With more and more services moving to the cloud and disrupting the way consumers use technology, service providers and operators risk to be ultimately viewed as just a big data pipe that is difficult and expensive to maintain operational and to fulfill consumers’ increasing demands in terms of bandwidth and quality of service.
But consumer IoT brings about a new area for service providers to tap into in order to become the consumer’s go-to provider for all things “smart” in their home and even on the go. Right now, consumer IoT focuses almost exclusively on hardware and hardware-centered services, with smart home devices such as smart lights, connected appliances or more recently – voice assistants, as the stars of the show. But for all their products’ diversity and promise, vendors are still struggling to fight poor value statements on technoogy and use case and a fragmented user experience that actually creates silos in the consumer’s home instead of breaking them down. Smart home or home automation players nowadays have yet to find the sweet spot for consumer engagement and adoption. And we believe that as long as they will think in isolation, they will continue to fail finding it.
Service providers, on the other hand, are ideally placed to assume the role of a service aggregator, break down the silos in the consumer’s home and while doing it (re)become the consumer’s preferred supplier of entertainment and IT services of the new digital world. Adding the smart home play or the home automation play to their current fantastic four offering (video, voice, data, mobile) holds the potential to take traditional telcos and service providers to a new age of consumer engagement. And what they need to do to master the new play is actually what they know best – impecable packaging in user-friendly bundled services and adjacent hardware. And the trick behind that will be to carefully choose the technology stack that serves this purpose best.