What challenges will the energy sector face in 2019? Here’s our CEO Olivier Hersent’s vision

2019 Actility Energy greeting cards

The Actility Blog

What challenges will the energy sector face in 2019? Here’s our CEO Olivier Hersent’s vision

2019 Actility Energy greeting cards

2018 has been, for Actility and the world of energy, a pivotal year. It is now clear for everyone that the question is not whether our energy mix evolves towards 100% renewables, but how fast. The question is no longer whether automobiles will be 100% electric, but whether hydrogen will have a small share of it one day. Oil Majors publicly announce that their investments are shifted toward electricity, and banks state that they will no longer finance oil prospecting. The very notion of a “ceiling” for the share of renewables in the energy mix is a thing of the past.

In the context of such a positive paradigm shift of our economy, we can be proud of our contribution in Europe, pitch after pitch to the most doubtful interlocutors demonstrating that digital would allow to aggregate and control hidden flexibility of consumers, and over the long term solve the fundamental issues of balancing and securing our grid. Beyond theories, we have, project after project and with each regulation change, landed these ideas in the real world in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and now Italy.

…Until today, when “brick and mortar” players like Auchan or Orange clearly articulate that the future of their energy optimization will rely on real-time control of the load curve of their sites. They have chosen Actility, as well as many other partners – generator or thermostat manufacturers, energy maintenance companies – who think of Actility as their partner to evolve their energy management towards full digital.

In this context, our priority and main challenge is to focus our efforts towards industrialization and management of an increasing number of projects: our information system needs to become exhaustive, eliminating random files on hard disks, our supervision system must become pro-active and raise alarms before any issue actually impacts operations, our customer relations must increasingly rely on digital online tools.

We have made great progress through 2018, we need to be fully ready in 2019.

Happy new year to all.
Olivier

2019, quels challenges pour le secteur de l’énergie ? La vision du président Olivier Hersent

2018 aura été, pour Actility et pour le monde de l’énergie, une année pivot. Il est désormais clair pour tous les acteurs que la question n’est plus de savoir si nous évoluons vers un monde électrique 100% renouvelable, mais à quelle vitesse. Il n’est plus question de savoir si l’automobile de demain sera 100% électrique, mais seulement si l’hydrogène aura une petite part un jour. Les acteurs du pétrole annoncent publiquement réorienter tout leur développement vers l’électrique, et les banques qu’elles ne financent plus les prospections pétrolières. La notion du “plafond” supposé de la part du renouvelable dans le mix énergétique est maintenant un concept du passé.

Dans cette évolution très positive de notre environnement économique, nous pouvons je crois être fiers d’avoir joué un petit rôle en Europe en démontrant inlassablement aux interlocuteurs les plus dubitatifs que le numérique, en permettant d’exprimer et mettre à disposition les flexibilités latentes des consommateurs, pouvait résoudre le problème fondamental d’équilibrage et de sécurisation des réseaux sur le long terme. Au delà des démonstrations théoriques, nous avons aussi, projet après projet, évolution réglementaire après évolution réglementaire, fait atterrir dans la réalité ces idées en France, en Belgique, en Hollande et maintenant en Italie.

…Jusqu’à aujourd’hui, où il est clair pour des acteurs aussi “brick and mortar” que Auchan ou Orange que l’avenir de leur optimisation énergétique passe par le contrôle temps réel de la consommation de leurs installations. Ils ont choisi Actility, de même que de nombreux partenaires, fabricants de générateurs, de thermostats, gestionnaires d’installations, qui viennent désormais nous voir pour devenir leur partenaire dans cette évolution vers le pilotage digital des consommations.

Dans ce contexte, la priorité et le principal challenge, pour nous, est d’orienter nos efforts vers l’industrialisation et l’augmentation du nombre des projets: le système d’information doit viser à l’exhaustivité et l’élimination des fichiers qui traînent ça et là dans nos disques durs, la supervision de nos installations doit devenir pro-active et nous indiquer les pannes avant qu’elles n’aient un impact, notre relation client doit devenir elle aussi de plus en plus “digitale”.

Nous avons fait de grands progrès en 2018, nous devons être totalement prêts en 2019.

Très bonne année à tous.
Olivier

LoRa Alliance Members Meeting in Tokyo

LoRa Alliance Members Meeting in Tokyo by Alper Yegin

The Actility Blog

LoRa Alliance Members Meeting in Tokyo

LoRa Alliance Members Meeting in Tokyo by Alper Yegin

Here are a few highlights from our recent LoRa Alliance Members Meeting that was held in Tokyo…

Our 2-day Technical Committee meeting was packed with people (nearly 60!) and an overflowing agenda.

Basic building blocks of FUOTA (Firmware Update Over-The-Air) feature, namely multicast setup, fragmentation, and application-layer clock synchronization specifications, are now published. These specs can be freely downloaded from Resource Hub. Collection of these specs enable efficient, reliable, and secure distribution of large (kilobytes of) files to a group of end-devices over LoRaWAN networks.

Another noteworthy development was the initiation of DLMS and Wireless M-Bus application stack adaptation work. Much like what we did for Zigbee Cluster Library, profiling and compressing these popular app-stacks to be used over LoRaWAN brings the benefit of both the app and connectivity ecosystems together. The next app-stack we are eyeing is the OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) which connects EV (Electric Vehicle) chargers to the cloud.

