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Connected Home, Connected Everything: Fragmentation Poses Opportunities

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 11:39am
Andrew Berg

Chris PutnamFragmentation is already running rampant in the connected home space. From a variety of ad-hoc solutions to end-to-end carrier-grade platforms, users will find a lot of options out there right now and not everything is guaranteed to play nice together. But in the end, connectivity doesn't stop at the front door. It has to move both ways, into the house and out of it, connecting the garage door to the in-dash receiver and the refrigerator to the smartphone.

Research firm IDC expects IoT to open up many IT vendors to the consumer market, providing B2B2C services to connect and run homes and automobiles or virtually any place that where electronic devices will have a networking capability. IDC estimates that the technology and services revenue from IoT to expand from $4.8 trillion in 2012 to $7.3 trillion by 2017 at an 8.8 percent CAGR, with the greatest opportunity initially in the consumer, discrete manufacturing, and government vertical industries.

In the end, it's a connected world and Chris Putnam, senior vice president of sales and business development for Synchronoss, says it's also a world ripe with opportunity. 

Synchronoss just recently announced that Time Warner would be launching a home automation platform on the back of Synchronoss' Integrated Life platform, but he says that platform is applicable in endless use cases.  

"The foundational objective of Integrated Life was to provide a platform that can literally connect everything to anything and ultimately make it easy to synchronize and consume content across multiple disparate device types," Putnam said, adding that a device is really a device, whether you're talking about a light switch, a thermostat, a watch, or an automobile. 

"We're really doing deals across a pretty broad range of ecosystems," Putnam said. "If I'm a customer of AT&T's or Timex's or Time Warner's, I want to have a simple, easy to use customer experience in order to activate that device, and I want my personal content to be permeable across those device types in a way that is accessible and easy to understand." 

When asked about whether Sycnhronoss had taken sides in the war over a standard for the Internet of Things, he said that, as a white label provider, Synchronoss is watching but remains neutral. 

"We're not going to try and influence those standards at this point, but we'll react to and be able support what our partners are backing," Putnam said. "But if the standards do start to mature and solidify then we'll look for those opportunities to ensure that at least we're certified to those standards." 

Standards aside, Putnam says that the very fact that the discussion is being had its proof that the market is growing. 

"We've all been talking about the promise of connected devices for a long time," Putnam said. "It's finally encouraging to be able to start to announce deals with our integrated life platform."

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