Business

The Road to IoT Riches, Part 2: From the European birthplace to Global Horizons

by September 18th 2017 2min read

They say that the IoT ecosystem is more mature in Europe than elsewhere. To shed some light on this assertion, we’re looking into the evolution of this ecosystem. We share the insights of Omniimpex, a Swiss device maker with global traction!

Stephan Buehler is the owner and CTO of Omniimpex, a Swiss device manufacturer working with different LPWA technologies, and he has been an Actility partner since 2016. Stephan has got a “passion for devices” for 13 years now… And it didn’t start with LPWA technologies, his track record goes back to M2M POCs with a major aerospace industrial.

For most use cases… LoRa

Actility: Why did you become a LoRaWAN early adopter?

Omniimpex: For years, we were looking for an energy-saving technology that could have long-lasting batteries. LoRaWAN is really robust against interference. I also strongly believed in its open-source model, much more efficient than a closed system.

“And, the short answer is that for most use cases, LoRa is great!”

Actility: What are the main LoRaWAN deployments you are working on?

Omniimpex: I’ve got many of them in mind, but let me mention at least three of them:

  • waste management: 1,200  of his LoRaWAN sensors are deployed to help schedule the emptying schedules of bins for a city of 150,000 inhabitants. First results are showing that emptying cycles can be cut by half.
  • location & tracking: how do you locate a vehicle on a huge parking of a car factory? You simply deploy 2,500 solar sensors!
  • manholes security: 1500 manholes are being connected this year and we should reach 150,000 in 2018.

It’s raining sensors!

Actility: Impressive volumes of sensors for an IoT technology that is still in test phase. How come?

Omniimpex: We are well positioned in the IoT market because we’ve got robust and reasonably priced products. And many new ones are in the pipe!

Let me tell you about the social alarm that I will probably present in October at the Lora Alliance All Members Meeting in China. A retirement group has already bought this watch for 5,000 affiliate homes to locate elderly people.

This watch will be sold on your marketplace, ThingPark Market because it’s a very good platform to distribute our products.

Strong enough

Actility: Talking about Actility, why did you partner with us and what do you expect from it?

Omniimpex: Actility has a very good reputation in the IoT ecosystem. You’re like a multiplex: you connect Telcos, hardware and software providers with your ThingPark platform to deploy and operate LoRaWAN networks.  Actility is indeed a very central part of the ecosystem. You’re the biggest supplier to operators and network providers worldwide which offers partners like us business opportunities. We are also interested to pursue the smaller deals with your private networks customers. In the end, we both bring each other opportunities.

“The more sensors and apps we bring to the IoT market, the stronger our whole ecosystem will be.”

Actility: What are your business development priorities for end 2017?

Omniimpex: We have started in Europe, where implementations are about one year to a year and a half ahead of others. The good news is that we are now mature and robust enough to adapt to the US and Australia.

“Of course, like for any major innovation, the ecosystem as a whole needs to invest in the technology before starts getting an ROI.”

It our case today, we make profits profit on other products from a more traditional business.

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