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New year, new you

January 29, 2017

New year, new you

4 ways your customers can streamline their personal and professional lives with smart home/office technology in 2018

If your customers are interested in tapping into the full potential of their homes and workspaces this year, it’s time to make their environments smarter. And there’s no better time than now.

With thousands of new Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets and technologies available—and more hitting the market every day—you’ve got sales opportunities galore. Whether these devices are used in homes or in SMB office environments, the time-, cost- and energy-saving benefits are huge.

But where should you begin? Start by examining key areas where interconnected devices can improve efficiency, visibility, security and overall control. Here are 4 big ones:

Smarter environments

In the home: Smart devices can help your customers automate everything from lighting, heating and air conditioning systems to fans and utility systems (like sprinklers), enabling them to maintain a comfortable home environment that’s both energy-efficient and cost-effective.

In the office: Your SMB customers have similar goals. They want to optimize energy efficiencies in the office during the workday, while eliminating wasted energy when the office is empty. Smart devices can also detect water leaks, monitor water usage and get alerts from onsite alarms.

Streamlined communications

In the home: Thanks to smart home hubs—a category that’s growing like wildfire—users can integrate surveillance, speakers and smart phones to create a video intercom that can check on kids, pets and elderly family members while they’re in another room or home alone.

In the office: Communications are a necessity in every workplace—and many SMBs are ready for upgrades. Some may want soft phone systems that use voice over IP technology to optimize business efficiency, or smart conferencing systems and interactive whiteboards to conduct more engaging face-to-face meetings with remote teams. Others may simply want to boost every efficiency. Imagine how much time they could save with Amazon Dash Button to order supplies as soon as someone notices they’re low.

Stronger security

In the home: With interconnected devices, home users can turn on porch lights, lock doors and activate security alarms—simply with voice commands. Smart doorbell systems let them see and talk with people on their doorstep without opening the door. And motion-activated security cameras can send live images to their smartphones, while also recording to the cloud. It all works together for better home security.

In the office: These same technologies also work well for SMBs who want to protect their work properties but are on a budget. SMBs can also use technologies that protect their networks and sensitive data from breaches—things like fingerprint readers, facial recognition apps and key cards that grant access to networks and printers. Because every smart device is a potential entry point into their network, mesh networking solutions that thwart unauthorized access also become critical.

Immersive experiences

In the home: Most people know that virtual reality (VR) is awesome for consumer gaming—delivering a better, more realistic visual experience. But did you know people also use VR headsets to visualize home design and renovation projects to avoid costly mistakes?

In the office: SMBs are also diving into the world of VR and augmented reality (AR). Product developers use AR glasses to design new products without touching a computer. Architects use VR headsets to walk through virtual concepts of their home designs. And educators and military teams use the technology for training and lifelike simulations.

“Whether you’re a consumer or a small business owner, you care about what’s going on in your home or your office while you’re away,” said Alexandra Harding, director of vendor management, CTS. “Peace of mind is important. Thanks to technologies like these, people can be far from the office—even on vacation—and still make sure the AC is off at night, the doors are locked, and that the home front and workplace are secure. Best yet, these technologies are a cost-effective way to maintain control without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.”