Parks Associates Research Addresses Tech Support Opportunities in the Internet of Things

Arrayent, Asurion, OnProcess Technology, ROC-Connect, and Support.com to Discuss IT Smart Home Market at 20th-annual CONNECTIONS™ Conference

Dallas, Texas, March 30, 2016 - Parks Associates announced technical support research today that shows tech support subscribers are more engaged with these services—over 70% of U.S. broadband households with a tech support subscription used this service at least once during a 12-month term, compared to only 57% in 2014. The firm's analysts will discuss the usage and role of tech support in the consumer-based IoT at the 20th anniversary of CONNECTIONS™: The Premier Connected Home Conference, May 24-26 in San Francisco.


"Tech support consumers are keeping their subscriptions longer and using them more," said Patrice Samuels, Research Analyst, Parks Associates. "This trend has emerged as the demographics of tech support subscribers have shifted to consumers 65 and older. These older consumers are proving to be very active and valuable customers of more traditional tech support services, but to capture even larger markets in the expanding connected home ecosystem, IoT support companies need to target the new challenges and anxieties among today's connected consumers, including setup and maintenance of interconnected smart home devices and new data and security risks."

"The Connected Life continues to expand as more interconnected devices are being used by consumers," said Peter Blanks, Vice President Technology, Asurion. "Leading companies in this space are redefining the support experience by focusing on ease and simplicity, and leveraging advanced analytics in order to provide customers with more personalized and proactive service that not only engages the user, but engenders brand loyalty to the provider. At Asurion we provide more than 20 million customers every year with tech services that solve their issues whether it's providing step-by-step technical support; showing the customer how to do more with their technology; or repairing or replacing a damaged, lost or stolen device."

Parks Associates research finds more than 40% of U.S. broadband households are interested in services that protect privacy and manage online consumer information. Samuels will discuss support services in the Internet of Things and smart home during two interactive-panel sessions at CONNECTIONS™.

The session "IoT: Protecting the Consumer Experience," Tuesday, May 24, 2:45 P.M., features the following speakers:
• Lee Gruenfeld, VP of Strategic Initiatives, Support.com
• William Oget, VP of Engineering, Arrayent

"The nightmare scenario hasn't hit yet, but it will," said Lee Gruenfeld, VP of Strategic Initiatives, Support.com. "And when it does, it has the potential to undermine consumer faith across the entire gamut of smart home devices and services. There's tremendous pressure on providers to protect not just themselves and consumers, but the industry itself."

The session "Support Strategies to Integrate Smart Devices in the IoT," Wednesday, May 25, 11:00 A.M., features the following speakers:
• Peter Blanks, Vice President Technology, Asurion
• Karen Kosh, VP - Broadband & Wireless, OnProcess Technology
• Kevin Meagher, SVP Business Development, ROC-Connect

"One of the biggest challenges facing connected product providers is the high percentage of consumers who either never end up setting up their products or return them soon after installation because they didn't meet expectations. There are a number of steps providers can take to combat this, but they require taking a much more comprehensive, proactive, and analytical approach to customer service," said Karen Kosh, VP Broadband and Mobility Business, OnProcess Technology. "I'm looking forward to showing CONNECTIONS™ attendees how, by putting best practices in place for customer education and technician support, and using visibility and predictive analytics tools to gain a real-time, granular view into customer and product issues, they can close that failure gap, improve customer retention, and boost top and bottom lines."

"Security and privacy top the list of consumer concerns with connected products and systems," Samuels said. "CONNECTIONS™ is one of the only places where real discussions take place, offering viable solutions and opportunities for service providers to holistically manage the consumer experience."

Event sponsors include Reception Sponsors CEL and Zonoff; Session Sponsor Icontrol Networks; Silver Sponsors Alarm.com, Assurant, Asurion, ROC-Connect, Support.com, ULE Alliance, WiZR, ZigBee; Bronze Sponsors Ayla Networks, EVRYTHNG, Flex, People Power, WeatherBug Home, and Z-Wave; Program Guide Sponsor Vivint; Breakfast Sponsors Greenwave Systems and Waxman CPG (leakSMART); and Break Sponsors Home8, Nortek, and Tyco.

For more information on CONNECTIONS™, visit www.connectionsus.com. Follow the conference on Twitter at @CONNECTIONS_US, #CONNUS16, and on the CONNECTIONS™ Industry Insights Blog.
360 View Update: The Demand for Device and Network Security and 360 View Update: Consumer Engagement with Support Services are available for purchase at www.parksassociates.com. To schedule an interview with Patrice Samuels or to request specific data, contact Holly Sprague at hsprague@gmail.com, 720.987.6614.

About CONNECTIONS™
Parks Associates' 20th-annual CONNECTIONS™: The Premier Connected Home Conference will take place May 24-26 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in San Francisco. CONNECTIONS™ hosts over 650 executives from the connected entertainment, IoT, and smart home industries and is focused specifically on business strategies to fully engage consumers in the connected home experience.
The event provides networking opportunities and insights from industry players in entertainment, mobile, and smart home market segments. Parks Associates' analyst team highlights consumer and industry research throughout the event, including technology adoption and trends, product and service forecasts, evaluation of new business strategies, and recommendations about technology innovations, strategic partnerships, monetization opportunities, and value-added services. Throughout the three-day event, sponsors offer tabletop demos during networking events, spotlighting new technology innovations and services.
For more information, visit www.connectionsus.com.

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