Dixons Carphone, the biggest electronics and mobile phones retailer in Europe, and British energy supplier SSE are partnering in a bid to make smart home tech mainstream.
Together, the companies have a UK customer base of 10 million households. They want to push out their combined connected home solutions to these customers.
But they don’t just want to sell their smart home products. The companies also want to offer services such as installation, servicing, monitoring and controlling.
Connecting everything in the smart home
The firms want to be there for customers through every step of the smart home process. They’ll offer customers products and services to manage and connect everything from boilers to laptops.
Around 4,000 engineers and technical advisors will be involved in this joint connected tech operation, and they will be based at 1,200 stores across the country.
Will Morris, managing director of retail at SSE, said that the partnership will be beneficial to both companies and that they are developing a solution to revolutionize the flourishing smart home market.
“Together, we are developing a solution that isn’t just focused on launching the latest technology, but on meeting customers’ desire for a simple, flexible way to control, manage and maintain their homes,” he said.
“To do this, we are taking a customer first approach, leveraging SSE’s expertise and proven track record in providing essential services in the home.
“The powerful combination with Dixons Carphone’s unique platform, leading customer support function via Knowhow and high street presence puts us in a strong position in what is a nascent market with significant potential.”
A lucrative partnership
The news comes as Dixon Carphone today posted a 19 percent rise in profits over the past six months, while there has also been a rise in smartphone and domestic appliance sales.
Andrew Harrison, deputy CEO of Dixons Carphone, is also confident about the partnership. In a press statement, he pointed out his company’s experience in the connected tech market, something SSE will benefit from.
“We live in an increasingly connected world, where keeping our devices working at home, at work and on the move, with busy family and professional lives can be a minefield,” he said.
“CurrysPCWorld and Knowhow are out delivering, installing and fixing these products 365 days a year and our market leading honeyBee platform provides an easy way to monitor and control these devices, so we are incredibly excited to partner with SSE and extend our relationship with customers further into the home.”
Connected tech is booming
The consumer connected tech market is booming. Vlad Sejnoha, CTO at Nuance Communications, believes that smart hubs from companies like Amazon and Google will transform homes over the next few years.
“Smart talking AIs at home will fire up the ecosystem of the Internet of Things, taking it from novelty machines to necessities. With companies aspiring to make their assistants omnipresent and their machines more interconnectable, they need capable speech recognition to get the job done,” he told Internet of Business.
“You’ll interact with your smart fridge or printer in a more natural way but also see a portable personal assistant that lives in a cloud and follows you around to help you navigate a complex world.”