Have you been weighing up the option of buying an off-the-shelf OCPP software solution against developing your own? Before you jump in the deep end, here are some points to consider.
So, what exactly is a charge point software white label?
A white label is a pre-built software solution developed by one company that is rebranded to reflect the look and feel of another company.
Why do companies use charge point software white labels?
Companies often use white labels to enable their brand to offer a service without the need to invest in creating the technology and infrastructure in-house. A white label can be a quick solution for a company's problem, allowing them to utilise another company's expertise. Buying in a solution allows more time to focus on their own core business offering, without missing out on that competitive edge.
In the world of EV charging, organisations often use a white labelled charge point management system, like Clenergy EV. This means they can focus on their core business offering, like EV charge point installation services. The white label element means installers can offer a full “turnkey” solution to clients, without any software development costs.
How customisable is a charge point software white label?
One of the brilliant things about white labelling is the flexibility and customisation options available for your business. You can reinforce your brand and make an impactful presence through a white label option to stand out from your competitors.
Customisable options often include:
- Brand imagery
- Colour palette
- Brand language
How fast can a white label be implemented?
A white label charge point platform can typically be implemented within 6 weeks. A white label provider, like Clenergy EV would require the relevant information such as logo, brand colours, iconography and imagery - then it’s over us to build the platform specifically for your needs.
Is it secure to use a white label?
It’s often more secure to use a white label than to develop your own software. Companies that develop white labels will often pride themselves in hitting those all important standards such as ISO:27001 and Cyber Essentials.
Do I have to tell my customers I’m using a white label?
It’s completely up to you if you inform customers that you are using a white label for your charge point software. You may want to look at co-branding with your white label software provider, if they are a recognised name within the industry.
It’s common to ask your white label software provider to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to give your business confidentiality, if this is a requirement.
How flexible is a white label charge point solution?
If you have stumbled across a white label that is almost perfect, you could reach out and discuss your business needs with their support team. Although some off the shelf solutions can be rigid, often software developers are improving and working on new features in the background. The feature you’re hoping for could always be in development.
Some white labels carry out forums with clients to discuss potential improvements, amends and features. At Clenergy EV we develop our Charge Point Management System based on feedback from our clients.
So, onto the burning question...You are a charge point operator - Should you use a white label charge point software platform?
There are several questions to ask yourself before embarking on the journey. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons!
PROS of using a white label charge point platform
Saves you time
- A white label is a pre-packed, pre-tested solution which can save your business a lot of time in the long run.
- Time constraints are something to bear in mind as it can be a lengthy process to design, develop and test software in-house.
- By utilising an out of the box solution, you can deploy to market much quicker.
- The upfront fee to use a white label charge point solution is often a small fraction of the budget you could possibly spend on developing your own software.
Skills and expertise
- Charge point software is devised and developed by a team of experts. Finding the right staff members with the correct experience is a challenge in itself.
- You can carry on running your business with the peace of mind that any software updates and any dreaded ‘bug’ fixes will be dealt with by the white label development team.
- Software is constantly evolving and it can be tough to keep up with the latest standards. Failing to keep up with the latest updates can risk your software being obsolete or unsupported. Luckily this is something you won't have to worry about.
- Are you going to know exactly what your customers need from your software features? White label providers would have embarked on their own market research prior to investing in the development of features and bringing new tools to market.
- Having EV industry knowledge and an in-depth understanding of OCPP would be a crucial point to consider. If you aren’t well versed in the subject, it could take a vast amount of time to undertake market research.
CONS of using a white label charge point platform
- With white label platforms you’ll commonly have less control over which direction the software is going in the future, for example which features are developed.
- Designing and developing your own software can give your organisation complete control over the features you offer your customers. This means you can build exactly what your organisation needs.
Reliant on others
- When using a third party software provider you can be locked into ongoing subscriptions or contracts.
- If your third party software provider goes out of business, you could be left in the lurch.
- White labels are often quite static and don’t always cater for your exact business needs.
- If you are looking to move into a different area of business in the future, a white label won’t always be able to support this type of structural change.
It’s important to have a clear understanding of the problem your software will be solving. If you’re strapped for time then investing in an off-the-shelf charge point software solution could get your offering launched into the market quicker.
Does this sound like something you require as a charge point operator?
It's important to select the right white label development team. At Clenergy EV we pride ourselves on being flexible to your business needs. Our development team are experienced and carry out extensive research into customer journeys to continuously improve our platform. We have the in depth knowledge to support a new or existing charge point operator to grow their charger network.