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​DataPower, ENGIE’s hackathon to invent the services of the future using its data

Smart buildings
19/06/2016

From June 24th to 26th, ENGIE will host its first "Datackathon". Open to everyone, it aims to innovate in the field of energy services and create new uses from the Group’s data.

It is indeed a first: ENGIE will provide participants with real or anonymized data sets in areas such as sunlight exposure levels, pollution levels, traffic flow in cities, energy consumption, etc.The challenge will be to devise innovative concepts to create value with this information. The best projects will be awarded prizes worth a total of €10,000.

We asked Yves Le Gélard (Deputy Managing Director for Digital Affairs and Information Systems at ENGIE) to tell us about the hackathon and how it highlights the Group's innovation policy.


Is innovation a lever for companies’ digital transformation?

Major corporations like ENGIE have now reached a certain level in digitizing their business. They have become familiar with new technologies, including analytics, connected objects, and mobility, which has helped change some habits. Now we’re entering a new phase in which these innovations are coming out of the laboratory and being deployed within the various entities, going beyond the pilot projects to full integration into the daily work of the BUs.

For the Group to succeed in its digital transformation, we needed this innovation process to help new technologies and applications emerge and get implemented. For the Group, innovation is a process of identifying creative ideas and transforming them into products or services.

A number of new technologies that appeared simultaneously have opened a very broad range of potential areas for new business. ENGIE is focusing mainly on analytics, big data, mobility and connected objects. There is a significant amount of potential value to be created.

Innovation in digital processes is fundamentally about reinventing our core business skills, our offers and our services. And also about moving beyond an incremental way of thinking and instead doing things differently, creating a more attractive customer experience, being more efficient, and having an impact on our entire ecosystem, including our customers and our partners.
What’s at stake is inventing new ways of interacting thanks to new services.

Why do a hackathon on data?

If we want the company’s digital transition to move forward, we need to maintain and develop ecosystems within the company that are open to the outside world.

A hackathon, which by definition is open, will allow us to get an outside perspective on the services that ENGIE could offer.
During the hackathon, outside participants will be able to use our data to invent new services.
This is an important step in building a relationship with external players.

What benefits do you expect for ENGIE?

First, the consolidation of our open innovation ecosystem. Open innovation creates a kind of knowledge marketplace where external and internal stakeholders can meet and share information, which facilitates cross-fertilization. This hackathon is the first brick for creating value with our eco-system.

From a more operational point of view, the hackathon will allow us to identify the API we need to create services the public wants. ENGIE has huge volumes of data and this hackathon will give us ways to use it better. This is an opportunity to develop our technical, commercial and legal understanding of data and APIs.

Finally, it’s an opportunity to highlight the continuum of services that ENGIE already offers from energy generation up to the consumer: for the end customer, ENGIE is a unit and the diversity of what we do does not necessarily come through. The end customer also expects consistent and continuous service. We may be surprised by what we the participants in the hackathon think about the Group.

Last question: practically speaking, what’s going to happen at the hackathon?

It will be held at the School of Computer Engineering (ESGI) at 242, rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Paris 75012 from June 24th to 26th. A launch party is scheduled for June 20th 2016 during which the participants will be able to get familiar with the APIs and datasets.

The hackathon is free and open to everyone, especially people interested in the field of energy. People with ideas, designers, developers, graphic designers and the generally curious are welcome to participate.

Official website and registration: datapower.bemyapp.com