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Master Agents: Jump-Starting Expansion into Smart Home Management

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Master Agents: Jump-Starting Expansion into Smart Home Management

February 12, 2015

  By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

In the world of communications, we often assess how it’s going to affect business interactions, support collaboration and integrate with current systems. When getting so wrapped up in the applications for the business, it’s easy to forget the opportunities for our personal use. While your IT manager can worry about the security of the network, you can pay attention to security for the home.

Traditionally speaking, home security meant employing the resources of a company that would not only provide an alarm system, but also alert you to problems, call for help if you don’t respond to alarms and provide a general sense that your home, its contents and your family were protected. In today’s world of mobile apps and virtual monitoring, this type of protection is simply the tip of the iceberg.

Today, consumers can leverage automation features, lock and unlock their home remotely, adjust the thermostat, view home camera feeds on a smartphone and more. It’s not just about home security – it’s really about total smart home management. The ability to engage various channels within the home provides consumer stickiness, which makes it attractive for cable, phone and other providers.

Such developments provide ample opportunities for these companies to engage their master agent relationships and extend their offerings. They’re already in the homes of millions of customers with their standard solutions. Why not extend the value of those contracts by adding additional capabilities for the customer and a new revenue stream for the provider? As a result, the customer is less likely to jump to another provider.

So powerful is this strategy that Comcast has been in this space since October of 2011, AT&T (News - Alert) since July of 2013 and Bright House Networks made the investment in September of 2014, according to an IBJ report. Their expansion into this market is giving a number of security firms a run for market share. To compete, many have added remote monitoring and control capabilities to their portfolio.

Aside from the revenue opportunities afforded telecoms and cable companies, this expansion into smart home management offers an opportunity for security firms to expand their offerings and attract customers who have traditionally shunned home security. So many consumers now carry smartphones and the ability to remotely manage a number of different elements of their lives, why not add the home to the mix? It is, after all, the biggest investment most of us will make in our lifetime.

As for those who are still examining opportunities to get into this space, the master agent is a powerful resource to examine the tools, capabilities and needed infrastructure. By leveraging this relationship to the fullest, those who have waited on the sidelines can jump in feet first and hit the ground running. 

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