FAQ White-Label-Smart-Home-Portfolio

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Here are the most frequently asked questions about Deutsche Telekom’s white label smart home portfolio. 

What is the white label smart home portfolio? 

It is a comprehensive package for business customers allowing companies to enter the smart home market quickly and easily. The portfolio combines the open and secure smart home platform Qivicon, gateways, apps, devices and services with attractive business and pricing models. This enables firms to tailor a variety of products to their customers’ needs while bringing them rapidly to the wider mass market.

What does the white label portfolio include?

Besides the core elements – platform, gateways, apps and services – the portfolio also includes access to partner and developer networks, as well as the opportunity to use flexible pricing models. The portfolio is constantly being expanded and updated. Deutsche Telekom offers maximum data protection and pays close attention to interoperability, security and scalability when expanding its smart home offerings.

What is the smart home platform Qivicon?

Qivicon is an open smart home software platform that is both hardware- and protocol-independent. This allows the flexible management of all functionality and applications, as well as the speedy addition of new technical features. The open platform also enables the easy integration and combination of products and services. The advantages:

  • Qivicon currently supports the wireless protocols HomeMatic, Homematic IP, ZigBee Pro, DECT ULE and WiFi.
  • Implementation requires minimal investment.
  • The independent institute AV-Test has confirmed its high standard of security. The smart home platform prevents external manipulation attempts and ensures secure communications (test results from 1/2018).
  • The business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan named Qivicon the most innovative smart home solution in 2014 and 2016.
  • Deutsche Telekom is a member of the Eclipse Foundation, the largest independent developer community in the world. The Qivicon platform is open to all developers and start-ups wanting to realize their own ideas, apps and devices. 

The core elements of the portfolio: Gateways, apps, devices and services

A. Smart home gateways

In order to offer smart home products and services, companies need to provide a gateway that retail customers use to control their houses. There are two options for this: 

  • Offer your retail customers Qivicon’s Home Base: this gateway has proven itself and is a quick and easy way to tap into the market.
  • Or integrate the necessary hardware and software using alternative gateways. Flexible lifecycle management of the software is also possible using the Open Services Gateway Initiative (OSGi). This enables the rapid adjustment to market conditions, easy addition of new functionality and further options to integrate the gateway.

B. Applications

Creating smart home applications is incredibly easy using the white label portfolio. Companies have two options:

  • They can rebrand the existing white label app to gain quick market access. This also allows the integration of third-party services.
  • But firms can also choose to develop their own app. They can even rely on Deutsche Telekom’s developer network to do this if they wish.

C. Devices

From external alarms to smart dishwashers and stereo speakers to weather stations – there are already more than 250 devices offered by leading brands that are compatible with Qivicon. They cover a broad array of applications, including security (smoke detectors and door/window control), energy (thermostats) and convenience (stereo and lighting systems). Qivicon’s ability to integrate various devices like cameras, door locks or lights – so retail customers can combine them as they wish – is a fundamental element of the smart home platform. This easy integration enables products to be marketed both domestically and internationally. And companies can bundle compatible products with offerings from partners.

D. Services

Companies can add their own services to the smart home package at any time – from single energy modules to collaborations with third-party service providers such as security firms. The creation of e individual packages for smart home users leads to increased customer loyalty and boosted revenues.

Along with the core elements of the white label portfolio, working with Deutsche Telekom offers further advantages:

I. Different pricing models

Having the appropriate pricing model is key to making a smart home product successful. The portfolio and the diverse business models allow companies to tap into the smart home market quickly and easily with minimal investment and development. Companies retain complete control over the scope of the offer, branding, marketing and pricing with the white label portfolio.

II. Diverse partner network

In order to grow in the smart home segment, partnerships, cross-industry cooperation and especially a platform-based approach can be decisive. With more than 40 partners, Deutsche Telekom has one of the most comprehensive smart home networks. This creates a huge selection of diverse products and devices that can be used to design an individual smart home offering with plenty of potential for cooperation.

III. Developer community

As a member of the Eclipse Foundation, the Qivicon platform is open to all developers and start-ups wanting to realize their own ideas, apps and devices. The Eclipse Foundation is one of the largest independent developer communities in the world. Deutsche Telekom is also working with other developers on app development and device integration.

What advantages does the white label portfolio offer firms?

