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December 7, 2017 by Pam Ferguson

IoT: Creating Opportunity from Chaos

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For many service providers, the period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday was about as chaotic as it can be for retailers. If you were one of them, you’ll recognize the scenario. Your subscribers bought smart home devices, only to have trouble connecting them to their home networks. Of course this happens year round, but when deals are available, the number of calls for help can increase dramatically.

Subscriber problems almost always come down to the fact that many smart door locks, thermostats, security cameras and other IoT devices use short-range wireless protocols — ZigBee and Z-Wave, and sometimes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Device manufacturers do this because their devices are battery-powered and Wi-Fi is such a huge power drain. But there are few industry standards, which leads to confusion for consumers who don’t know which protocol to settle on for their home networks. Some consumers may even own devices on more than one protocol. If they’re your subscribers, sooner or later they are likely to turn to your tech support resources.

You could tell them you don’t support their new devices. They’ll find help from other providers who will either charge them a fee to deliver support over your network, or will earn their loyalty by providing it for free. Or you could offer them a real solution that will keep them happy and loyal to you, and that could generate additional revenue.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, we launched our new Experience Operating System (EXOS) at ConneXions 2017. It will be available on the next generation of GigaFamily products and, together with the new GigaFamily, will support all wireless protocols, including 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, and BLE. EXOS will also support Alexa, making it easier than ever for subscribers to connect and set up their new devices.

No matter what devices your customers buy, you will be able to support them, with full insight into their network and devices using Calix Support Cloud. We already know that subscribers are willing to pay a small premium for support if it means they can come to you with any issues they may experience. They are also willing to pay hundreds of dollars for solutions that extend their wireless coverage. This is your opportunity to own the entire Smart Home experience.

Ready to take advantage of this opportunity? Learn more by reading Greg Owens’ blog "Your first step to owning the Smart Home: Managed Wi-Fi" or by visiting the EXOS and GigaFamily pages.