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”.
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.