Partnerships and alliances key to success of the Smart Home

POSTED BY Global Administrator
There has been a tremendous amount of activity in the smart home market over the past few months and I have been following this with a keen interest. Earlier this week, home appliance retailer Lowe's launched Iris, a new cloud-based smart home system. According to the company, the system lets home owners monitor and control their house from any location using a smart phone, tablet, or computer. The smart home system – developed in partnership with the UK based AlertMe – is expected to be rolled out to 500 of Lowe’s retail outlets by the end of August 2012. Iris will be launched as three different starter kits, with the ability to be upgraded anytime by the consumer. Priced at $179 each for Safe & Secure and Comfort & Control kits (security and control kits), the two kits has been combined together for a price of $299 as a complete smart home solution. Verizon first launched a similar solution for its customers by partnering with Motorola. This is why we believe that there is a need to develop industry-specific strategic partnerships with retailers and service providers alike. As noted above, the role played by service providers such as Verizon has been acknowledged by equipment vendors and has enabled partnerships to establish their positioning within the market. However, for some vendors the service provider channel offers an additional distribution channel to gain access to the smart home market, above and beyond core channels such as via retailers and platform providers. Our latest research on the smart home market finds that the operators and broadband service providers are better positioned within the ecosystem to inform customers about the activity on their home network and broadband connection, along with the connected devices. Vendors and platform providers should take advantage of this role, via strategic partnerships, distributions and alliances with cellular operators (thereby following the example set by Verizon and Motorola). Finally, just to leave you guys with a ‘smart-data point’ from our smart home research, please see here…