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Using a Turnkey IoT Control Platform for a More Profitable Smart Lighting Portfolio

  • 11.16.17
  • ::
  • By David Parrett

Cortet Blog | Turnkey Platform

In one of our most popular previous blog posts, we listed the opportunities for growing and diversifying your revenue through smart lighting control.

We believe that there is no better time to enter the lighting control market for existing lamp and luminaire manufacturers, as market projections continue to show increasingly strong growth.


Related Post:
Why Now? The Smart Lighting Control Opportunity for Luminaire and Lamp OEMs


But, we recognize that if you are entering the market for the first time, making the move into IoT-based lighting control can be daunting.

Building your own control platform and technologies from scratch rarely makes the most sense, due to the inherently high cost, complexity and risk associated with developing the necessary technologies yourself.

Based on our own extensive ROI analyses, the clearly better choice is to partner with an established and proven turnkey platform provider.

Here’s a few of the key reasons why partnering with a platform provider is the best choice for lighting OEMs.

Less Cost, Complexity and Business Disruption

While there is a huge potential upside for adding lighting control to your portfolio, it’s also true that designing and building a control platform yourself can be expensive, extremely complex, and introduce a significant amount of risk.

The typical cost of creating, testing, and manufacturing a new platform is in the millions of dollars – and the costs don’t end at launch – supporting the platform to adjust to technological changes and security threats requires an ongoing commitment.

Creating a successful control platform requires an extremely wide-range of employee core competencies and expertise, ranging from wireless networking, to digital security, to user experience creation, to mobile application development, and everything in-between.

Few companies have both the financial resources and this type of wide-ranging expertise to successfully launch a new platform quickly and profitably.

Our ROI calculations show that by partnering with the third-party, turnkey platform provider, OEMs can achieve a better result, using the most advanced technologies, for up to 90% lower costs. And, because the platform has been built, tested and supported by a partner with a proven track-record, overall complexity and risk are significantly reduced.

Higher Chance of Initial Success

We’ve taken a close look at the lighting control market landscape over the past decade. The top risks for failure by existing lighting OEMs creating their own IoT-based control platforms appear to be:

  • Lack of appropriate employee experience and expertise.
  • Underestimation of costs associated with initial product development and QA testing.
  • General lack of internal capabilities for ongoing product updates, customer support and maintenance.

Partnering with a credible partner with a proven track-record eliminates these risks and more. It dramatically increases your chances of success both when entering the market for the first time, but also in sustaining your marketing leadership position long into the future.

Guaranteed Interoperability “Out of the Box”

For a complete lighting control system to achieve the necessary levels of functionality, up-time, administrative ease and end-user simplicity, one thing is absolutely critical: device interoperability.

The reality is that device interoperability can often be the most complex and difficult aspect of creating a lighting control system.

The best lighting control gateway is rendered ineffective if the lamps, luminaires and sensors in the network fail to communicate with the gateway consistently, effectively, and securely.

To achieve this requires a tremendous depth of engineering expertise, combined with an extensive amount of testing to ensure every device on the network will interoperate with the gateway and other network-based control systems – with no hassles, the first time they are installed.

Any third-party platform provider you are considering should be able to guarantee this level of turnkey (aka “out of the box”) device interoperability. If they don’t, seriously consider a different vendor.

The Bottom Line: Higher Margin and ROI

If you combine the lower cost, lower complexity and higher chances of initial success, what your business ultimately gets (in addition to the higher top-line sales opportunities discussed in previous posts) is the ability to launch a control solution that delivers higher contributing margins, and higher overall ROI to your bottom line.

Based on these factors, the decision to go it alone or go with a turnkey platform provider may become clear for many OEMs. Why spend more, add complexity and more risk to your business, when you simply don’t have to?

What do you think? Tell us in the comments below, or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and post your thoughts there.

For Next Time

Wondering how mobile phones fit into the smart lighting control picture?

One of the biggest end-customer benefits of moving to an IoT-based control system is the ability to easily setup, discover and manage their entire lighting infrastructure from a mobile device.

Because of this, the mobile app interface is fast becoming one of the most critical components of any complete control solution. In my next post I’ll provide an overview of what Cortet sees as the most critical capabilities for any lighting control mobile app.

See you there.

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