Open ecosystem makes it easy for partners to get started. New protocols, new partners. Routers set to become control centers.
Working with partners to develop Europe’s leading smart home platform. This was the focal point that Deutsche Telekom formulated for an industry meeting in Berlin. Around 150 company representatives, industry insiders, and journalists attended the event, which was held under the banner “Smart Home – Smart Partnerships” to discuss the growing importance and opportunities of the burgeoning market.
Deutsche Telekom is taking a lead role in this area thanks to its open platform QIVICON, which allows very different companies to work together.
Niek Jan van Damme, Board member of Deutsche Telekom, speaking in Berlin, said:
“If we stick with conventional proprietary solutions in the growth market for the smart home, we’re going to lose out to international providers. We need to recognize the diversity of technical solutions as an opportunity and use it as such.”
“Germany and Europe need to face up to the competition and win it,” emphasized van Damme.
As the Board member responsible for innovation at Deutsche Telekom, he highlighted the significance of the integrated portfolio and its open platform as a “playing field” for innovative solutions and companies. If consumers are going to continue to opt for new products and services, they will need to be offered simple and reliable solutions that can be combined and will grow with their needs. Van Damme was keen to point out that nobody needs to start from scratch, as the smart home portfolio at Telekom is already established on the mass market in Germany. The portfolio’s simplicity is the key to success, which is why Telekom and its partners are making it simple and straightforward for consumers to network their home. Indeed, consumers will, in future, be able to use upcoming router models to control their smart home directly. Telekom is working to integrate the relevant functions into the devices, which will become part of the standard portfolio at Deutsche Telekom.
Magenta SmartHome: The company is also integrating smart home features into its Magenta product family, making the smart home a central element in the company’s portfolio alongside mobile and fixed-network telephony, Internet, and IPTV.
Developing together, growing together: Different partner models will help the smart home make its breakthrough: The open platform will not just benefit hardware manufacturers and sales partners – companies that offer their own solutions will also be interested in a partnership. Telekom can offer companies a range of partner models to take into account their strategic alignment and what they bring to the market. As a result, companies can step into the growing smart home market quickly and easily, and benefit from the new options.
- Platform partners develop their own smart home application and market it under their own brand or integrate their service into another partner’s portfolio. They can dock directly with the QIVICON smart home platform and therefore build their own offering based on this.
- Whitelabel partners, on the other hand, use an all-inclusive offering that includes the QIVICON Home Base, freely selectable hardware, and an app that is adapted to their own branding. They market their solutions through their own distribution channels.
- Product partners integrate cameras, door locks, lighting, and other devices into both the QIVICON smart home platform and Magenta SmartHome. These devices can be controlled and intelligently networked with other components via the apps offered by Telekom and other partners.
- Marketing partners can benefit from the growth in the smart home market by intelligently linking their own portfolio with Magenta SmartHome.
- Retail partners benefit from the burgeoning interest in the smart home by incorporating the Telekom portfolio into their sales operations.
The foundation of the networked home is growing
Telekom did the groundwork for the secure, open, and cross-vendor QIVICON smart home platform in 2013. Since then, the platform has attracted more than 40 partner companies, including strong brands such as Miele, Samsung, EnBW, e-Q3, Kärcher, Logitech, Osram, Philips, Sonos, and Netatmo. A recent addition to the network is Gigaset, which manufactures fixed-network telephony solutions for consumers and business customers and provides cloud-based security solutions for the smart home. QIVICON has also had international success in its hunt for partners. The first international partner to launch a smart home offering based on QIVICON was the Austrian utility company eww in 2015. Dutch telecoms company KPN has now followed suit, launching its KPN Smartlife portfolio on the same sound basis.
The technology behind the smart home platform is also seeing continuous development. QIVICON already supports the HomeMatic and ZigBee protocols, as well as IP-based devices such as cameras, and will also support HomeMatic IP by the second half of this year and DECT ULE by the end of this year/start of next year. Consequently, Telekom offers its customers and partners an even more diverse range of solutions than ever before.
Excellent security for the connected home
However, Telekom does not just want to grow its portfolio, it also wants to offer its customers a standard of data privacy and security that will provide proper protection for the connected home. That is why the company is constantly testing its smart home portfolio applying very strict criteria. Independent institute AV-TEST GmbH subjected the QIVICON smart home platform and Magenta SmartHome app to rigorous testing, giving it an “Excellent security” rating, just as it did in the previous year (03/2016).