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Matti is now responsible for all Delta-ee's research delivery under the Connected Home Service, providing high quality research to help clients understand the dynamics and opportunities within this market. He also participates in bespoke consultancy projects on various low-carbon technologies and markets. Prior to joining Delta-ee he worked for PwC Finland providing consultancy and verification on Corporate Social Responsibility reporting and the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.
Matti holds two MSc degrees with Distinctions, one in Economics from the University of Tampere in Finland and one in Carbon Management from the University of Edinburgh.
The long running speculation of Amazon’s expansion to home services in Europe has come to an end with the launch of ‘Amazon Home & Business Services’ in the UK last week. In simple terms, Amazon Home Services allows the purchase and scheduling of local professional services to help for example with the assembly of furniture, cleaning, or even the installation of a smart thermostat.
Amazon has already been offering similar home services for a long time in the US and has even launched free in-home consultations to help customers get the right smart home solution for them. In that sense, the expansion to the UK home services market is just a small step in this continuing journey. That being said, the long-term implications of Amazon’s move to home services are anything but small!
Now that the Delta-ee Connected Home team has returned from under the bright lights of CES and Las Vegas, it’s time to have a look back on the event and think about what all the announcements, shiny new smart home gadgets, and new partnerships mean for the connected home market.
As you could maybe have guessed from title of this blog, Google went all out at CES this year with its marketing for the Google Home smart voice interface. They even had large vending machines (see picture) at all the venues giving out prizes for those willing to queue for >45minutes! Google assistants in white overalls showed off the functionality at their partners’ stands, and even the Las Vegas monorail had the text “Hey Google” printed on it. I think this is a strong sign that Google will look to fully challenge Amazon Alexa in the smart home voice assistant space in 2018, and based on what we saw at CES, there will be no lack of products compatible with this voice interface which is already available in 7 languages.
You might have heard the news of Amazon’s free ‘smart home consultation service’ that was recently launched in the US. Simply put, Amazon is offering a free in-home consultation from a trained expert to assist potential customers with choosing the right connected home products for their needs. Because of Amazon’s unique position in the market, I believe this could seriously drive the connected home market and give Amazon a leading position.
So why am I so impressed by what Amazon is doing? What allows them to offer free in-home consultations? And why are they so well placed to both drive and gain a large part of the connected home market? Here are five reasons behind my thinking:
In a previous blog ‘winter is coming’, we explained why the upcoming winter season might actually be the last chance for the European energy industry to establish itself in the connected home space – and to own the customer relationship. Some of the many challengers that are clearly looking to capture the growth from the connected home market are the telcos.
This begs the questions: do telcos have what it takes to capture this growth? At least in the US the answer to this question has been a resounding yes with both Comcast and AT&T having already achieved more than half a million subscribers with their offerings. While the European market is very different to the US, we feel this is still a question that needs to be asked.
In my last blog “Data analytics will be at the core of future energy business”, I explained why we believe data analytics will be central to the future of the energy retail and energy services business. Is it just our view, or does the industry agree? In our discussions with companies in the energy space, we’d classify their thinking generally as “tentative agreement”, with the odd emphatic nodding of heads. A few are scratching their heads rather than nodding them, but we haven’t come across any shaking of heads in disagreement (yet).
To provide a bit more rigour to this characterisation – and to help the industry - we’re doing a number of things. First, we’re launching a benchmarking survey to provide a clearer view on how energy retailers are engaging with customer data analytics today. The survey, which we’ll conduct over the next few weeks, explores the level of commitment, engagement, and challenges and barriers. For the 20+ energy retailers from across Europe that are taking part, they’ll receive their own benchmarked position compared to the wider population. Second, we’ll publish selected highlights of the collated analysis in our blogs.
"Data analytics will be central to the future of the energy retail and energy services business."
To some this might be a bold statement, but to us there is some very strong logic supporting this view. Both for conventional commodity retailers, and for companies that see the future as more distributed, customer centric, and service orientated. Our logic behind this is based on five drivers:
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