These days, the digital transformation for businesses mainly concerns the Internet of Things. The value of the IoT market, initially generated by connectivity, now grows through the platforms, applications, and services being offered. When it comes to buildings, simple concrete blocks have given way to smart, scalable structures capable of knowing their occupants, understanding their environment, and interacting by providing information not just to users, but also to managers, operators, and owners.
What are the benefits and what value do businesses derive?
What are the challenges in digitizing businesses?
Businesses are no longer mere product suppliers. Today, they offer a range of “added services.” Shorter lifecycles, optimized time-to-market, and ultra-customization are key challenges in their digitization. For companies, communities, and even manufacturers, deployed solutions present serious challenges for performance, competitiveness, and cost optimization, particularly in the engineering, smart cities, and connected building sectors.
“The IoT market is at a turning point – projects are moving from proof of concept into commercial deployments,” says Carrie MacGillivray, head of Internet of Things and Mobility Reserach at IDC. “Organizations are looking to extend their investment as they scale their projects, driving spending for the hardware, software, services, and connectivity required to enable IoT solutions.”
However, managing thousands of connected objects, processing large amounts of data uploaded or captured by these objects, storing that data, and backing it up requires new IT infrastructural models to run faster and to be more agile and secure.
The IoT platform: a keystone for business performance
The success of smart buildings resides on how data is processed and analyzed. This makes it possible to increase flexibility and become more productive. One of the keys to success consists of carefully determining the type of technological solution to be integrated, ensuring the quality of the information produced, and making it interoperable with its environment. Companies must also ensure that data from the IoT is retrieved in real time, and they must be capable of storing and processing large amounts of data. Centralizing data, especially in the Cloud, involves handling security issues.
The Overkiz IoT service platform, designed for home and building automation, addresses the complexity of IoT connectivity. With its open APIs and its plug-and-play connectors, the Overkiz cloud supports near-real-time data management and communications between multiple categories of products (heating, ventilation, openings, security, etc.), professional applications, user applications, and third-party environments. Overkiz provides end-to-end security with its platform through the total protection of company data, between connected devices and the cloud, applications, and services.
This type of platform also allows companies to access machine learning models, capable of processing the data from these objects and enhancing it with third-party services (weather, traffic, neighborhood information, user information supplied by users, and more) to offer additional value-added services that help them stand out from the competition.
In this way, Overkiz offers open and accessible APIs to allow its customers to provide smart buildings with advanced connected services, including space occupancy management, energy management optimization, and asset and facility management.
Overkiz has helped Sauter Regulations and the Workwell services platform to implement services for employees in office buildings and to allow equipment (lighting and heating systems) to be controlled through an app. Sauter BMS data is uploaded to the Overkiz cloud.
Another success story is the collaborative effort with the real estate developer Nexity to set up services for the occupants of its homes through an app developed with a third-party agency.
Pierre-Gilles Vermeire, Connected Home Project Director at Nexity, says: “Through its secure IoT cloud and its smart gateways, Overkiz has allowed us to bring our vision of the connected home to life. The Overkiz infrastructure has enabled us to develop our own mobile app, focusing our efforts on building a streamlined and engaging mobile UX design for our customers. The Overkiz-controlled ecosystem lets us focus on our core business operations each and every day, creating added value for our customers.”
Characteristics of Enterprise 4.0...
- Equipment and products become communicative
- Embedded systems on objects: sensors, RFID chips, and NFC chips
- Communication networks between objects and the company’s information system
- Solutions deployed to collect, store, and analyze data
- Development of a cloud platform or Edge Computing system
- Professionals in the field are equipped with smartphones, tablets, PCs, augmented and virtual reality headsets…
… and its digital uses:
- Remote control of production units, manufacturing units at one or more sites, the supply chain, inventory, and logistics
- Improved quality and product tracking
- Management, supervision, predictive maintenance, and incident detection for equipment and products
- Control over energy use
- Quick decision-making thanks to real-time dashboards
- Opportunity to create connected products and high-added-value services
From the era of ownership to the era of use
The era of connected objects paves the way to new services and changes the models and approaches to new business sectors. We are moving from the era of ownership to the era of use. In the real estate sector, operators can go even further by co-developing a product with even more added value and promoting transparency between different real estate activities (prospecting, design, and management). They will profit more quickly through their ability to swiftly understand and address needs that are not being addressed today through our own development and the resulting uses, such as aging, shared housing, flexible use, and more.
The IoT offers many benefits for businesses, including innovation, operational and decisional efficiency, increased productivity, greater security, and lower costs and risks. These assets make organizations more competitive. Information that is collected, processed, and analyzed generates knowledge (about customers, the environment, and processes) that, through its use, represents value for the company.