Softcat takes net zero learnings to its customers with 'Enexo' launch

New sustainability insights platform designed to act as hub not only for sustainable IT but the full gamut of sustainability solutions, from smart meters to EVs

Doug Woodburn
clock • 3 min read
Softcat takes net zero learnings to its customers with 'Enexo' launch

Having set itself a 2040 net zero supply chain goal last summer, Softcat is now aiming to give its resource-poor SME customers an "on ramp" to decarbonisation via its new Enexo platform.

Debuted in incubation phase to 9,500 Softcat customers yesterday, it is slated for public launch in August or September.

Further reading: How 25 UK channel partners are tackling their carbon emissions

Talking to CRN, Softcat sustainability lead John Gladstone (pictured above, right) said he hoped Enexo will become "the largest sustainability insights platform out there", stressing that it will act as a hub not only for sustainable IT but the full gamut of sustainability solutions, from smart meters to electric vehicles.

Enexo already draws on around 12 million points of record from sources including Companies House to give users a free snapshot of their carbon footprint and how it compares with peers, Gladstone said.

In time, and based on user feedback during incubation phase, the £2bn-revenue reseller will add modules to the platform that are designed to enable users to take action on carbon reduction.

"We want to turn this platform into a ClearScore-type platform, so users can go in, understand their emissions but - on top of that - they will have products off to the side that will allow them to continue their journey to net zero, whether that be moving to solar panels or renewable energy or adopting an EV car scheme," Gladstone explained.

According to Gladstone, Enexo will draw heavily on the FTSE 250 company's own experience decarbonising its business in recent years (it is aiming to be net zero across scope 1 and 2 by 2024 and across scope 1, 2 and 3 by 2040).

Although Softcat's large enterprise customers may possess the in-house or external consultancy budget to do likewise, its core SME clients often won't, Gladstone said.

'We have to recognise the opportunity out there'

As CRN's Tech Impact campaign has highlighted, IT services and solutions providers are now leading on how cloud and IoT can help their customers decarbonise, with Atos - for instance - recently introducing ‘decarbonisation level agreements'.

Through Enexo, Softcat claims it is one of the first to position itself as more of a wider sustainability hub.

"We have to recognise the opportunity that's out there. There's a great opportunity not only from an IT aspect, but also all the different things that bolt into sustainability," Gladstone said.

"We want to be a broker. We're not interested in the revenues and profits that come from that, although there can be things like referral fees. What we're interested in is the data. The more data we can pull into the platform, the more insights we can gather on the market as a whole, and the more value we can give back."

Developed in partnership with Datamango, Enexo was dreamed up in December 2020 by Softcat's adjacent business team after Matthew Helling took charge of it.

"We found that there were lots of companies doing component parts of the sustainability puzzle, but that they were unwilling to communicate shared data and create an ecosystem among themselves," Helling (pictured above, with Gladstone) explained.

"We've looked at it from the other angle and asked how we could help any organisation make a start on their sustainability journey, and we essentially become the hub in the middle."

Softcat has spent the last 15 months keeping Enexo's development closely under wraps, Gladstone confided.

"Only a handful of people in the business knew about it. We're now confident that we have a product, we have a platform. We've spent a lot of money, and if people wanted to try and replicate it, that's a lot of work," he said.

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