Table of Contents
This report covers the state of the connected home market, its characteristics and the opportunities available to communication services providers (CSPs) that are willing to include remote service management in their service offerings. It will be of interest to all CSPs and those who provide them technology.
The connected home is an artifact of the Internet: it exists at the intersection of home networking, telemetric services, content delivery, and communication services.
Increasingly, this means that it is simply an integrated combination of over-the-top (OTT) services, delivered by means of a broadband Internet pipe. More importantly, consumers are now becoming comfortable with this notion, and are increasingly looking for ways to obtain connected home services and support. The network operators have been approaching connected home solutions carefully. This is perhaps understandable given the history of telephony and the perils of customer support. Yet, it is clear that the connected home offers the last great opportunity for operator dominance in the consumer communication market. For it is in this space that operators are most
likely to be able to avoid the substantial overheads that regulation will impose.
However, the connected home is a complex beast, and is hard for consumers to maintain. In the ultimate connected home scenario, most home appliances, utilities and services will communicate. Imagine trying to maintain such a diverse and complex environment; especially as an average, non-technical consumer. Consequently, a better approach than simply selling products and services is needed to propel the connected home market forward. Yet, this selling of products and services with an implicit role of consumer selfmanagement of the connected home environment is exactly the approach that has been pervasive in the connected home market. Clearly, a better way is
Recognizing that remote service management is the secret sauce that will drive an accelerated demand for the connected home, leads to the conclusion that either operator-provided or third-party remote service management is essential for market growth. While operators tend to view remote service management as a revenue-depressing overhead, it could actually be the primary revenue generating activity in the connected home market. Also, remote management will increasingly be essential in the positioning of integrated service packages. Those operators who decline to do so will cede market dominance to those who will. The news from this year’s Connected Home survey is actually good: consumers are willing to buy connected home offerings, and are willing to pay for support. Communication service providers who are reading the tea leaves in search of commercial opportunities will find much to be optimistic about in this year’s results. As noted above, though, the opportunities come with a price: and that is increasingly looking like an investment in remote customer service.
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