Customer stories  |  September 21, 2022

Embix, a French company specialized in "smart grid" solutions for innovative urban buildings and eco-districts, has been using Opinum and its Data Hub for a year. Its customers gained in simplicity and speed of analysis.

Embix is a young French company, based in Paris, specialized in "smart grid" solutions and in long-term monitoring of new energy management models in urban environments.
Created about ten years ago by two major sponsors, Alstom and Bouygues, but now independent, the start-up is positioned on the entire implementation chain: from the design of the project and the definition of objectives to the operation and monitoring of the long-term operation of the building or district, through the choice of energy solutions (district heating network, local heat production, photovoltaic panels, cogeneration, etc.).
Its clients are real estate developers and urban planners, private or public. Depending on the project, Embix operates alone or in partnership with design offices (thermal, CFO/CFA) and other specialists (lawyers in particular) in the building industry.

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 "We are mainly involved in the implementation of new districts that have strong ambitions in terms of energy and environmental performances." - Alexandre Capelle, Software Solutions Director at Embix



At the beginning, Embix had chosen to develop its own software solution for managing energy consumption or production data, to cover the data collection and processing needs on the projects in which it operated. The solution aimed to cover the entire management chain – collection, storage, aggregation calculation, monitoring and provision of the collected data, up to analysis and restitution in a Web interface.

Over time, the platform had gradually been enriched to integrate tools and functionalities that had become essential due to the evolution of Embix's projects. "The suite of tools had become very complex and, like any software project, had to constantly evolve to stay up-to-date and competitive, in line with new technologies. It was also difficult to maintain consistency and homogeneity between the tools, due to employee turnover and new arrivals in the company", explains Alexandre Capelle, Technical Director at Embix. "Ensuring this up-to-date maintenance had the disadvantage of requiring us considerable time, which was quite unreasonable given Embix's core business."

The company therefore started to look for an alternative solution, that should meet its needs and could replace the existing one without disrupting its activities and customers.
It was during a discussion with a real estate developer involved in a project in Lyon that Embix and Opinum were put in touch for the first time in 2019. This developer had the opportunity to see what the Belgian company had achieved for another French client, Aveltys, provider of solutions and services for energy optimization of tertiary buildings.
After evaluating the various solutions available, Embix chose Opinum Data Hub platform in the summer of 2021, with a definitive changeover at the end of the year.

"90% of the functionalities of our in-house product was also in the Opinum solution. The remaining 10% concerned very specific needs, which could be considered, in hindsight, as superfluous or a source of unjustified complexity." "We do not need to deal with real-time issues in our projects today, whereas this was a highlight of our old solution.” "Letting go of those constraints by using Data Hub, which provides excellent services, helped us save time in development and in usage.”, says Alexandre Capelle.


While Embix has secured a "lighter" energy data management solution, the company has also found features and qualities in Opinum's platform that were missing from its in-house solution. "The creation and sharing feature of dashboards, as well as the management of users, are better than ours and easier to configure. The web interface is well designed and more accessible to non-technical profiles. I am no longer afraid to put the tool directly in the hands of our partners and customers, whereas in the past we preferred to develop an additional application for the presentation and restitution of data. Today, we can create an account and explain to the customer in ten minutes how to validate the data and take ownership of the dashboards."


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Embix also benefits from the possibility offered by Data Hub to configure user rights- from granting administrator profile to certain partners, to a read-only profile. For most customers, this second mode is the one prefered by Alexandre Capelle. "As I have a better knowledge of the tool, it allows me to create a richer restitution of data and it makes it easier for our customers. In addition, the data we collect are often of poor quality. I need to reprocess it upstream so that it is visually presentable and understandable." This is due to a series of factors that degrade the quality of the data: non-standardized data formats, index resets, changes of units, power cuts, interruption of the Internet connection...
The correction is still largely done manually. "However, Opinum offers features to detect anomalies. These could continue to be enriched, via native features of the Data Hub or via modules from the community in the Opinum Marketplace, but I think it is not reasonable to expect Data Hub to be able to detect all anomalies, and certainly not to correct them. There are too many scenarios and too many parameters that needs to be considered. I think we are here at the crossroads between what is expected of Opinum, which is to facilitate the whole process of data processing, and what should be part of Embix's competences."


"The web interface is well designed and more accessible to non-technical profiles. I am no longer afraid to put the tool directly in the hands of the teams of our partners and customers." - Alexandre Capelle, Software Solutions Director at Embix

Embix has not completely stopped its internal development. The time saved on data collection and processing is reallocated to other project developments (the company also develops Web applications) and to the development of new tools (data reconstruction, consumption and production forecasts, detailed gap analysis). "But, in most cases, Data Hub is sufficient for viewing and visualizing data."

Embix – or its customers – are not looking for major new features to add to the Data Hub. Embix rather appreciates the advantages offered by Opinum: "a company that listens to our needs, that is reactive and saves us a lot of time in collecting and returning data to our customers..."

To learn more about Opinum Data Hub and all the possibilities it offers, check out our website page. If you’re interested in testing out our platform, click here for a free trial.


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About Opinum

Our mission is to help our clients contribute to the United Nation sustainable goals by providing them Opinum Data Hub.

Opinum is a Belgian company founded in 2014. Opinum has created and ensures the continuous development of the "Opinum Data Hub" platform, designed for energy and environmental actors. Opinum is the key partner of these actors in their digital transformation journey.

Opinum Data Hub covers all stages of the data management value chain to allow its users to look beyond the complexity of data and focus on their core value and expertise. Opinum Data Hub is mainly intended for large private and public service companies, energy suppliers and companies with expertise in energy management (ESCO). More info.

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