Case: Nearshore development team are experts in Kamstrup's platform with digital remote reading solutions

In most homes in Denmark, reading energy meters has evolved from a manual process to an automated, digital, remote one. The Danish company Kamstrup is the world’s leading manufacturer of system solutions for intelligent energy and water metering with remote reading capabilities. Vibeke Ågren, Head of Software Department, describes Kamstrup’s digital transformation and the decisions that kicked off the collaboration between Kamstrup and Conscensia.

Recruitment challenges can not hinder growth

The challenge of sourcing competent software developers was not allowed to stand in the way of Kamstrup’s ambitions and growth back in 2011. With the speed at which IT was and is developing in our world, scalability remains essential. The moreso for a company like Kamstrup, that is constantly striving to be at the technological forefront.

Kamstrup was therefore prompted to act by the shortage of software developers in Denmark and decided that outsourcing should become a central part of their strategy. A new software development location would solve the challenge of finding software development skills at the pace they needed. Since 2011, Kamstrup has had a nearshore development team with Conscensia at the office in Lviv, Ukraine, where they have continuously scaled both up and down in the number of software developers – depending on the needs of their development department.

The solution to the IT skills shortage

The result of Kamstrup’s decision to outsource in 2011 is clear to Vibeke Ågren. “It was the right decision and solution for Kamstrup to get extra development capacity 13 years ago. We have a very stable and valuable nearshore development team in Lviv, Ukraine. They have contributed decisively to the development of Kamstrup’s modern platform with digital remote reading solutions in water and district heating. We have evolved from having a simple manual solution to a modern, digital and scalable solution, and this has opened up new global markets. New customers and markets often require local adaptations and extra features, which the nearshore team also helps to develop and implement in our solutions. I would say that it has only been possible to get here because we have several development sites. Our development department, which consists of developers from both Denmark and Ukraine, is stronger together than if we had just had one development location.”

The nearshore team has been a big part of the transformation in the industry in terms of digitization of the reading of energy meters . Vibeke Ågren explains; “The additional development capacity in Ukraine has increased our ability to innovate and contributed to the solution having a shorter time to market and ensuring that new features can be developed for the solution.”

Kamstrup has just expanded the team with 6 more developers, as their software development department is in full swing. Vibeke Ågren explains; “We can see that our customers’ demand for software solutions is constantly increasing, so that they can digitize and optimize their business. Due to Kamstrup’s access to IT resources in several locations, it is easy for us to meet the digitalization needs of our customers.”

Nearshore team is of high value to Kamstrup

There is great value in having a development team that has worked with Kamstrup’s solutions for many years, says Vibeke Ågren. “The developers are very independent, so it’s easy for us to scale the team, as our team can introduce and train new members to our solutions. We have a core of super talented developers who really deliver and are experts in our solutions.

At the management level, the team’s competencies give Vibeke Ågren peace of mind. Vibeke explains;

“Having a solid and stable nearshore development team is invaluable for Kamstrup. Our solutions are very complex, therefore continuity and the security provided by the fact that our Ukrainian developers are experts in the applications guarantees good quality. They know how the platform is built and how to solve the adaptations that come.” 

Retaining Kamstrup’s skilled software developers in Ukraine is therefore a high priority for Kamstrup. Vibeke explains; “We have many skill sets in the team and we can easily find competent new developers when the need arises – and just as important – we can retain our good people.” Many of Kamstrup’s software developers, for example, have celebrated their 10th anniversary on the team.

Competencies define the composition of development teams – not location

There is no difference in the types of tasks/projects Kamstrup’s Danish and Ukrainian software developers work with. The composition of the different development teams depends on the competencies, and not which location they work from – and this is a great advantage for Kamstrup.

Some teams are mixed with both Danish, Ukrainian and Spanish developers, and other teams are made up of Danish or Ukrainian developers. Vibeke says; “We are a big family, and we are very proud of that. We don’t use the terms “us” and “them”, our Ukrainian developers are our colleagues, and not consultants.” Vibeke continues; “I am impressed by our Lviv team’s work ethic. The importance of doing a good job shines through. They make a great effort to avoid bugs in the software, and they keep themselves professionally updated and focus on further development of their own skills.”

Long-term cooperation with sourcing partner

The choice for Kamstrup to have a Danish sourcing partner in Ukraine has proven absolutely right. One who handles the practical tasks and support functions, such as recruiting new developers, delivery managers and ensuring a good local working environment for their teams.

Vibeke says; “Conscensia has an attractive set-up; big enough to be professional – but not so big that it becomes impersonal. It is an advantage that everyone feels part of the company, and Conscensia has a good understanding of Kamstrup and our needs.” Kamstrup thus avoids a lot of low-level, practical tasks and having to know local legislation etc. – they can focus on the development tasks that provide value for their business.


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About Kamstrup

Kamstrup A/S develops and manufactures intelligent consumption meters, including electronic heat, electricity and household water meters, with the appropriate meter-reading systems for utility companies around the world. Kamstrup A/S was founded by Olaf Kamstrup in 1946. The family owned it until 1990, when Olieselskabet Danmark (OK) bought it. Today, Kamstrup has its own offices and companies in 20 countries.