Elevator maker Kone seeks growth with new services

HELSINKI, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Elevator maker Kone launched new maintenance offers on Tuesday as the Finnish company seeks growth from services in the highly competitive elevator industry.

* Kone said it has launched a customisable portfolio of services and tools to meet customers’ needs, instead of traditional pre-designed service packages

* as part of the concept, Kone launched a 24/7 service which uses IBM’s cloud-based data analysis software

* says the use of IBM’s Watson would help it monitor data from elevators and resolve problems before they occur

* says the new offerings have been introduced in selected markets and will be rolled out broadly in 2017 and 2018

* Kone aims to connect over 1 million additional elevators and escalators to the cloud over the next few years

* “Service business industry is very fragmented, and price competition is tough. We believe that by these offerings we can clearly differentiate from the competition, and grow faster,” chief executive Henrik Ehnrooth told Reuters

* Kone is in the top two of world’s biggest players in the new equipment market, with United Technologies’ Otis division, and No. 4 in services. The other main players are Schindler and ThyssenKrupp.

* Elevator makers have shifted focus to services amid contraction in new installations in China, which is by far the world’s biggest elevator market

* Services accounted for 45 percent of Kone’s revenue of 8.8 billion euros in 2016 (Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Adrian Croft)