IDC: Home networking help a must

IDC: Home networking help a must

The increasing complexity of digital home technologies will lead to the emergence of a home integration market, an analyst has claimed.

IDC's Home Networking Market Forecast and Analysis predicted one out of five households will have a network by 2009. These include PC, multimedia and general entertainment connectivity.

Research analyst and report author, Sophie Lo, said consumers were finding it increasing difficult to connect up their own digital home. "Relying solely on a 30-page installation manual to go with the equipment is definitely not a way of keeping frustrated customers happy," she said.

Lo predicted the emergence of a set of system integrators in Australia specifically providing home installation services, much like the US-based Geek Squad.

To cater to the new market, installers would require a wide range of skills including wireless, security and consumer electronics knowledge, she said.

"Skilled implementers, whose livelihood is based on their ability to discern vendors marketing jargon from the technical reality, would be able to recommend and implement interoperable and working solutions for end-users," Lo said.

In Australia, Troubleshooters is looking to tap into this home services market.

The Coffs Harbour-based franchise secured its first major networking vendor agreement last month with Netgear to support its retail products. However, Lo warned channel conflict could occur between consumer-focused resellers and those targeting the SOHO or SME space.

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