One of the challenges of IoT is the device lifecycle management, with its most basic need: introducing a new device to the provisioning system by its identifiers and attributes. Performing that operation in a reliable, secure, and scalable way is more challenging than it appears. In order to streamline that process, the Technical Committee is embarking on defining a QR code format that any device manufacturer can safely use against any provisioning system.

Regional Parameters TG continued expanding its coverage by introducing new countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Also a change in leadership: Nicolas Sornin, who has been co-chairing the Technical Committee since its inception has stepped down, and is now replaced by Thorsten Kramp. The Technical Committee is grateful to the valuable contributions and leadership of Nicolas, and now welcomes Thorsten, another co-author of the original LoRaWAN specification, to his new role.

It was a pleasure delivering an introductory talk on LoRaWAN security, addressing how we use strong cryptography to protect LoRaWAN networks against unauthorized use, spoofing, alterations of in-flight frames, and snooping.

As always, we in Actility were very active across the board contributing to all aspects of the Alliance, including sponsoring the event and hosting a fun night playing bowling.

Our booth was packed with several demos, including ThingPark Enterprise, ThingPark Exchange, ThingPark Location, and Abeeway Trackers. We showcased public and private LoRaWAN networks, collaborating with each other through a peering hub, and enabling tracking apps.

It was a very productive meeting, thanks to our hosts and participants from Japan and the region. The next stop for a LoRa Alliance Members Meeting will be right across the Pacific, in San Diego, during the first week of February. I am looking forward to meeting our ever-expanding LoRaWAN family in sunny California.

by Alper YEGIN, Actility’s director of standards and advanced technology development and also vice chairman of the LoRa Alliance.

Business France and the IE-Club recognize Actility as French Tech leader

Business France and the IE-Club recognize Actility as French Tech leader

The Actility Blog

Business France and the IE-Club recognize Actility as French Tech leader

Business France and the IE-Club recognize Actility as French Tech leader

Business France and the IE-Club recently organized the 16th presentation of the Trophées de l’International du Numérique (International Digital Awards) – as part of the International Meeting of French Tech – on the 24th of October at the Business France HQ in Paris.

As part of this distinguished event, our COO and co-founder Nicolas Jordan was presented with the main award and gratefully accepted on behalf of Actility. The award recognizes Actility as a French tech company which is leading the way in connecting people and objects internationally.

Speaking about the win, Nicolas said: “This award is a recognition of the rapid expansion of our global customer footprint. We serve customers on all continents from Europe to Japan through Russia, India, China, South East Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas, which is a much larger spread than the majority of our competitors.”

Actility honored at the Élysée Palace

Remise du Pass French Tech à l'élysée par Mounir Mahjoubi

The Actility Blog

Actility honored at the Élysée Palace in recognition of hyper-growth status

Remise du Pass French Tech à l'élysée par Mounir Mahjoubi

On Monday 24th September, Actility CEO Olivier Hersent received an award on behalf of the company at a prestigious event at the Élysée Palace in Paris. Presented by Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, Mounir Mahjoubi, the award acknowledges and celebrates the hyper-growth of Actility.

The “Pass French Tech” for the 2017-2018 class brings together 107 companies from three sectors including digital, industry and health. The government-based program was launched in 2014 to provide networking, administrative and other professional support to hyper-growth companies like Actility.

Speaking about the award, Mr. Hersent said: “To be recognized by the French government in this way is a huge honor. We have worked very hard in these eight short years, so to be recognized as a hyper-growth company and receive the significant support of French Tech has been vital to our global success. We look forward to continuing this important relationship.”

City Hub Alliance introduces LoRaWAN connectivity in Sweden

City Hub Alliance Sweden

The Actility Blog

The City Hub Alliance introduces LoRaWAN connectivity as a service in Sweden

City Hub Alliance Sweden

LoRaWAN connectivity as a service

Let me introduce myself: I’m the COO of Öresundskraft, a communication and energy company in the south of Sweden. In February 2017, we designed and established the world first “Open City Hub” (Stadshubb in Swedish) in Helsingborg, based on the unique Swedish open wholesale business model for local fiber networks. Some 200 Swedish municipalities own and operate local open fiber networks.

A City Hub is a regional LoRaWAN network with an open and neutral wholesale business model for connectivity, basically LoRaWAN connectivity as a service.

Anyone who needs to communicate with LoRaWAN sensors can easily do so without having to build or operate their own network.

Base infrastructure

An Open City Hub offers significant benefits for companies, residents and the community:

  • simplify access to IoT connectivity
  • lay the ground for Smart cities services
  • complement the city fiber network.

The City Hub Alliance is made up of a growing number of fully or partially municipally-owned companies, working together both commercially and technically to provide regional City Hubs all using Actility’s ThingPark platform, operated by Öresundskraft.

Large-scale and local

Each City hub runs its own business including sales, marketing, and network management. Building on the dense national fiber infrastructure combined with LoRaWAN, the Alliance offers a technical and a business platform for multiple cities. By combining the benefits of large-scale operations with local presence and market knowledge, the City Hub Alliance brings out the best of both worlds.

This LPWAN business model is now the leading one in Sweden and is growing rapidly: a new City hub a week in 2018!

I believe this model can inspire many other countries than Sweden. Would love to hear your questions or comments!