Case study

Interconnecting systems and products worldwide – Sto uses i-flow as central data hub.


Sto SE & Co. KGaA is a leading international manufacturer of products and systems for building coatings. Since its foundation in 1955, the company has developed into a pioneer in facade technology. Headquartered in Stühlingen, Germany, Sto serves customers in over 90 countries worldwide through subsidiaries and sales partners. Sto’s product range includes facade and interior systems such as external wall insulation, facade paints, renders and acoustic systems. In addition, Sto offers floor coatings and systems for concrete restoration and protection.

As a leading provider in the field of facade insulation, Sto stands for quality and innovation. The company continuously focuses on research and development to offer solutions that meet the latest technological standards. With an annual revenue of EUR 1.8 billion and 5,735 employees worldwide, Sto is committed to sustainable construction and contributes to improving energy efficiency and environmental protection.

"The standout feature of the i-flow software is its user-centric experience, especially when compared to other vendors. This is further enhanced by i-flow's exceptional customer service, ensuring thorough support with fast response times. We are impressed by the development of the software - each new version brings well-considered features that address our requests."

Sebastian Ziller (Cloud Platforms Manager)

Challenge: Interoperability across affiliate network

Sto recognized the critical need to digitalize their global facade prefabrication processes in order to remain competitive. A central pillar of this digital transformation was the implementation of a robust Data Hub. Sto aimed for an open, modular and expandable architecture, that enables scalable integration of third-party software products and systems. The requirements for the Data Hub included:

Ease-of-use: The Data Hub needed to significantly simplify the integration process and maintenance to minimize complexity and learning curves.

Integration Capabilities & Interoperability: Sto required the integration of software products and global systems specifically for facade prefabrication processes. In addition, the Data Hub needed to ensure interoperability with external OT and IT systems, including those of the global network of affiliates.

Flexibility: Custom extensibility was a key requirement, enabling the integration of user-defined code to meet specific needs and adapt to future requirements.

Solution: Implementing i-flow’s Industrial Unified Namespace (UNS)

Sto strategically decided for i-flow’s Industrial Unified Namespace (UNS) as their central Data Hub for several reasons. Two of the main reasons were:

1. User-Centric Design: i-flow prioritizes ease-of-use to encourage rapid adoption and straightforward operation across Sto’s global operation.

2. Scalable Architecture: i-flow is designed for scalability, overcoming the restrictions found in point-to-point integration to accommodate growing amounts of systems and data.


After installing i-flow in Sto’s Azure cloud environment, Sto successfully interconnected multiple critical OT and IT systems. These included the Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), Databases like Azure Cosmos DB and Analytics applications such as Microsoft PowerBI. Within the architecture, i-flow performs several key tasks, including:

1. Connectivity: i-flow ensures seamless integration between systems by providing robust and secure connectivity. It connects different protocols and interfaces, enabling communication across the entire network. By using technologies such as REST APIs and Webhooks, i-flow enables bidirectional, event-based communication between global systems.

2. Data Harmonization: i-flow standardizes and harmonizes data from diverse sources, converting it into a unified format that can be easily consumed by down- and upstream applications. This process includes contextualization, normalization, and enrichment of data to ensure consistency and accuracy.

3. Stream and Batch Processing: i-flow processes incoming data through various transformations and aggregations to derive actionable insights. It supports both real-time stream processing for immediate data handling and scheduled batch processing for periodic management of large data sets.

5. Data Publishing: i-flow then publishes the processed data to various endpoints, such as databases, analytics platforms, and dashboards, making it available for further processing, decision-making and analysis.


Next steps: As Sto adds more systems and use-cases to i-flow, the goal is to create a digitally integrated value chain to further automate and optimize global processes. This also includes the integration of physical OT systems such as machines across their global affiliate network, based on i-flow’s capabilities to integrate production processes and machinery.



Remarkably, Sto successfully connected several critical systems within a few weeks of installation, enabling the automation and optimization of processes. In addition to accelerating digitalization initiatives, Sto saves considerable resources, resulting in significant cost savings.

By implementing i-flow UNS, Sto is able to create a modular and extensible data infrastructure that simplifies integration processes, facilitates interoperability and provides the necessary flexibility to adapt to future requirements. With this strategic move, Sto is able to effectively manage the digital transformation and secure a competitive advantage in the facade prefabrication industry.


  • Scalability: Sto is able to dynamically expand its digital footprint.
  • Interoperability: Improved data and system interoperability between affiliates, departments and processes.
  • System independence: Independence from third-party providers thanks to the variety of i-flow connectors.
  • Future-proof architecture: i-flow’s edge-to-cloud capabilities pave the way for advanced OT integration such as production processes and machines.


At i-flow, we are proud to support Sto in their digital journey. Sto is a prime example of how a scalable architecture can empower organizations to achieve interoperability across their global operations. “We are more than happy with the results. […] For companies looking to accelerate their digitization efforts without the drawbacks of traditional point-to-point integration, we recommend i-flow as a robust and reliable partner.”, adds Sebastian Ziller from Sto.

Our Managing Director, Daniel Goldeband, states, “We are delighted to partner with Sto in their digital transformation, demonstrating the power of i-flow’s solutions in creating a flexible and future-proof data infrastructure.”