The Internet of Things: Achieving Stickiness
Last week in part 2 of our Internet of Things (IoT) series, we continued our discussion on building management automation (BMA), focusing in particular on how devices affect and interact with the humans that use them—a concept known as the Internet of Things and Humans (IoTH). Today, we’re going to talk about how companies can use these ideas to gain an edge over the competition and achieve stickiness.
You see, there’s a problem when it comes to the Internet of Things and BMA—there are too many options/vendors/startups/APIs. For those of us who love to tinker with the latest in technology, this is far from a problem, but most people simply want things to work as advertised. That’s where an IoT service plan can help you better meet your clients’ needs.
As someone who loves playing with new gadgets, you can vet the latest and greatest devices, so your clients don’t have to. Once you’ve found one or two vendors/models for each part of your BMA service offering (smart thermostat, lighting, security, etc.), you’re ready to go to market. Some clients may want to go off menu when it comes to devices, but it’s important that you stick with the devices you’ve pre-selected. By consistently offering a standard set of devices, you can hone your automation tools to monitor and manage these devices with custom event-based triggering.
By building out your automation tools to holistically work and interact with the devices you offer, it becomes much more difficult for anyone else to do what you do. You’ll be able to monitor and manage everything for your clients, from building locks, lighting and HVAC to desktops and servers. If a competing service provider approaches your client to make a switch, they’ll expect the same services they’re currently getting from you. Since each company typically has its own sets of devices, your competitor will either skip the BMA aspect entirely, offer BMA if the client agrees to rip/replace certain devices (increasing their cost of switching), or attempt to do what you do at a higher monthly fee. If your competitor can’t achieve the same level of interconnectedness (adjusting to one-off scenarios), the client will see your services offering as having the most value and make them think twice about switching.
That moment of rethinking their choice is when you begin to see the development of loyalty, which we’re calling stickiness. Achieving stickiness is a constant journey that boils down to value. When you offer more value than others can compete with, you’re sticky. When the competition finally catches up, your stickiness fades. IoT is a new and expanding field, and getting in early will help you create value that others will have trouble catching up to.
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