CES2017 and the Future of RSM
This Post Originally Appeared on CEPro.com on January 11, 2017
When remote systems management (RSM) integrates with off-the-shelf, consumer-oriented smart home devices, integrators win.
Right now thousands of smart home enthusiasts and manufacturers are unpacking their bags, returning from Las Vegas after CES 2017.
Many integrators routinely skip this trade show due to its consumer, rather than professional, focus. However, the CEDIA channel continues on its collision course with consumer technology and the IT world and it’s important that we pay attention to CES.
Some of our own are already doing this, specifically remote systems management (RSM) providers like Ihiji and Domotz. While it may not be immediately obvious, the presence of these companies at CES is vital to the future of the home technology industry.
Connected Home Comes Off-the-Shelf
Connected home products definitely played a prominent role in this year’s show. The majority of these products are point solutions marketed directly at the end user.
However, as evidenced by the recently polished Ring, Nest, Sonos, and Alexa integrations with major control manufacturers, these devices will increasingly make their way into professionally deployed systems.
After years of maintaining total control over the product selection in the professionally installed connected home, integrators are now subject to the ever-changing landscape of consumer-oriented products available off-the-shelf.
While most of us seem to have accepted this condition as the new normal, very few of us seem prepared to thrive in this evolving market.
So the question becomes, how can integrators adapt their businesses to manage and — dare I say — profit from these new products?
Remote Management Bridges the Gap
Remote system management (RSM) providers hold the key to unlocking this tricky question. By providing a unified dashboard with data from disparate smart home products and manufacturers, RSM platforms vastly reduce the amount of time it takes to troubleshoot issues when they arise.
A user of a connected doorbell may experience lag or unreliable connections in their video. Or perhaps a smart thermostat falls offline at seemingly random times. The prevalence of all this technology in the home drives higher demand for quick, free support but also exposes opportunity to provide premium services that build recurring monthly revenue.
RSM tools address both of these concepts by streamlining support (saving you money) and enabling the proactive monitoring of the technology (generating monthly revenue).
But for an RSM tool to unlock the full potential, it will require tight integrations with smart home devices of all kinds. The presence of RSM providers at CES presents a rich opportunity to deepen relationships with key smart home device makers.
These manufacturers may require some convincing to see the value of working with third-party RSM companies. On the surface it might appear that they have a version of RSM built right into their products, since most of these devices are built with the ability to send diagnostic information back to the manufacturer. But this can only provide them with a limited amount of information, indicating, for example, that some sort of network issue is causing their device to malfunction.
Consumers want a quick solution that requires the first person they call to have the necessary information they need at their fingertips. The rich data that RSM platforms provide will help support providers arrive at these solutions in the most efficient way possible.
The plethora of smart home devices unveiled at CES will make their way into professionally deployed smart homes whether we like it or not. By strengthening relationships with these devices makers, RSM providers can supply integrators with better tools to keep support costs down and enable the monetization of proactive monitoring services.