Kaeser came up with a predictive maintenance program, and started selling air by the cubic meter through compressors that it owns and maintains.

Making air-as-a-service successful

Kaeser’s “Air-as-a-Service” model has become a new way to generate revenue, and it has also forced the company to rethink the way it operates. Instead of service calls producing revenue as in the past, now they come at a cost to the bottom line, so Kaeser uses sensor data on its equipment to predict potential issues and repairs, which minimizes the number of service calls.

Endless possibilities of digital transformation

Digital transformation offers many opportunities, but it also creates perpetual disruption in many sectors of the industrial and business landscape. This challenges organizations to constantly adjust and update their business models simply to remain competitive.

To be successful, business leaders must embrace and take advantage of digital transformation across their entire organization or industry, including services, products, pricing, sales, delivery, and support systems.

As Kaeser Kompressoren shows us, with innovative technologies you can even sell something as intangible as air. Just think of the possibilities if you reimagined your business.

For an in-depth look at how the digital era is affecting business, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

To learn more about the multiple factors driving digital transformation, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

Take a closer look at another industry transforming with the digital era. Download the SAP eBook, Connected Care: The Digital Pulse of Global Healthcare.


About Paul Clark

Paul Clark is the Senior Director of Technology Partner Marketing at SAP. He is responsible for developing and executing partner marketing strategies, activities, and programs in joint go-to-market plans with global technology partners. The goal is to increase opportunities, pipeline, and revenue through demand generation via SAP's global and local partner ecosystems.