ENGIE is gathering big data sets from facilities which, when analysed, can bring operational efficiencies and energy savings within the built environment. ENGIE deploy IoT-enabled monitoring devices, through their GENIE kit, enabling various data sets to be gathered throughout the building. The resulting big data set is pooled from multiple locations into ENGIE’s ‘C3NTINEL’ Smart Buildings Analytics Platform. The system uses data from external influencers combined with advanced pattern-recognition technology and machine-learning algorithms to expertly model energy consumption patterns across a property portfolio, to provide an advanced analytics solution.
Ensuring this key data is safely, efficiently and securely communicated is mission-critical to ENGIE and their customers. But with a broad range of buildings and environments to serve such as hospitals, local government, enterprise and retail, establishing the right data links back to ENGIE’s cloud platform can seldom rely on incumbent network infrastructures. ENGIE’s priority, is to ensure that its own systems remain independent and ring-fenced from existing networks, thus maintaining a network that is unaffected by network infrastructure failure or inaccessibility.
Whilst fixed line connectivity can deliver speed and resilience, the costs of installation are highly prohibitive, both from a main infrastructure perspective and particularly across sites where multiple network points are required. Access to an existing network infrastructure can also be problematic in relation to security protocols. With the consideration of installation for ADSL running into many weeks, such lead times are not compatible with ENGIE’s agile delivery model. ENGIE’s requirements have thus evolved into a number of key criteria – flexibility, security, ease and speed of deployment and cost-effectiveness.
Through several field tests, secure 4G data connectivity was highlighted as the most practical solution for the majority of ENGIE’s first phase of deployments. To enable this, it also identified the need to use multiple mobile networks dependent upon location and data requirement. For this to happen, visibility and management of connectivity activity for each facility was necessary to ensure SIM-based routers operated effectively and in-line with data thresholds set through agreed tariffs. To achieve the levels of security required, private APNs for each mobile network are needed so that data can travel securely via private infrastructure away from the public network.
To achieve all of this, ENGIE has turned to Wireless Logic Group to deliver a one-stop multi-network connectivity platform.
Utilising Wireless Logic’s breadth of connectivity options, ENGIE has established a range of UK-focused data SIM tariffs from 500mb to 10GB dependent upon forecast usage. For each of the networks, Wireless Logic’s private APNs with Fixed IP over a single IPSEC VPN enable ENGIE to securely connect two-way communications into their existing infrastructure. The SIM management platform enables ENGIE to control its deployed SIMs giving 360-degree visibility on performance, data usage and agreed threshold levels. To create the most cost-effective commercials, aggregated data pots allow multiple connected devices to access pooled data, ensuring each facility’s overall connectivity charges are managed and controlled with no unforeseen overage.
To deliver a more seamless and complete service, Wireless Logic is also supplying pre-configured 4G routers, ready to work ‘out of the box’. Routers are shipped within five working days to each deployment, so that engineers simply have to activate a local VPN for the connectivity to be initiated, and select the best mobile network based upon the location’s signal strength.
With ENGIE’s pipeline of facilities requiring multiple connectivity points, roll-out for 2018/19 is likely to run into hundreds of routers, many in ‘hard to reach’ locations where mobile network solutions give flexibility and ease of deployment. With Wireless Logic’s global reach, ENGIE will also be able to seamlessly deploy European and further afield facilities with connected routers, utilising multiple country local network SIMs, without the need for them to negotiate on a per country basis for localised connectivity. All networks will be managed and controlled across the Wireless Logic SIM management platform.
Ollie Wallington, Business Development Manager, Wireless Logic Group comments: “The consumption of energy and effective management of smart buildings are two areas where IoT technology can monitor, analyse and change the way organisations operate. To be at the forefront of these innovations with ENGIE Smart Buildings’ solutions is both exciting and motivational for the team at Wireless Logic. Our connected solutions are, in essence, the plumbing of ENGIE Smart Buildings’ sophisticated software platforms and it is essential that our part of the technology works efficiently, at all times and in the most secure of conditions. We look forward to a bright and green future working alongside the ENGIE Smart Buildings team.”
Working with Wireless Logic Group gives us the time, confidence and flexibility to focus more on our core business. They operate a seamless experience which complements our own operation in the field. Their ability to deliver a complete end-to-end solution speeds up each roll-out whilst still providing us with complete control over our connected portfolio