This past October, French operator Orange rolled out its Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics modular platform, called Datavenue, to its customers outside France, building on the success it found with it in its home footprint.
It is a natural and strategic next step for a company with a goal of attaining IoT supremacy as Olivier Ondet, vice president of IoT and analytics for Orange Business Services , described at the start of the year in a Telco Transformation Q&A. (See Orange's Olivier Ondet Aims for IoT Supremacy.)
As the number of devices it connects keeps growing, Orange is among the leaders in the IoT field. The company's know-how in IoT offers great value to Orange's business customers, Ondet said. He explained how the global rollout of Datavenue would enable its business customers in 180 countries to capitalize on Orange's expertise in connectivity and data to extract actionable insight from IoT.
Telco Transformation: Datavenue is described as completing the entire IoT value chain. Can you explain how it does that?
Olivier Ondet: Datavenue is a comprehensive service that combines the best of Orange's expertise in the fields of data and connected devices, while offering a high level of confidence and security. It is composed of four modules to help companies implement their IoT and big data projects. Our 700 experts help companies understand how to transform their business, drive business outcomes and anticipate the impact on their organization. With each step, we tackle security issues, we help them choose the right set of solutions, and we provide the support they need to control their project, so they can make the most of the entire IoT value chain.
TT: Can you explain the roles of each of the four modules?
OO: Customers can choose the modules that best meet their needs:
- Select: Select the devices that, once connected, will provide with the data customers need. Orange offers a catalog of connected devices, and can also help transform the existing equipment into communicating devices.
- Connect: Orange has a wide range of connectivity solutions (mobile networks from 2G to 4G, LoRa, home and industrial gateways, RFID) to help companies connect their devices and collect data via a secure and reliable network. For instance, we recently announced the expansion of our LoRa network to provide indoor coverage in 120 urban areas in France in early 2017, and announced the rollout of 4G mobile IoT in Belgium in 2017.
- Manage: Collect, host and process data on an accessible and adapted platform to optimize services or offer new ones to the clients/end users.
- Control: Our customers are in control every step of the project with the support of our experts who will help secure the projects and protect the data, integrate the data with a company's information system, and ensure the projectís operations
Which industries do you see making the most use of the IoT?
OO: We've been delivering M2M and IoT projects for almost a decade now, and we see projects in virtually any sector. However, they highly concentrate in the areas of the verticals we've chosen to focus our energy: automotive (we now connect more than 3 million vehicles and provide fleet management services to 5,000 companies), industry (asset tracking and monitoring), smart cities (from smart building to smart metering), healthcare (from connected health devices to patient monitoring at home), and smart homes.
TT: Datavenue was first launched in France before the global rollout. Over the time it was used in France did any issues or problems come to light, and how were they solved?
OO: We indeed learned from the projects that we deployed in France. On technical, project management and logistical aspects, we had some challenges and progressively changed our delivery procedures. Similarly, we adapted and simplified our offers and pricing, primarily based on feedback from our customers, as well as from our pre-sales teams.
Many companies also did not fully capture how they could use IoT and/or analytics in their own field. To become even more helpful to our customers, we refocused our go-to-market approach and moved to a more verticalized portfolio, focusing on automotive, smart cities, healthcare, Industry, and smart homes.
TT: Is it available immediately all over the world, or is it being rolled out in stages?
OO: Datavenue is available worldwide since October 2016, with a few restrictions for some particular countries and/or technical specificities to be analyzed on a project per project basis.
TT: Back in February, you said that Orange was managing more than 9 million devices. Has that figure changed by this point of the year?
OO: Yes. By the end of September, Orange registered more than 11 million connected objects. Regarding data analytics activities, we are now transforming in realtime the equivalent of 65 million data events per minute into useful insights.
ó Ariella Brown, Technology Writer, Telco Transformation