Founded in 1968, Groupe Atlantic designs, manufactures, and sells a suite of thermal comfort solutions for residential, collective, and non-residential markets, including heat pumps, domestic and collective water heaters, electric radiators, domestic and collective boilers, ventilation, and air conditioning.
Since 2014, Overkiz has helped Atlantic expand into connected products, through Cozytouch, a solution for controlling thermal comfort and for viewing and managing use. Both companies share a common vision for innovation, continuously striving to provide their customers with innovative, value-added services and solutions.
Olivier FINOT, Atlantic’s Technical Director – Electronics and Connectivity, tells us about the Group’s latest happenings, discusses the collaboration with Overkiz, and gives us a peek into Atlantic’s future plans:
1. What is your definition of a connected home?
When I think of a connected home, I first see how the use of the home is simplified with centralized control from a smartphone or voice command. But a connected home is—more broadly speaking—a smart home. It must create more comfort for those who live there, while maximizing energy savings. It must also provide the professionals working with such homes with digital tools to help anticipate failures and even carry out remote maintenance.
2. How are you responding to the increasing demand for connected equipment in smart homes and buildings?
Groupe Atlantic has four years of experience in selling connected solutions, including connected radiators, water heaters, ventilation, heat pumps, and boilers. Our Cozytouch application is updated on a regular basis to integrate new products and allow all our users to control their equipment. And our Atlantic Services application helps professionals streamline service times and manage spare parts, if needed.
In addition to our own solutions, Groupe Atlantic is also pursuing the strategy of making its lines of connected products compatible with others specialized in connected homes and buildings.
3. How has Overkiz helped with your connected projects?
At the end of 2013, we were faced with the challenge of launching our first selection of connected products by mid-2015. There were so many uncertainties, particularly related to securing the connection between our equipment and the cloud. Overkiz was a key partner in this endeavor. Having developed some knowledge from the TaHoma Somfy experience and others, we were able to leverage an existing architecture and experts to come up to speed in this new field.
In July 2015, we successfully launched Cozytouch, our first mobile connectivity app for our products.
4. What would you say are Overkiz’s key strengths?
Our partnership with Overkiz is focused on two factors: technology and business.
We rely on the technical expertise of Overkiz for multiprotocol gateways and cloud interfaces, as well as for keeping up with security requirements and regulations.
We also team up on market challenges and take advantage of opportunities for mutual development and technical synergies with other industrial players, most of whom have become partners of Groupe Atlantic (Somfy, Rexel, and others). Collaborating with Overkiz allows us to share investments and accelerate partnerships.
5. Property developers have announced that 100% of new homes will come connected in 2021. As an equipment supplier, do you also have such deadlines? What new challenges are you facing?
At Groupe Atlantic, we offer total connectivity in 2019. Each of our product families has at least one connected product line.
This “all connected” outlook does not mean 100% connected use. We must therefore continue the well-planned rollout of connectivity, allowing each and every user—professionals and occupants alike—to find and/or keep the services and uses they expect.
Among the challenges, we need to keep working on simplifying and interconnecting multiple-manufacturer systems so that we can, if possible, offer users a single “one-stop” interface in their home. We also need to be capable of handling when lessors have connectivity independent of the occupant’s ISP box.
6. The collaboration between Atlantic and Overkiz has been in place for several years now. Can you tell us more about your short- and medium-term projects?
Upcoming projects primarily follow the course of our products and services. Then comes integrating new protocols (ZigBee, NBIoT) and standardizing our API, which will be key for greater interoperability. Finally, connectivity remains a strategic means for differentiating ourselves from the competition, especially due to the high level of service it entails. This further justifies efforts for a greater deployment outside of France.
Atlantic’s Key Figures
€1.85 billion in sales in 2018
14 strategic brands
4 fields of expertise (heating, water heaters, air conditioning, and ventilation)