European Research Update
Panasonic and Allianz Find Early Success in Smart Home Partnership
Smart home adoption in Europe holds great promise but has languished behind North American adoption, which has been bolstered by a base of professional security subscribers. As an innovative approach to building on the security use case, Panasonic and Munich-based, global insurer Allianz have teamed up to introduce smart home starter kits supported by Allianz Assist, a low-cost 24/7 monitoring service.
Strategically, the Smart Home + Allianz Assist pilot program is designed as an entry-level loss leader promotion that will develop a base for future add-on sales of devices and services. Two starter device packages are offered:
On the technology side, the development goal was to create a seamless customer experience through full IT integration between Panasonic and Allianz. A security event sounds a local alarm and sends an alert to the user’s mobile device. Ninety seconds after the local alarm is sounded, event data is sent from the alarm device to Panasonic servers via an event API. The delay minimizes false alerts. Panasonic servers relay event data to the Allianz monitoring center via a dedicated API. All private data is stored in the hub and does not travel through the network. There is no cloud storage of data and tech events share only the address of the sender device. To activate the service, a user purchases the starter kit online, self-installs the devices, downloads the app, and inputs a contact number to activate the service.
Since the program began, the average device attachment rate is five additional pieces on top of starter kits, a strong indicator of consumer acceptance of the value proposition. The companies report that successful “hidden champion” devices include a remote panel for 59€, remote control for 39€, and battery backup for 49€. The emerging customer profile is consumers over 40 years of age who have had dissatisfying prior experience with monitored security because of false alarms, long contracts, or data privacy and security concerns.
Though the program was launched as an online B2C retail offering, the program is designed as a B2B2C offering. Prospective distribution partners are being actively recruited among hotels, energy companies, housing construction companies, operator businesses, and package delivery companies.
Panasonic and Allianz consider this program to be an incremental approach to integration of smart home alongside insurance, believing smart home services will become a mandatory part of home insurance in the future. Insurance companies in Europe and North America have expressed growing interest in the ability of smart home products and services to mitigate risk and offset property damage and loss. As documentation that validates this potential savings develops a baseline of confidence, insurance companies will be motivated to subsidize the cost of smart home solutions.
To learn more about the Panasonic + Allianz Assist program, visit the company’s website.
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Brad Russell explores leading-edge issues in connected consumer electronics, smart home devices and platforms, IoT data privacy and security, and data-driven applications. He has a background in marketing communications, technology startups, and online media. Brad balances the art and science of market research to generate insights that lead to more astute business decision making and value-generating practices.
Brad received his BS degree in advertising and marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. He also earned MDiv and DMin degrees from two leading seminaries with concentrations in ethics and cross-cultural leadership.
INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Connected Consumer Electronics, Smart Home Devices and Platforms, IoT Data Privacy and Security