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Communications service providers hold key to unlock future home ecosystem

The recent challenges spurred by the COVID-19 global pandemic have only highlighted the importance of the home. More of the global population now works from home, educates children at home, games and entertains and even interacts with doctors at home. This changes the definition of the home and CSPs can mobilize to adapt to these changes to play a critical role in supporting consumers, businesses and governments in the Future Home.

Communications service providers (CSPs), such as wireless network operators, incumbent telecommunications companies, cable network businesses and internet service providers, will be central in the ecosystem needed to deliver on the promise of seamless and purpose-built digital services in the Future Home, according to a new book from Accenture.

The Future Home in the 5G Era: Next Generation Strategies and Business Models for Hyper-Connected Living — from Accenture industry experts Jefferson Wang and Boris Maurer — was written prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but details a Future Home concept that is built on a foundation of human needs that have only come into more focus as the global crisis develops.

The book paints a picture of hyper-connected homes that offer personalized services from home for remote-work and learning, healthcare and telemedicine, social communications, immersive entertainment, community relations, childcare and advanced aging care. Coupled with CSPs’ history of trusted consumer relationships and technology capabilities, specifically with 5G, will enable them to create new business models that drive platform-based innovation and reinvent customer experiences within the Future Home walls and out.

“The recent challenges spurred by the COVID-19 global pandemic have only highlighted the importance of the home. More of the global population now works from home, educates children at home, games and entertains and even interacts with doctors at home. This changes the definition of the home and CSPs can mobilize to adapt to these changes to play a critical role in supporting consumers, businesses and governments in the Future Home,” said Jefferson Wang, Global 5G Offering Co-Lead and Managing Director, Technology Strategy & Advisory at Accenture.

While the global pandemic will likely force a change in the deployment of 5G networks, connectivity to 5G wireless technology on a large scale — as with any new technology adoption curve — has remained several years away. However, as adoption gets underway, consumer lifestyles will be intensely assisted by intelligent digital technologies 5G will facilitate and will make the Future Home a radical departure from today’s standards of digital sophistication with new, high quality digital services in its ecosystem.

The Future Home ecosystem must include both technology systems from device manufacturers, platform providers and app designers as well as input from companies that address increasingly critical consumer needs as healthcare and consumer goods sectors. The book delves into how partners can best work together to create and secure the Future Home, with CSPs in the prime position to be central enablers of that diverse ecosystem.

“The trend toward integrating home, work, care, play and other needs into a new digital lifestyle under one roof is making the demand for the Future Home greater than ever; as is the need to safeguard its construction and dwellers,” said Boris Maurer, Managing Director, Communications & Media Industry Lead for Europe at Accenture. “The broad ecosystem that must come together to reinvent, shape and design products and services for the Future Home must also deliver, manage and store these solutions in a trustworthy way. All partners must put cloud, data privacy and security at the center of their strategies.”

For CSPs to assume this new leadership position of ecosystem orchestrator, the book highlights the key steps they must take to transform the structure and culture of their businesses, mastering competitive agility as they execute with equal strength across growth, profitability, sustainability and trust.

These include: 

  • Reinvent the front office digitally to create a proactive, real-time customer experience, giving consumers a sense of control over their Future Home.
  • Revamp the back office to become lean and agile, supporting the innovative, dynamic business models required and their high frequency customer interactions.
  • Train staff in the radically new skills they’ll need to operate effectively in this new service world.
  • Adopt rapid product development to keep pace with the ever-changing demands of Future Home users.
  • Build agile technology platforms that can scale rapidly and accommodate ecosystems involving a wide array of partners.
  • Activate a pervasive connectivity layer which binds 5G and all the other elements together to provide the ubiquitous connectivity required to power the Future Home.

“By putting human needs at the core of their strategy, CSPs can become the ecosystem orchestrator needed for the future to start taking shape today. They hold the key to transforming the fragmented digital infrastructure of our homes, and provision the seamless future that serves our expanding in-home needs while also driving lasting business growth,” Wang added.

The Future Home in the 5G Era, is published by Kogan Page and was released in April 2020 with contributions from industry experts George Nazi and Amol Phadke.

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