Talking with… Antoine Aubert, R&D and Innovation Manager at Overkiz

With an engineering degree in Automatic Instrumentation and Computer Science, Antoine Aubert is R&D Manager at the Overkiz head office in Annecy, leading a team of 5-10 people, depending on business. Let’s meet this articulate employee who is passionate about his work and always on the go. Antoine Aubert never has a boring day!

Mastering complex systems combining multiple technologies

Planning, creating, proposing, prototyping, and assessing: Antoine Aubert has more than one string to his bow for transforming the most innovative ideas he hears into marketable solutions. After earning a technology degree in Physical Measurements and completing engineering school, Antoine began his career working with protocol stacks, before moving on to software architecture.

The highly versatile Antoine is driven by a need to cover lots of technical domains—electronics, embedded software, radio, business software, and communication protocol technologies like Zigbee, Z-Wave, KNX, and other proprietary protocols.

Bringing all of these areas together requires a total system approach to the solution. I like complex systems that combine multiple technologies. With them, we can provide real technical expertise and pave the way for new offerings and solutions.

Like a conductor, he coordinates people’s skills and knowledge to examine proposed solutions with a long-term perspective, thinking about the complete product lifecycle.

Doing a lot with a little

In project management, innovation and R&D form the foundation for getting projects moving. Specifications sometimes lack details, making it necessary to understand how to formalize needs and make compromises in order to deliver ROI and strike a balance between the product’s investment, profitability, and functional scope. To achieve this, the R&D manager at Overkiz focuses on a key value: trying to replicate a function as closely as possible to streamline investments in technology.

Antoine and his team in the lab are like chefs in the kitchen:

We use the same ingredients, but we change the recipe. For products like software, we create shared functional blocks, which are replicated.

It is also crucial to prioritize the total cost of ownership (TCO). A product will be on the market and supported for 5 to 10 years. The investment, development, and maintenance all need to be taken into account in the design. Sharing and reuse are the keys to success, and Antoine and his team commit to “doing a lot with a little”, a true business philosophy.

Facing challenges and capitalizing on success

During his fast-paced workdays, Antoine has an opportunity to perform a large range of actions: 

  • Defining a technical roadmap
  • Coordinating and supporting his team in managing projects
  • Designing and implementing effective architectures to address needs
  • Developing software (firmware, cloud, OS) for an IoT infrastructure
  • Starting application certification processes with specialized laboratories
  • Regularly visiting trade shows throughout Europe and monitoring technology, prospecting, testing the field, gathering feasibility indicators for certain projects, and collecting feedback from customers and users

Antoine stresses this last point to conclude our interview:

In my work, we usually stay within the technical field. But it is important not to lose sight of the end goal for users, namely what needs the product we’re designing need to meet, how it will be used, and what it will bring to our customers.

Interesting in learning more and joining Overkiz?

See our job opportunities: www.overkiz.com/carrieres/

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