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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Entertainment and home security are biggest drivers for the connected consumer market: Insights from Support.com

Lee Gruenfeld, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Support.com, provides insight on several key industry trends for Parks Associates’ 20th-annual CONNECTIONS Conference, which will be held May 24-26 in San Francisco:

How is your company engaging consumers through new technology solutions?

Support.com is the leading provider of advanced, cloud-based technology solutions for customer technical support. Used in our own contact center as well as by our customers who provide their own support, these solutions engage consumers by providing technologies such as guided problem resolution workflows, sophisticated diagnosis and remote control of a wide variety of home automation devices and ecosystems, remote “eyes on the problem” video, and rich analytics that help optimize the support process.

What is the biggest change you have seen in the past year in the connected home and entertainment industries?

The biggest change I’ve seen is consumer backlash against connected products that were rushed into the marketplace with insufficient thought given to ensuring that their value will be realized in real-world environments. The initial influx of devices and ecosystems was fueled primarily by “hobbyists” and the technically adventurous. That enthusiasm and willingness to experiment have not spilled over into the mainstream marketplace to the degree anticipated.

What do you think is the biggest driver for the connected consumer market?

The drivers for the connected consumer marketplace are different for those who are already in it and those who have yet to be. For beginners, it’s primarily entertainment and home security, in that order. Most people don’t think of entertainment as a “smart home” investment, but many of the major cable and broadband providers are using television as a foot in the door for selling home security systems and then additional automation. For the initiated, on the other hand, the driver is the perception of value and the unexpected “moments of delight” they get from their first purchases. I didn’t fully appreciate the security system in my home in California until I disabled it from 8th Street in New York City to let a repairman in after getting a text telling me there was a leak under the kitchen sink.

What is the greatest challenge for the connected home industry in the next year?

The greatest challenge for the connected home industry next year is to keep its promises to consumers. We know that brands hurt themselves by delivering sub-par experiences. What we’re learning is that they hurt the industry as well. Technology and service providers have been accepting the fact that a certain percentage of connected home devices are coming back for refund and aren't worth the effort to deflect. These days are coming to a close.

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Gruenfeld will speak on the session “IoT: Protecting the Consumer Experience” on Tuesday, May 24 at 2:45 p.m. Other speakers on the panel include Arrayent, Cirrent, CSS Corp, and PlumChoice.

For more information on CONNECTIONS, visit www.connectionsus.com or register by clicking here.

Next: Consumers need seamless yet deceptively powerful platforms in the connected home and entertainment industries: Insights from Stringify
Previous: Engagement among Tech Support Subscribers Increases 13% since 2014


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