Challenges Telcos Face Offering Smart Home as a Service
With the first introductions of Smart Home as a Service in the early 2010s, it was evident that Telcos and service providers will champion this service. Offering this new service enabled telcos to generate new revenue streams, attract new subscribers, and increase customer loyalty. Smart Home as Service is already being provided by a growing number of carriers and CSPs worldwide. The Smart Home market amounts to $73,319 million USD in 2019, according to Statista. However, significant challenges are yet to be solved to make the Smart Home service delivery as straightforward as the triple-play services.
Challenge #1: Avoiding the Hardware Lock-in and management of various HW brands on one platform
When rolling out a Smart Home service, the providers are facing a difficult choice: to use a single hardware manufacturer or multiple brands. Choosing a single HW vendor provider option may seem like a more cost-effective alternative with a more straightforward provisioning process. In the long run, however, it poses the risk of an HW vendor lock-in and a need to use (and purchase) a proprietary management platform with limited capabilities.
Deploying various HW brands enables telcos to apply the Best of Breed approach. They can roll out a more flexible Smart Home service with significant CAPEX savings. This option doesn’t generate an HW dependency, so that service providers can mix and match any HW brands and deploy a management platform of their choice. Yet, different HW brands speak different protocols. Seamless integration of all of the types of Smart Home automation devices, regardless of their standard, on a single platform is a significant challenge.
This challenge is so significant that we believe it can potentially slow down the Smart Home adoption rate and prevent the CSPs from hitting their growth targets.
Challenge #2: A Need for Management and Subscriber Tools
Some of the standard Smart Home automation platforms include only management tools. Smart Home platforms should ideally have a full management and support set of tools – mobile application for the end-users, management dashboard, call center portal, and analytics for the service provider. Some of the standard Smart Home automation platforms come with management tools only, requiring further integration for full Smart Home management.
Challenge # 3: Serving Various Market Segments for Increased ARPU
One of the most pressing needs that we hear about from our telco customers is being able to serve all market segments. Differentiation between various market segments, from standard residential to business, enables providers to offer premium services to those interested, increasing ARPU. Different market segments require different types of HW and support availability. A carrier-grade Smart Home management solution needs to enable the ability to support and manage various market segments on one unified device management platform.
Challenge #4: Faster Time-to-Market
Time-to-market is crucial for acquiring new customers and generating stickiness with customers. Every day counts. A Smart Home management platform has to facilitate fast service roll out and easy self-installation of Smart Home devices.
Challenge #4: Operational Cost Reduction
To maintain profitability, Smart Home service providers need to continue operational costs optimization. To achieve that, they need to deploy Smart Home platforms capable of managing the entire life cycle of connected devices, allowing for future firmware updates, changes in operation, and APIs. Proactive diagnostics and repair tools can enable further support optimization.
Friendly Smart Home as a Service Platform
Friendly’s Smart Home platform is a full solution for the management and monitoring of household automation. Friendly has been providing device management solutions to carriers and CPS worldwide since 2007. When IoT and Smart Home emerged, Friendly leveraged its experience and extended its offering to the IoT and Smart Home markets. Friendly’s Smart Home platform was designed based on our deep understanding of Telco market needs. The solution enables service providers to introduce their own Smart Home automation service in the shortest time possible, offering various service packages.
Our Unique Smart Layer™ technology enables streamlined provisioning and management of multiple hardware brands on a unified platform, eliminating the need for costly development and integration efforts when adding new device types. The technology helps shorten time-to-market, enabling Smart Home Providers to start offering services faster, gaining a competitive edge, and capturing market share. Furthermore, the Smart Layer™ technology significantly reduces operational costs and increases ARPU.
Friendly Smart Home Platform offers a full management and support toolset that includes mobile applications (for Android and ioS) for the end-users, a management dashboard, a call center portal, and analytics.
With Friendly’s Smart Home Platform, carriers and CSPs can:
- Avoid hardware dependency
- Integrate Smart Home platform with any application, portal, or third-party software, including Amazon Alexa
- Automate Smart Home devices and sensors provisioning
- Shorten service roll out time
- Manage any types of devices and sensors on one multi-vendor platform
- Ensure high-level security, and much more!
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