Exclusive: Atos becomes official IoT partner for Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company
The digital transformation specialist Atos has announced a new multi-national contract with the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (Coca-Cola HBC).
Under the new contract, Atos will provide end-to-end IoT services for the Coca-Cola HBC Connected Cooler programme. The programme has been designed to deliver valuable insight into consumer behaviour and retail performance while helping to improve operational efficiency and increase sales revenue.
Coca-Cola HBC is one of the world’s largest bottlers for The Coca-Cola Company with operations in 28 countries in Europe, Russia and Nigeria serving approximately 595 million consumers
Connecting assets, such as in-market cooler placement, is a cornerstone of The Coca-Cola System’s digital business enabling strategy. Coca-Cola HBC, with investment in a fleet of 1.6 million coolers in operation, is leading the way.
Coca-Cola HBC is partnering with Atos to rollout the Atos Codex Connected Cooler solution and will have the first 300,000 coolers connected by the end of 2018. This solution will enable Coca-Cola HBC to access huge amounts of point of sale data, including: in store cooler placement and availability, temperature, stock-level, product placement, customer behavior and trends.
This end-to-end solution will enable Coca-Cola HBC to connect, collect and manage data from connected coolers across the 28 countries where Coca-Cola Hellenic operates.
Smart coolers also enable proximity interaction with the use of mobile apps, enabling Coca-Cola HBC to engage with customers in real-time. This provides an added value with customised offers and near-me promotions, turning digital engagement into increased product sales.
Atos Codex Connected Cooler is an IoT solution; using either existing cooler sensors or fitting new ones, the solution establishes secure network connections to a cloud-based IoT platform over which the data can be processed and analysed.
Atos is managing the entire project using Atos Codex IoT technologies and through long-lasting partnerships including those with Microsoft and the domain expert, eBest IoT. The Connected Cooler solution provides flexible, scalable, and secure end-to-end support.
Alain Brouhard, Group Business Solutions & Systems Director and CIO at Coca-Cola Hellenic HBC, commented: “By connecting the coolers we are starting our journey towards digitising the marketplace and establishing a connected environment with our customers and shoppers.
“Such an environment will allow us to accelerate time-to-market and increase operational efficiency, while at the same time gaining more insightful market analytics to engage better with our consumers.”
Peter Pluim, Executive Vice President, Infrastructure and Data Management at Atos said: “Using Smart coolers is the first step in this journey towards a fully connected ecosystem. This end-to-end solution will not only enable Coca-Cola HBC to easily manage the data from millions of connected coolers, but also be the foundation in turning more assets such as shelves and vending machines into IoT devices.
“In addition, these connected assets will become an important touchpoint for consumer engagement.”
This contract with Coca-Cola HBC is a top priority for Atos Codex for Retail, as it connects all devices within the retail sales process. Based on a technology platform delivered by Microsoft, millions of different devices like shelves, vending machines or coffee machines can be connected, thus creating huge amounts of data on customer behavior, usage and state of operation.
The technological backbone of the Connected Cooler solution is based on components of Microsoft Azure IaaS, PaaS and IoT Hub – building an innovative and advanced platform to connect, monitor, and manage a huge number of assets. Especially the scalability and a high degree of standardisation make it an important element of the end-to-end solution realised by Atos.
Trace Issel, General Manager for Retail Sales at Microsoft said: “This solution is an ideal example of how the strengths of the Azure platform can be leveraged. Thanks to our strong partnership with Atos, clients can utilise next generation technology to help increase the value generated from in-store coolers and further connected retail devices”.
First Solar to Invest US$684mn in Indian Energy Sector
First Solar is about to set up a new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The 3.3GW factory will create 1,000 skilled jobs and is expected to launch its operations in Q3 of 2023. According to the company, India needs 25+ gigawatts of solar energy to be deployed each year for the next nine years. This means that many of First Solar’s Indian clients will jump at the chance to have access to the company’s advanced PV.
Said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO: ‘India is an attractive market for First Solar not simply because our module technology is advantageous in its hot, humid climate. It’s an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy’.
A Bit of Background
First Solar is a leading global provider of photovoltaic systems. It uses advanced technology to generate clear, reliable energy around the world. And even though it’s headquartered in the US, the company has invested in storage facilities around the world. It displaced energy requirements for a desalination plant in Australia, launched a source of reliable energy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), and deployed over 4.5GW of energy across Europe with its First Solar modules.
The company is also known for its solar innovation, reporting that it sees gains in efficiency three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. First Solar holds world records in thin-film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.2%). Finally, it helps its partners develop, finance, design, construct, and operate PV power plants—which is exactly what we’re talking about.
How Will The Tamil Nadu Plant Work?
Tamil Nadu will use the same manufacturing template as First Solar’s new Ohio factory. According to the Times of India, the factory will combine skilled workers, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, and IoT connectivity. In addition, its operations will adhere to First Solar’s Responsible Sourcing Solar Principles, produce modules with a 2.5x lower carbon footprint, and help India become energy-independent. Said Widmar: ‘Our advanced PV module will be made in India, for India’.
After all, we must mention that part of First Solar’s motivation in Tamil Nadu is to ensure that India doesn’t rely on Chinese solar. ‘India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised global dominance of the crystalline silicon supply chain’, Widmar explained. ‘That’s precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits’.
According to First Solar, India’s model should be a template for like-minded nations. Widmar added: ‘We’re pleased to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally in the Asia-Pacific region—with American-designed solar technology’. To sum up: Indian solar power is yet the next development in the China-US trade war. Let the PV manufacturing begin.