IOT Companies Struggle with Business Models, Channel Strategies at IOT World Europe

by Jennifer Kent | Oct. 9, 2015

I had the pleasure of attending IOT World Europe this past week in Berlin. The conference brings together executives from industries across the industrial and consumer Internet of Things to discuss industry trends, strategies, partnership opportunities, and best practices.  I focused in on consumer IOT and heard from speakers about Smart Home, Connected Cars, and Wearables. Several key themes emerged:

1.       What will be consumers’ path to purchase for smart home devices? Kurt Hoppe from Prodea felt that a platform approach results in a superior consumer experience, while Francois Girodelle from Nest felt that bundling too early in the market will limit consumer choice. Radek Tadajewski, CEO of Oort, argued that point solutions offered at an affordable price will drive the market for years to come – only after consumers have reached a certain tipping point of connected devices will they see any value in a hub solution. This will be one of the key questions that dominates smart home strategy for the next several years.  

2.       Who can compete with the OS leaders? Telecoms have seen the OS leaders eat their lunch before, and are working to prevent the same situation from happening in the smart home and connected car spaces. Holger Knoepke, VP Connected Home, Deutsche Telekom, called for more consolidation of open source alliances, and more use of APIs and SDKs to achieve interoperability, so that the industry sees a “fairer share of the value” – i.e., so service providers and device manufactueres can compete with Apple, Google and Amazon.

3.       Device Manufactures have to review their business models in an IOT world. Katja von Raven, President of Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Northern Asia, Chamberlain, shared how the company has purposefully upended its traditional business model by switching from remote controlled garage door openers to smartphone-controlled door openers. Her core message: if you don’t disrupt yourself, someone else will. Chamberlain is still discovering the best ways to monetize its connected products, but this has not kept the company from moving forward with implementation.

I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation on these topics at Parks Associates’ CONNECTIONS Europe event, which takes place 10-11 November, 2015, in Amsterdam.  Business models and partnerships are a key focus of the event, and we’ll hear from speakers from Viacom, Nest, and Icontrol Networks, as well as from Orange and Ericsson. See you there!

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