The white label portfolio makes entering the smart home market very easy: Companies use the established Qivicon platform for quick and efficient market access, adapt the existing app to their own brand design, develop their own business models, combine these with their own services or those of their partners and begin profiting from the growing smart home segment. Each partner firm can employ its own product, pricing, communications and marketing strategies to create individual smart home solutions and shape the market together with other partners. They also have the opportunity to expand existing customer relationships via up- and cross-selling. The platform provides an immediately useable technical system that does not require extensive and expensive preparation or investment. Businesses will also profit from economies of scale, as the platform become more attractive – to both customers and companies – as more products and services are added. 

Will the portfolio also be offered outside of Germany?

Several companies both inside and outside Germany have already implemented their own offerings based on this comprehensive package. Slovak Telekom, KPN in The Netherlands, the Austrian eww-Gruppe, Bitron Video in Italy, Norway’s Nettalliansen consortium and the Greek mobile operator Cosmote – they are all now successfully operating in the smart home market. Slovak Telekom and Bitron Video offer convenience and energy conservation applications. But the companies especially want to win over their customers with an emphasis on security for the connected home. Norway’s Nettalliansen, a consortium of 47 energy providers and utilities, will offer its customers assistance systems for independent living for the elderly under the brand Hitch, as well as smart home functionality for energy applications. In the Netherlands, KPN has smart home products tailored especially to the needs of its various target groups and Austria’s eww-Gruppe is providing retail customers smart home services under its own brand based on Qivicon’s platform. And in Greece, with Cosmote Smart Home, consumers can enjoy a comprehensive offer with a variety of Qivicon compatible devices.

What kinds of business models are possible?

The smart home market continues to grow: according to the Statista Smart Home Market Report 2017, sales will reach approximately € 2,503 million in 2018 and market volume will increase to € 5,278 million in 2022. The analysts also predict an annual sales growth of 20.5 percent. The white label smart home portfolio gives companies rapid entry to the market and the ability to develop new business models. It makes selling hardware, services based on pay and usage models, service-related products, service packages, customer loyalty programs, as well as subsidized models and incentive programs all extremely easy. Moreover, it facilitates linking the smart home portfolio, proprietary products and services digitally. For example, insurers can tie their premiums to services and intelligent devices. Manufacturers of household goods can make their products smart and access devices needing repair remotely – letting a maintenance technician know before heading to a customer’s house what if any replacement parts to bring along. The white label portfolio can also help develop and market age-appropriate ambient assisted living (AAL) products. The security segment is growing especially fast. For example, security firms offering various levels of service can complement the protection of customer homes. This could involve monitoring alarms or video surveillance of a property.

What pricing models are available?

Besides new business models, the white label package also supports innovative flexible pricing models. Companies can choose to charge smart home customers either monthly or via a one-off payment. The white label app also provides new ways to increase customer satisfaction. The basic app is an easy way to attract retail customers to try connected living. If they then want to try further functionality, they can simply upgrade to a premium version.

Are there partner models?

Deutsche Telekom offers companies an array of different partner models.

A. White label partners develop their own smart home product based on the portfolio comprised of several components: the open and secure smart home platform Qivicon, Deutsche Telekom’s white label app rebranded by the company’s own design, Qivicon’s Home Base or an alternative gateway and compatible hardware of their choosing. White label partners can also develop their own app. The marketing is done under their own brand and via their own marketing channels.

B. Product partners want to market their items, such as cameras, door locks, lighting or other devices as part of a smart home package. They integrate them into the smart home platform Qivicon and Deutsche Telekom’s Magenta SmartHome. Users control these products with the SmartHome app and connect it with other components.

Is the white label smart home portfolio suited to particular kinds of businesses?

The portfolio can be used by many industries, but is ideal for telecommunications firms. Their existing infrastructure is already a fundamental part of people’s homes. With their experience in marketing and billing services, they can position themselves as providers of domestic digital services of the future. By potentially bundling Internet, telephone, TV and smart home applications, companies can increase customer loyalty. The basic app is an easy way to attract customers to try connected living. They can take their time getting used to a smart home offering, and later simply upgrade to a premium version when then want increased functionality.

How does Qivicon work?  

Open and universally compatible with all manufacturers, the smart home platform Qivicon can easily combine a diverse array of devices, apps and functionality from different brands. This means retail customers can effortlessly integrate Qivicon compatible products like household appliances from Miele, cameras from D-Link, lighting systems from Philips or Osram, or music systems from Sonos into their connected homes and link them to other devices. 

