OliverIQ fine-tunes its smart home pitch for broadband operators – Light Reading

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OliverIQ’s smart home-as-a-service (SHaaS) platform for broadband service providers is continuing to take shape as the startup prepares to launch its offering commercially in the fourth quarter of 2024.

OliverIQ, a startup that introduced its white-label smart home platform in January at CES in Las Vegas, said it will rely on a pair of business models: fees based on per-service activations and per-router fees.

OliverIQ’s activation model will largely be based on revenue sharing, according to company Chief Revenue Officer Glen Mella.

Pricing will be determined by the operator. But Mella anticipates that some ISPs will likely start with a retail price of a smart home product offered under their own branding for less than $10 per month. That amount could fall well below that mark as volumes rise and if ISPs decide to offer a managed smart home service under a subsidy or “freemium” model, Mella noted.

Tied in, the company has developed multiple deployment options. ISP partners can deploy OliverIQ’s smart home control platform on their own routers, or use a separate, $99 hardware hub that is outfitted with a wide range of antennas and connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Thread, Matter and Z-Wave.

“It’s got everything under the sun,” Mella said of OliverIQ’s hub.

OliverIQ controller device

For operators that opt to pair OliverIQ’s software with their own routers but lack some of the required IoT radios, OliverIQ has also developed a smaller bridge device. About the size of an AirPod charger case, the adapter plugs into a power outlet and supports multiple radios that can be used to connect to various IoT devices around the home, such as connected doorbells, locks, lights and thermostats.

“There’s a lot of different paths into the connected home,” Mella said. “We have to just get the software in the home.”

That software, which is core to OliverIQ’s smart home-as-a-service offering, is designed to make it easy for users to onboard, manage and control their IoT devices, including those from multiple suppliers, through a centralized app. In addition to managing those IoT devices separately, the platform also is capable of performing multiple automated tasks, such as shutting off lights, locking doors and lowering the thermostat when it’s time for the homeowner to turn in for the night. A similar set of automated tasks can be set up for when the consumer wakes up or is away from home.

OliverIQ bridge device

The challenging task OliverIQ is taking on is performing and automating those tasks across a diverse ecosystem of smart home and IoT products. OliverIQ says it has extended support for several IoT products from companies such as Amazon/Ring, Google/Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell, Sonos, Roku, Yale, Lutron and Levitron.  

“It’s just the beginning of a growing list,” Mella said.

OliverIQ, which offers remote security monitoring through an opt-in/add-on for both business models, is also offering white-labeled 24/7 remote tech support for its ISP partners and their subscribers.

OliverIQ is poised to bring a new (and potentially easier) smart home approach to the market. Some operators, such as Comcast (with Xfinity Home) and Cox Communications (with Cox Homelife), market their own smart home and home security products. Other options include ADT, Alarm.com and Vivent.

Sights set on a Q4 launch

OliverIQ’s updated business models emerge as the company makes plans to launch its platform commercially as early as this September.

It’s also bringing the SHaaS offering to market as cable operators and other broadband service providers put more emphasis on new services and capabilities they can add to the core service to help drive average revenue per user (ARPU) growth. Service providers are looking for service enhancements that can reduce churn and make the core broadband more “sticky,” Mella said.  

Mella said OliverIQ has secured deployment commitments with multiple US ISPs that he can’t yet identify, including some that are already in beta trials. Some are regional players with tens of thousands of customers, and others have millions of subs, he added.

OliverIQ, a company led by several former founders of Control4 (a high-end automation company that was sold in 2019 for $680 million), is also starting to engage with ISPs outside the US.

The company hopes to go live with its SHaaS offering by sometime in Q4 2024.

OliverIQ is also exploring SHaaS partnerships in other segments of the market, including homebuilders and large retailers. The company has a pilot program in development with a “major” retailer that has more than 5,000 stores.

“We’re in advanced beta stages and planning stages with them,” Mella said.

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