Schneider Electric accelerates AI strategy

  • November 29, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

French energy company Schneider Electric has accelerated its AI at Scale strategy launched a year ago along with a global AI hub focused on data and analytics.

With more than 200 people onboard in AI roles since 2021, the company has strengthened its foundations for enabling new revenue streams, savings and efficient ways of working.

Over the past year, Schneider Electric has accelerated the momentum of AI by appointing its first chief AI officer, Philippe Rambach. And it has implemented an AI hub and spoke operating model globally.

“The AI by Schneider Electric is AI for good,” said Rambach. “We challenge it with the biggest problem of our generation – climate change. It has been my first year in this role, and I am happy to discover and further develop the AI foundation of many of our products and services. Our customers rely on us to help them solve their challenges at scale, and they recognise that our advanced AI technologies and domain expertise make Schneider Electric the right partner in these difficult times.”

During the year, it has submitted 18 AI technology patents and enhanced 15 products with AI capabilities. It is developing more than twenty internal AI applications and launching an AI knowledge base.

The AI hub partners with all Schneider Electric business units and functions to address the most pressing customer problems and prioritise AI use cases with the highest customer value. Focused on efficiency and sustainability, it has been working to develop AI applications in the field of electrification, automation and decarbonisation, such as microgrid management, alarm management and HVAC optimisation for buildings, electric vehicles management, smart charging, asset management and more.

EcoStruxure Resource Advisor, Microgrid Advisor and Autonomous Production Advisor are a few examples of AI-enabled offers.

“At Schneider Electric, we observe a great demand from our customers to leverage data for operational efficiency, electrification and automation,” said Peter Weckesser, chief digital officer at Schneider Electric. “The growing energy costs make many of them turn to AI applications to manage, predict and optimise their energy consumption. We apply AI to enhance data-driven decision making, agility and decarbonisation. It has never been more visible that resource efficiency and energy sobriety boost the company’s profitability,”

On the internal efficiency side, the Schneider AI hub and spokes partner with all teams to unburden employees from day-to-day manual activities, allowing them to dedicate more time to customers, data analysis, continuous improvement and real-time decision making.

Among internal AI applications, the company launched a virtual sales assistant, which offers an entire ecosystem of connected tools supporting sales efficiency with data-driven recommendations. It provides custom actionable insights such as product recommendations, ordering patterns and product decommissioning.

The AI hub is developing applications in the field of customer support, finance, global supply chain, sales, HR and more, which are all expected to enable significant efficiency and savings by 2025.