The Qivicon Home Base is the nexus of all communication and is connected to the Internet via a customer’s regular broadband service from their telecom provider. It receives the commands from apps and transmits them wirelessly to electric devices in the house or apartment. Since smart home control functionality can also be integrated into other gateways, providers remain completely independent in this regard.

What is special about the white label portfolio?

The smart home market is still dominated by many manufacturer-specific solutions that are incompatible with each other. The result? Should a customer purchase the smart home product from a specific provider, he can only use the functionality and solutions from that one manufacturer – but not from others. The white label smart home portfolio enables companies to offer their customers their own, compatible devices and apps based on the Qivicon platform. Moreover, Deutsche Telekom is a member of the international open source community the Eclipse Foundation and is making its programming interfaces available to the group. This will provide independent developers with the opportunity to develop their own apps and device applications, as well as programming APIs for other systems.

There’s a reason the consultancy firm Deloitte sees the future of the smart home segment in open platforms that allow consumers to use the products of several manufacturers. This demand is exactly what Deutsche Telekom is targeting with the white label portfolio based on the Qivicon platform. More than 40 partners guarantee brand and manufacturer diversity. Currently, over 250 compatible devices exist and the list of partners continues to grow. And the more partners there are offering their products and solutions on the platform, the greater selection consumers will have of potential applications and brands.

Which companies are already cooperating with Deutsche Telekom?

There are more than 40 leading companies from various industries cooperating with Deutsche Telekom. And a constantly growing number of firms are using its white label portfolio under their own brands for their smart home offerings. A current overview can be found here:

Which wireless standards does the smart home platform support?

The Qivicon platform currently supports HomeMatic, Homematic IP, ZigBee Pro WiFi and DECT ULE. Users can also expand the number of wireless protocols with a USB stick, as soon as a new protocol is supported by the Qivicon platform. Both Qivicon’s Home Base and many alternative gateways have the necessary USB ports.

What are the advantages for retail customers?

Products based on the white label portfolio offer easy entry into the connected world. Weather stations, speakers, thermostats and lighting – all kinds of devices are compatible with Qivicon. Regardless of brand and manufacturer, they can all be easily installed, linked together and reliably controlled. Many users begin with security and burglary protection products before expanding their connected home with energy conservation, lifestyle and entertainment functionality. Qivicon makes it easy to mix and match these items from multiple brands. 

How can retail customers use the white label portfolio?

Retail customers can control all their devices with partner apps. Depending on the app, this can be done by smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, PC or BMW’s Infotainmentsystem ConnectedDrive and Volkswagen Car-Net App Connect. Voice commands are also supported. While some smart home apps focus on security applications, others are made for energy or convenience functionality. And some enable sweeping control of several functions and devices. The Qivicon Home Base, or an alternative gateway like a router, serves as the communications nexus with all necessary wireless technology onboard. The white label portfolio also gives companies the opportunity to integrate hardware and software components into alternative gateways.

How involved is the installation for users?

The Qivicon platform uses wireless technology, allowing quick and easy installation. Since it doesn’t require laying cable or ripping open walls, Qivicon is also great for older homes and rental units. When it’s time to move, simply break down the smart home equipment and take it to a new apartment or house. Installation of individual components, such as door locks, window sensors or thermostats, is simple and users can normally do everything on their own if they wish.

Which devices can be controlled?

The user decides which devices to use inside a connected house. From external alarms to smart dishwashers and stereo speakers to weather stations – there are already more than 250 devices offered by leading brands that are compatible with Qivicon. For those new to smart home technology, partner firms offer starter kits for security, energy, lighting and convenience applications. A list of all compatible products can be found here:

What about IT security and the white label portfolio?

Deutsche Telekom uses dedicated servers and data centers operating under Germany’s strict data protection laws to ensure maximum security for the white label smart home portfolio. Thorough testing by AV-Test GmbH, the most recent done in January 2018, has proven that Qivicon offers very effective protection against unauthorized access attempts. The independent IT security testing institute awarded Qivicon a “secure” rating, meaning the smart home platform ensures encrypted communications and a very good level of protection. To improve and develop its products and services, Qivicon has also been certified by the German quality control agency TÜV Rheinland with the ISO 9001 standard. This is the most widely used and respected global standard for quality management.

For further information about the white label portfolio, QIVICON and its partners see: