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There’s Money to be Made in the Smart Home

Smart Home Blog_image[1]The race for the smart home is off and running. Almost every global tech brand, from Apple to Amazon to Google and Samsung, to smaller entrants like Canary, August and tado, want to firmly establish themselves in the home.  Why? They see the home as the next big thing to go digital. The market for smart home services and devices is big. And it’s going to get much bigger in the next 5 years. The total smart home market is estimated to be $115 billion by 2019. Service providers can address a good chunk of it – about 55-60%.

There’s definitely money to be made here. To help service providers understand their specific opportunity, we developed the Cisco Monetization and Optimization Index Model for Smart Home. Use this tool to get customized views of revenues, profitability and rate of return for various smart home services.  With the popularity of Google Nest and Dropcam, it’s evident that the smart home is no longer just the realm of millionaires or technophiles.  Strategy Analytics forecasts that 40% of U.S. households will have at least one smart home device in use by 2020.

Cisco Smart Home MOI: North America TAM

Cisco Smart Home MOI: North America TAM

The fact that the smart home is rapidly becoming mainstream doesn’t surprise me. I don’t consider myself a true gadget geek or DIYer. However, just in the last year, I personally installed a wireless home security system and several monitoring cameras. Now, It’s hard to imagine not being able to see my toddler at home with the nanny anytime using my iPhone.

Strategy Analytics recently released the results of a survey of 7000 consumers throughout North America and Western Europe, which assessed interest in smart home services as well as willingness to pay for them.   The results are unmistakable. There is large, pent up demand for residential services that provide security, peace of mind and convenience.  What was surprising to me was the size of the gap between those who currently have a smart home service and those who do not (but were willing to pay for them). For example, in Germany only 2% of respondents had professionally monitored home security. Yet, 45% who did not have the service were very interested and willing to pay up to 17 euros a month.

Consumers clearly see the value in services such as home security, energy management, and elderly monitoring. What has held back purchasing? The market is fairly price elastic, so high price levels have been a deterrent. People are willing to pay for these services, but less than what’s currently charged. Awareness was another barrier. People generally weren’t aware that these services are available. For those who were aware, they had concerns about cyber intrusion and privacy.  Now, what does this mean to service providers who have entered or are considering entering the smart home market?  Recognize that you have unique advantages and assets that can help you take a leading position in this market. Initially, your marketing influence and retail reach can overcome low awareness.

Then your experience “in the home” and customer trust come into play. Your residential customers expect you to understand and solve all of their in-home voice, video, and connectivity problems. If an IP-connected device in their home is not working, they are more likely to contact you than the device manufacturer. You have the tools and the experienced technical and support personnel to handle potential customer issues around the connected home.

Know also that customers want these services from you. The trust you’ve built over time is so important when it comes to services involving personal security. Strategy Analytics found that consumers preferred to get their home and family monitoring services from service providers than from OTTs in the ecommerce, retail, or electronic manufacturing space.

Along with this trust, are the advantages of established billing relationships and the ability to bundle discounted smart home services with rest of your offers. Smart home as the “Fifth Play” makes a lot of sense for both you and your customers.

A tangible advantage is the equipment (gateways, set top boxes) that you have placed in the home – devices that can potentially be used to deliver these new services. Consumers want easy set-up and one single control point for their smart home services. And you can provide it for them. You can help customers simplify how they buy, set up and use their smart home solutions.

Service providers are well positioned to be a leading player in the smart home market. To ignore this opportunity or give it short shrift means leaving large sums of money on the table or worse.   What’s worse? Being dis-intermediated from your customers in the home by aggressive OTT players.

For more information on Cisco MOI check us out here.



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IoT, from Cloud to Fog Computing


Nowadays, there are billions of devices connected to the Internet, and this has led to some advances in the Electronics and Telecommunication technology developments in recent years which resulted in various kinds of very powerful devices with communication and networking capabilities that have attracted the industries to adopt this technology into their daily business to increase their efficiency. Other than the industrial sector, there are other sectors like assisted living services, public services, etc., which have a big demand for Information and Communication Technology developments. Therefore, there is the need for a new paradigm in M2M communication which enables “Things” connectivity to the Global Internet Network. This paradigm is known by the term IoT.

IoT is the network of physical objects or “Things” embedded with electronics, SW, Sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices through advanced communication protocols without human operation. The technology of IoT has been evolved according to the environment based on information communication technology and social infrastructure, and we need to know the technological evolution of IoT in the future. Read More »

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Location Based Services Enabling Smart Connected Cities

Smart Cities and the Internet of Everything have become commonly used terms over the past year or two. Both represent huge opportunities for both business growth and also for the delivery of better services and experiences for consumers and citizens alike. The size of this IoE opportunity has been widely predicted to exceed $14 Trillion[1] and within this just the Smart Cities component has been estimated to be worth $1,266 Billion[2] by 2019.  With this scale it is little wonder that it attracts a lot of interest and therefore a lot of very interesting innovation.

lbs1.1The Internet of Everything (IoE)  brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before.  Smart and Connected Cities takes this and applies it in an urban environment to create new capabilities , richer experiences and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals and countries.

While the Internet of Everything is about a connected grid of people, processes, data and things, what touches most of us is the ‘connecting people’ part of this equation.Within the greater IoE world, the Foundation for Delivering Next-Generation Citizen Services is how organizations and municipalities find innovative mechanisms to engage with us all. Read More »

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Revamping the MSE User Interface

As part of the WLC 8.0 release, we addressed customer comments and revamped the user interface (UI) for the MSE. We wanted to make it easier for customers using both MSE and PI to adjust to larger deployments. We also wanted to quicken the pace at which we could deliver features to the customers. Today I want to walk you through the landing page and configuration of the new MSE UI.

Landing Page

The landing page is the first thing one sees when logging into  the MSE UI. This page provides the user with a basic snapshot of system health, an easy way to launch the apps, and a quick status of the various services on MSE.

System Health

The new UI highlights important parameters like CPU and Memory usage in order to give the user an indication of the stress being handled by the MSE.

 mseui1 Read More »

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Show Me the Retail Data

retailSuccess in retail often comes down to a counting game.  How many people pass by your store?  How many come inside?   How long do they stay?  And most importantly how many ultimately buy?

Today, the retail counting game has gotten a lot easier because we can now count devices as proxies for people, since many potential customers today, myself included, won’t leave home without their smartphone.  As soon as they enter a store, the beacon on their cell phone effectively announces its arrival to the Wi-Fi network and voilà, we have a count.

With the help of CMX Presence Analytics, these smart devices can help answer many key retailing questions with a single access point.

  • Who?
    Who is passing by the store versus coming in?  Presence Analytics uses both the cell phone’s signal strength as well as the time spent in the area to determine the number of people walking by versus in-store visitors.  Presence Analytics provides simple, quick reports on retail conversion metrics.   You can also track how often visitors return to a store in a given time period can be tracked, which can be key for customer loyalty programs.

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