Thursday, September 21, 2006

VoIP Bundles You Can Feel Safe About

Fellow blogger Garrett Smith had an interesting post today about the role home alarm services can play to help VoIP providers differentiate themselves in the market with their bundles. The news element to this post was that has just announced a deal with SunRocket, to go along with the deal they have with Vonage.

Mark Evans is pretty skeptical, and Andy Abramson sees some merit. Speaking of Andy, I just had to mention that he's been experimenting with videoblogging, as followers of his blog would know by now. He posted a fun one today, which I especially like since he's wearing a Red Sox hat.

Back to the story. So, I'm somewhere in the middle between Mark and Andy. While Garrett is reporting on the news aspect of the story, it's not all that new. Vonage discovered early on that their service did not support all home security services, and this sure was a rude shock to some subscribers. It's just one of those things you don't really think about when deciding to sign up for VoIP.

Well, we're well along that path now, and sure, home alarm over IP is a great service to offer in the bundle. I'm with Mark though - it's really a me-too service, and it won't take long for the cablecos and telcos to add a variation on this themselves. I was at an analyst breakfast this week for Allstream/MTS, and when they were talking about the consumer market, Manitoba Telecom is already doing the quintuple play - forget about the Triple Play. Home security is in this mix, along with wireline voice, wireless, broadband and digital TV. So, if little Manitoba Tel can do it, so can most everybody else.

To me, the bigger story - and challenge for the pureplay VoIP operators - is to build on this idea even further, and start looking at their customers not as consumers of communications services, but as inhabitants of the smart home. We're not there yet, of course, but once fiber gets to the home, that connection will able to host a huge variety of services - voice, data and video. Home security is just the beginning - the cool stuff will be around things like surveillance, automated home controls and virtual personal services.

These are things that providers like Vonage and SunRocket could really run with and call their own. The beauty of being an IP-based pureplay is that you can be anything you want to be, and serve customers anywhere. You're not bound by the footprint of your physical network, and you're not boxed in by the legacy of being a telco or a cableco. So, to me, this is the one area the VoIP pureplays have an inherent advantage, and home security is a smart first step along the way to creating a value proposition that the big players will have trouble matching. The trick is to do it differently so it's not a me-too. That will be hard, but at least this is an area where they have a head start, and this is the time to get it right - before the MSOs take over the market and the telcos come in with both feet.

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1 comment:

ipcom said...

Posted by: Michael

Hello fellow bloggers,

I recently published an article on how security systems work and which are the most effective for your home � here is a quote from it, in case you are interested:

Talking Security Devices. First these devices have been used mainly for talking, but later on they have been integrated into home security system, along with other facilities like opening the door, turning on the light, and for emergency alert.

Back-up Power Supply. You don�t want to live in a movie, especially not in a classic thriller where the lights and home security system turn off especially when you need them more. To avoid this protect your house with a back-up supply.

Smoke Detectors. They add supplementary security to your home. The important thing is to be integrated into your home security and alarm system. These detectors don�t just detect the smoke but they can also help you to escape from a fire in time, at the same time, they cam notify the fire department. Some smoke detector systems have a power supply integrated.

House or Window Decals and Yard Signs. These are quite harmless signs of a possible existence of home security system in your house; they are posted on visible places, like windows, doors, in the yards etc., to scary, confuse and deter the burglars.

Wireless Systems. They offer all the protection necessary to your home and you get rid of hiding and masking all those cords, wires and extra outlets (you can never use for other purposes). The parts, spread around your home, communicate with the master control panel through radio frequencies � mostly used together with wireless CCTV cameras .

Security Services. These services are furnished by companies, which offer you not only the installation but also the maintenance of the system, the monitoring for cases of emergency to alert the police department, fire department, the ambulance, and relocation services for the cases when you move.

Master Control Panel. It is the central device that collects the information from all the sensors and keypads, and transmits the data to the monitoring companies.

If you feel this helps, please drop by my website for additional information, such as advice on buying a home security camera or resources on home security alarms .