ABB Creates Ecosystem of Digital Solutions

ABB connects customers to applications to help improve their business outcomes.


ABB traces its history to 1883, when its parent company—an electrical component manufacturer—was founded in Sweden. Since then, ABB has grown to become the world's largest builder of electrical grids and manufactures a range of other industrial products.

In 2017, ABB launched ABB Ability™, a portfolio of digital solutions to support the company's installed based of more than 70 million connected devices and 70,000 control systems. The company soon realized it needed a way to monetize and distribute its Ability solutions. "There was a massive need to have a digital marketplace," says Alain Schaefer, Digital Growth Lead at ABB. "We had more than 200 Ability solutions but needed a new way to the market, a new channel, a new approach to sell them."

Customer Challenge


ABB had the resources to build a solution in-house, but decided to work with a subscription commerce platform vendor—AppDirect—instead. "We realized as ABB we're a technology leader, but we're not a software company," Schaefer says. "Our core competency is that we understand the process of our customer. So for the IoT platform we decided to partner with Microsoft and IBM, and for the marketplace we decided to partner with AppDirect."

In 2018, the company launched the ABB Ability Marketplace, a platform that easily connects its customers to digital solutions for utilities, industry, transportation, and infrastructure. Through the marketplace, customers can sign up for free trials; buy, extend, and cancel cloud-based features and service subscriptions; configure add-on features such as analytics and remote power metering; and more.

Customer Quote

“We are very proud to be launching this unique platform. ABB is at the cutting edge of digital solutions and ABB Ability Marketplace makes it easier than ever for our customers to unlock the potential of our connected products and services for the benefit of their business.”

TARAK MEHTA, President, ABB Electrification Products Division


Today, the Ability Marketplace has become a critical part of ABB's business. “With the availability of our tools on a digital marketplace our customers can adapt even faster to changing market conditions or production dynamics,” says Guido Jouret, Chief Digital Officer at ABB.

With AppDirect, ABB has also gained the ability to grow as fast as its customers demand. "We are now able to scale up and introduce more solutions to the marketplace every day," adds Schaefer. "Our platform allows different stakeholders to interact, to collaborate, to share. That's why we are building ABB Ability, and why we're building the ABB Ability Marketplace.”

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