Capitalizing on the Promise of the Consumer IoT Revolution
By Shahar Yaacobi, Head of Marketing For IoT, Amdocs
The Internet of Things (IoT) is being hailed as the next industrial revolution. Consumer IoT, a subset of this market, is also on the rise as technologies out-grow their early stages and iron out the kinks. According to Parks and Associates, improved product experiences are equating to increased product adoption. Around 50 percent of U.S. broadband households for example, plan to buy a smart home device in the next year, and they will tie these devices to their mobile platforms, broadband connections, and other devices to create a unified user experience.
In fact, by 2020, it is expected that each of us will own around seven connected devices. Whether you believe the predictions of 21 billion, 34 billion, or 50 billion devices connected to the internet in the next few years, it makes little difference. That’s because there are some key barriers to consumer IoT which need to be broken in order for mass adoption to occur.
IoT is life-changing. So, why isn’t it changing our lives?
Imagine a world where you can stay constantly updated about the location of your dog and the condition of his health, and even get alerts if your pet is in danger of drowning or going astray.
Today’s technology already enables dog owners to utilize pet GPS trackers and smart dog collars equipped with multiple sensors, making all that vital information readily available at the drop of a hat. It’s the same technology, more or less, that allows you to control your home appliances from your office, adjust the temperature and humidity, and watch your food cooking from your smartphone via an interior-mounted camera. You can even make a cup of freshly brewed coffee that will be waiting for you the second you walk through the door.
Although there are actually a lot of exciting Consumer IoT solutions out there, we’re not seeing widespread use of the technology.
The IoT customer experience is directly affected by how well different players in the value grid are integrated
In fact, the consumer IoT world has barely scratched the surface of its vast potential market. OEMs are still struggling as they take their first steps in their digital transformation journey, coupled with relatively slow consumer adoption.
Consumers haven’t jumped on the IoT bandwagon
While so much excitement is being built around the potential for this technology to transform the future, research shows that consumers aren’t totally on the bandwagon just yet. “They have little idea how to connect and use these things on their own, and they don’t know who they can trust and turn to for help,” says Wynn Grubbs, senior vice president, PlumChoice Inc.
What’s the key challenge with Consumer IoT?
The Industrial IoT has produced a very simple value chain – enterprises buying connectivity from service providers for the collection of data from their connected assets. But the Consumer IoT has a much more complex value structure. The fact is that we’re not talking about a ‘value chain’ anymore, but rather about a ‘value grid’.
For every single consumer IoT service on the market, there are numerous players involved - a dimension that’s creating a real barrier to providing a seamless consumer experience. Application developers, IoT service providers, technology enablers, connectivity providers, content providers, OEMs, store owners, and local distributers and channels are only some of those involved in providing a consumer IoT service. Together they create this value grid.
It is extremely difficult to provide a good experience with such a complex value grid
The IoT customer experience is directly affected by how well different players in the value grid are integrated. For instance, if the activation and first time experience using a smart watch fails, there’s a high likelihood the customer will lose faith in the technology. This emphasizes the need for OEMs to work closely with service providers to integrate and design a seamless activation user experience.
What’s needed is the cooperation between OEMs, bringing the device and the innovative service and the service providers, supporting them with all the backend capabilities, such as billing, support and care, on top of the natural play of connectivity provider. Joining forces enables OEMs and service providers to jointly use all necessary resources to offer consumer IoT value added services. For consumers, having not only the devices but also the value added services, instantly translates into a win-win for both service providers and OEMs.
The Amdocs IoT Service Platform: A win-win for everyone
That’s where Amdocs’ new IoT platform comes in, by exposing the service providers’ assets for the benefits of OEMs and offering easy onboarding of partners, as well as ecosystem of partners such as connected home, car, and tracking devices for kids, pets, and elderly. Above all, the Amdocs Consumer IoT Services Enablement platform delivers a single and unified experience to all market players - creating a seamless customer IoT experience and putting the consumer in the center of the IoT revolution.