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Alexa, Fix My Smart Home

The technology in our homes is growing more complicated every day. You purchase a new garage door opener, it has an app you can use to control it. You buy a new deadbolt for your house, there’s an app for that. You buy a new slow cooker, and again, you can control it with an app. It seems like every new thing you need to buy for your house has smart technology built in! To really take advantage of the Internet of Things, can be daunting for someone who is not technical.

We mentioned in the past that it could be smart for MSPs to take advantage of this changing landscape to branch out and support the homes of employees. But you certainly won’t be alone in the market.

Amazon Tech Support for Smart Homes

Amazon, moving closer to complete world domination, has picked up on this need and seems to be quietly rolling out tech support for homes. Although not currently available across the country, Amazon Home Services include everything from Smart Home Consultations to the installation of smart thermostats and lights.

Some folks are comparing it to a modern-dan Best Buy Geek Squad. The big difference: Best Buy wants to sell you more hardware. In contrast, Amazon’s strategy is to build deeper connections between Smart Homes and Amazon’s own e-commerce services.

Amazon claims that the experts deployed for these Home Services are actual Amazon employees, not contractors, have been background-checked and are licensed and certified where applicable. This could be one of the reasons the services aren’t available in all regions, yet. Also, instead of the lengthy time frames many home service companies will give you, requiring you to wait around your house all day, Amazon has promised specific appointment times. You are able to pick a time that works for your schedule from 8 AM – 8 PM.

Smart Home Consultations

One of the main services Amazon is offering is a Smart Home Consultation. Each Smart Home Consultation appointment is a personalized experience and typically lasts about 45 minutes, the company claims.

They start by learning about your habits and the things you care most about, like saving on your energy bill, or saving time in the day with automations. They will then perform a quick WIFI assessment to make sure you have good signal strength throughout your home and help troubleshoot any issues. Based on the information they have gleaned, they’ll demo and let you test drive various smart home products and voice-control through Amazon Alexa, and assist with any current smart home devices you have.

Finally, they will recommend new smart home solutions and create a personalized list of smart home products to make it easy for you to get started.

Specific Services and Future Plans

In addition to the Smart Home Consultation, Amazon is also offering services for specific pieces of the smart home puzzle. Amazon’s Services include:

  • Networking – Assistance setting up your Wi-Fi network for optimal signal throughout your house
  • Entertainment Devices – Help with your streaming devices like Fire TV, parental controls setup, and antenna installation
  • Smart Plugs – Enable rules to help you save on energy costs and use voice controls
  • Home Security – Installation and setup of cameras, smart locks, doorbells and other items to make your home more secure
  • Smart Lighting – Create custom lighting schemes to help you wake up on time or control remotely, also installation of complicated light switches
  • Sprinklers – Weather based control of watering your yard, and assistance setting up an optimal watering schedule
  • Heating and Cooling – Automate your heating and cooling to save energy and always be comfortable in your home

It will be interesting to see if more companies join in to offer these types of home services, or if new types of MSPs that support home users start to pop up. There seems to be a growing market for home services, as we get closer to that smart home of the future, and companies are sure to capitalize on it.

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2 Comments

Comments

    Chris Phillips:

    The biggest issue with Home Automation, is it’s still a bunch of unconnected (mostly) technologies. While I love Alexa and she does “connect” much of it together, it’s still 11 different apps on my phone. Sure, I can ask Alexa to water my lawn, but since it’s weather detecting, I don’t need to.

    If someone can bring all of it together into one (true) app, or “pane of glass” (Forbidden Word, Per Vince T.) it will do wonders for home automation.

      Joe Panettieri:

      Hi Chris: While single “pane” is forbidden term we won’t exile you. After all, Pane is in my last name…
      -jp

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