Exactly in the middle of Germany, in the middle of Europe, the team around Alpha-Omega Technology is busy every day offering and implementing IoT solutions for customers. With iot-shop.de they operate one of the largest online stores for LPWAN technologies such as LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, MIOTY and products with 4G, 5G or Bluetooth, in Europe.
In addition to supplying hardware, the company also provides customers with advice and support. The SMARTinfeld Smart Village is also located at the headquarters site. In the model village for IoT applications, products are deployed such as street lighting controllers, traffic counting or weather stations.
Interview with Jan Bose, CEO at Alpha-Omega Technology GmbH & Co. KG
Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?
Jan Bose:IoT products: Our extensive range allows us to offer our customers the exact products that are ideal for their project. With a well-stocked warehouse, we can deliver many products EU-wide within 1- 4 business days.
IoT consulting: Our IoT consultants are available to assist our customers in whatever scope or form this is required. This can range from a workshop for in-house technicians to the development of an IoT strategy.
IoT projects: We take on entire IoT projects from planning to implementation. For this, we work with partners from our large partner network as needed, making us the ideal first point of contact.
E.E: What´s the news about new products?
J.B: In the future, there will be more complete IoT solutions assembled from our product range. For this, we are using our experience and developing practical, easy-to-use packages. These include, for example, a low-cost starter set for retrofitting street lighting in various sizes. The advantage with us is that the customer can try out a professional IoT solution without entering into a long-term contract. The hardware belongs to the customer and they have full flexibility whether they want to move to another IoT platform with their hardware or continue to use the dashboard. By establishing the IoT network based on LoRaWAN for the first time, additional use cases can be integrated according to the customer’s own project plan. Ideal for small municipalities that cannot implement a large-scale IoT project, but still want to digitalize the community step by step.
E.E: What are the ranges of products?
J.B: IoT products from the LPWAN area, including sensors, actuators, modules and gateways with LoRaWAN technology. LoRaWAN is already established at public utilities and municipalities and is increasingly used by industrial and medium-sized companies to have advantages for energy management or to be able to use resources more efficiently. But also suitable accessories such as adapters, antennas or anti-vandalism housings.
The application areas of the products has an enormous range. This starts with automated heating control for an entire building, which can be set in dependence. This can be the opening state of windows or the temperature in the respective room. Or an environmental sensor system for an entire village, which makes it transparent for all residents how much electricity is consumed in the village or the condition of the local body of water, including the water level. Since it also depends on how the products are used there, one of our most important products is our expertise. We provide advice and support to municipalities, public utilities, companies and private individuals.
Jan Bose, CEO at Alpha-Omega Technology GmbH & Co. KG
E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?
J.B: In recent years, many pilot projects have been successfully implemented. Therefore, projects are currently being rolled out on a large scale and business ideas based on them are being implemented. Among them are the companies that want to implement specifications for energy-saving measures. The market has not yet reached its target size and there is still a lot of potential ahead.
E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?
J.B: There is a strong trend to increasingly use IoT to monitor and save energy. For example, the energy saving regulations in Germany have led to a very increased demand for LoRaWAN radiator valves. Furthermore, it is increasingly smaller municipalities that want to make the benefits of digitalization available to their citizens, similar to the smart city projects in major cities. We also see a big trend in environmental monitoring to respond to the consequences of climate change. Whether it’s measuring soil moisture in order to use water in a targeted manner, establishing early detection of forest fires, or recording water quality and water gauge levels.
E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?
J.B: The potential for innovation usually depends more on intelligent use. However, many products now come with a certain level of intelligence. These include a power sensor that supplies itself with energy and is therefore energy-autonomous. Another good example is a vibration sensor that learns the vibration patterns of large machines and sounds an alarm in the event of changes so that planned maintenance can be carried out before a production stoppage occurs.
E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?
J.B: Energy and environmental monitoring will continue to be strong trends, as will the development of smart villages. Furthermore, especially in the Lorawan area, there is an increasing trend towards interoperability of different platforms and products. For example, many established IoT platforms have established templates or decoders of many sensors, which significantly simplifies onboarding for the user. In addition, there are more complete packages that enable, for example, entire smart building or smart light projects, even without special IoT specialists.
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