Published on October 27th, 2015 | by Louella Fernandes0
Samsung Means Business: A Strategy Shaped by the Internet of Things
By Louella Fernandes • on October 27th, 2015 • in Articles • 4,260 views • No Comments
At its recent Samsung FutureScape event in London, Samsung emphasised its commitment to deliver printing solutions that address the needs for today’s mobile, collaborative and connected workplace. Samsung also highlighted the integration potential for its broad business-to-business (B2B) product portfolio and discussed its Internet of Things (IoT) vision, showcasing the next generation of its SmartThings hub and devices for the connected home.
Samsung’s bold B2B ambitions
Samsung’s ambitions in the connected IoT space reflect the need for Samsung be less reliant on its mobile business and expand its penetration in the B2B market. In March 2015, Samsung announced the launch of a dedicated brand called Samsung Business. Samsung Business unites the positioning of the company’s end-to-end business solution portfolio, spanning mobile print and display, as well as tailored offerings for industry-specific uses across the education, hospitality, healthcare, retail, finance and transportation verticals.
Pushing the potential of IoT
Samsung is betting heavily on the IoT, with the smartphone increasingly becoming the gateway to other connected devices, like a remote control. In August 2014, Samsung bought SmartThings, an open connected home platform offering a range of products that allow you to remotely control, manage and monitor your home via your mobile device. Samsung has pledged to make all its devices, from TVs and sound systems to washing machines and fridges, IoT-ready by 2020.
To support its vision is for an open infrastructure, Samsung is openly pushing the need for cross-industry collaboration, between technology companies, car manufacturers and watch manufacturers for instance – not only inter-industry collaboration. Its Artik platform includes software, development boards, drivers, tools, security features and cloud connectivity tools. Earlier this year, Samsung’s chief executive BK Yoon promised more than $100m in funding for developers and to create an open system to kick-start what he regarded as Samsung’s IoT revolution.
In September 2015, it launched the latest version of the SmartThings Hub in Europe for the first time. The foundation of Samsung’s IoT ecosystem is the SmartThings platform, which allows various smart devices to be linked to one central hub – allowing for video monitoring and sensors for things like smoke, fire, leaks and floods. Thanks to the open platform the Hub will work with a range of SmartThings-branded devices as well as other products from Samsung but also the likes of Bose, Philips, Honeywell, Yale, LIFX, Aeon, to name but a few.
Driving smart print solutions for the connected workplace
Samsung has made strong inroads in the print market over the past few years. Its MX range has gained a prominent footprint in the market, elevating its market positions in both the A4 and A3 printing space. Whilst many of its traditional print competitors are now articulating a connected, mobile, collaborative workplace vision, what sets Samsung apart is its expertise and heritage in both the mobile and print worlds. As such it is well-positioned to become a trusted advisor to businesses that are navigating the convergence of technologies in the workplace.
As the market evolves, Quocirca identifies some key opportunities and challenges for Samsung:
- A compelling print solutions portfolio. Samsung has developed a robust print hardware, software and services portfolio that offers enterprises with the security, manageability and flexibility they require. The MX Series MFPs offer cloud connectivity, print management, security and integrated document workflow integration solutions. Samsung has combined its tablet technology and Android platform with its MultiXpress series MFPs featuring an enhanced 10.1-inch Android-powered pivotable display that runs the Samsung Smart UX 2.0 experience. Together with its partners, Samsung has developed a range of smart apps that are available from the Samsung Printing App centre and continues to broaden its solutions ecosystem.
- A cohesive “beyond print” strategy that leverages Smart MFPs. Although being later to market, Samsung is effectively leap-frogging its traditional competitors by articulating a convincing story around the IoT and the integration of its B2B products. This is a wise move in a commoditised market where managed print services (MPS) is also becoming a “me-too” approach in that every vendor must now have an offering. The Smart MFP is a key element of this connected IoT landscape which Quocirca commented on in an article last year. Smart MFPs are intelligent devices that can collect a wealth of data on usage. This data can be analysed to deliver proactive service and support, automated supplies replenishment as well as measuring data to ensure the most effective placement of devices – fundamental to any MPS contract. So far, Samsung is the only print manufacturer to develop its messaging around IoT, testament to the fact it is the only vendor in the print space that is truly able to exploit it, from the mobile device to the output device.
- Channel and strategic partnerships will be critical to success in enterprise space. With Samsung’s broader IoT strategy there is certainly potential to enhance the information-driven, value-added service opportunities for its channel partners. Given that Samsung sells 100% through the channel, it is vital that Samsung can attract partners that can also cross-sell print with other Samsung B2B solutions – or develop a new IoT-focused channel. With many channel partners still hardware-driven, it will be critical that Samsung trains its partners to sell broader solutions and services as well as attract those partners that can sell integrated solutions across its print, mobile and display products. Ultimately, to become a true trusted digital transformation partner for businesses, Samsung will need to potentially find a strategic consulting partner to offer broader professional services to augment its existing capabilities.
- Strong potential to leverage dominant consumer brand. To succeed in the enterprise space, Samsung can leverage a strong and trusted brand, with a reputation for innovation. It has already applied the mobile user experience to its printers by combining its tablet technology and Android platform. Meanwhile, the Samsung KNOX security platform, which enables Android users to create separate personal and business workspaces on one device, also offers a range of enterprise security features. Most recently, it’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge devices were certified by the UK government for data-at-rest security. Both smartphones are now recommended for use by government and public sector organisations, including police forces, hospitals, and local councils. As Samsung ramps up its enterprise marketing efforts, this will serve to further reinforce Samsung’s capabilities to address the mobility and security needs of today’s connected workplace.
As the digital transformation business agenda gains momentum, CIOs will have to reassess and evolve their technology vendor choices. Samsung has developed an attractive technology portfolio which can support the new mobile connected digital workplace, from the mobile device to the output device. Samsung is currently uniquely positioned to capitalise on the consumerisation opportunity and demonstrate to enterprises that it can deliver secure and manageable devices and solutions that bridge the consumer and business digital worlds. As such, Samsung is well positioned to stay a step ahead of its rivals and capture a larger slice of the lucrative business market.