Courtesy of Gamgee

Smart Home Management Apps Can Open Up New Revenue Streams

April 29, 2024
How smart home management apps provide value for customers and increase revenue for providers.

The interconnected smart home is very much a reality. The number of connected devices inside our homes has increased dramatically over the last few years and, particularly, since the global pandemic. The likes of smart speakers, doorbells, and cameras are becoming regarded as less of a luxury and are becoming more established in homes every day.

These devices, as well as next-generation applications such as virtual reality and artificial reality, are taking broadband network capacities to the brink. As a result, broadband service providers (BSPs) are not only looking to benefit from greater control and management, but they are also seeking to monetize and unlock greater value through the differentiated services they can offer. The key to success is seamless smart home management.

Tooling Up with Smarter Routers

Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) and other Internet gateway devices present BSPs with an opportunity to activate and manage third-party applications for their end users. This includes enhanced security solutions, video delivery, Wi-Fi motion sensing, and gaming.

But customer churn has long been a key concern for BSPs, affecting the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). Online safety concerns, buffering calls, poor network coverage, and limited control preventing prioritization of network traffic all impact customer loyalty. Calling customer support or dealing with online support tools add to customer frustration, as they want to fix the problem themselves and quickly.

Broadband service operators are looking to offer subscription-based services rather than simply providing connectivity. This agility for end-users to pay for services if and when they want them will subsequently reduce customer questions, complaints, and truck rolls. When customer churn decreases, operators will be perfectly placed to scale their business offerings to serve each customer uniquely and cater to their growing and varying needs.

A Smarter Opportunity to Prosper

Smart home management is the most vital frontier for BSPs missing out on new revenue opportunities. Leveraging a value-added service platform on top of the home router network is a game changer. Only by delivering a seamless, simpler digital user experience will we see a more widespread adoption. Users will all benefit from easier navigation and a streamlined way of installing and setting up a home Wi-Fi management app.

Innovations, such as artificial Intelligence and machine learning, will play a key role in the years ahead in smart homes, with devices adapting to user behavior and preferences. In turn, our home networks will integrate seamlessly with the likes of augmented reality and virtual reality to fuel a more interactive experience.

BSPs find themselves at the front of the queue in terms of benefiting most from the potential of the smart home compared to start-ups and others vying to prosper from the lucrative potential on offer. This is in no small part thanks to their existing pool of customers and access to internet connectivity via routers already inside the home. They are therefore ideally positioned to reap the rewards.

Intelligence Built-In

The smart home of the future will use the power of Wi-Fi for far more than simply broadband connectivity. More Wi-Fi does not necessarily amount to better Wi-Fi as more interference can be encountered. But the right management app can help end-users effectively utilize the Wi-Fi at their disposal.

Services such as home security, care services, and energy savings are among the applications that can be provided over Wi-Fi if end-users have a home or mesh network with the app intelligence built-in. Differentiation of products from others in the marketplace will be made possible with access to new services and applications in one all-inclusive and engaging app. 

Engaging with Your Customers

An app with a rich feature set can act as a digital smart home platform, tackling in-home Wi-Fi issues and seamlessly managing Wi-Fi, users, and devices, allowing service providers to engage with their customer bases. 

An application that is fully integrated with the end-user is a powerful engagement tool that can initiate product-led growth. While starting small, perhaps offering a free service, it can hook and engage users. The next step can be trialling other elements and triggering users to pay for more recurring subscriptions and packages.

While a smart home management app is nothing new, the key is making sure people use it. Apps such as WhatsApp and Instagram are popular and heavily used because users are constantly engaged and digesting updates from their friends, family, and celebrities. If an app is hidden away however, it might as well not exist. But if users can view it as part of their lives and smart homes, then this digital platform becomes incredibly valuable to them.

Consumers care about personalized experiences that bring value and do not waste their time. BSPs and router suppliers can therefore revolutionize home networking and unlock new revenue streams and upselling opportunities by using a smart home management app which can double up as a customer engagement tool.

Allocating and Prioritizing Bandwidth

The Gamgee app is a hardware-independent solution and can provide great insight into consumers' smart homes. While it is important to collect as much data as possible, it must be used wisely to access valuable insights for customer support. This can be made available in the Gamgee Partner Portal where BSPs can gain a detailed understanding of their customers and use this knowledge to personalize their offering and improve customer satisfaction. 

The app is utilized on users’ mobile devices, provides an overview of all the devices connected to the router, and measures Wi-Fi traffic and performance. Bandwidth can be allocated and prioritized for certain devices when needed, such as a laptop for a work meeting over another user in the home network streaming videos on a tablet, or gaming.

The IT Manager of Your Home

Services such as cybersecurity, identity protection, VPN service, a special and dedicated secure home office network, and a home alarm system can be among the feature set. The app will make the router smarter, and arm users with the tools to seamlessly manage the routers inside their homes and extend the lifetime of deployed and aging hardware for operators.

The more digital our households become, the more challenging the situation becomes for the existing home network. Deploying the right smart home management solution can make complicated technologies easier to manage, and everyone can be the IT manager of their own home, controlling their digital life from the palm of their hand.

For BSPs, value-added resellers, and router suppliers, there is a twofold opportunity: increase the revenue per user and position yourselves as leaders in the smart home arena. The journey to redefining user experience and deriving optimal value for your customers, begins now.

About the Author

Paul Hendriks | Chief Executive Officer

Paul Hendriks is Chief Executive Officer of Gamgee. He has a long-standing career in telecommunications and cybersecurity. He started his career with the Dutch incumbent operator KPN where he primarily worked in senior executive positions in the areas of innovation and broadband. He joined the management board as CTO and CIO of Ziggo (later VodafoneZiggo), which grew from small challenger into a market leader. After this tenure, he co-founded a start-up in Prague that designs fiber networks for operators across Europe. After a couple of successful years, he joined cybersecurity company AVG Technologies (later part of Avast) as CIO and CTO. A few years back, he decided to co-found his current company Gamgee, focused on empowering people to have the best digital experiences at home, at the office and on the move. Paul is based in Amsterdam in The Netherlands. For more information, visit Follow Gamgee on Facebook and LinkedIn.