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Client Seeks Greater Understanding of MDU Customer Needs

Client Description

An international Smart Buildings industry association selected Harbor Research to explore the opportunities for constituent OEMs, utilities, insurance providers and telcos in multi-dwelling units (apartments, condos, dormitories, assisted living establishments, etc.). 

Client Challenge

The multi-dwelling unit (MDU) market has long been underserved relative to other customer segments within the Buildings and Facilities venue.  Sharing physical characteristics of commercial buildings and the end user expectations of homes, vendors to both markets have struggled to develop offerings appropriate for MDU stakeholders.

The equipment vendors and service providers at this industry association chose Harbor to frame opportunities for IoT technologies and the services they enable in MDUs and identify drivers and barriers to adoption of various connected offerings.  Further, they sought our perspective and analysis to develop business cases for various stakeholder types pursuing a range of IoT applications in this market. 

Our Process and Outcomes

Our team supplemented our existing Smart Buildings knowledge base with extensive primary research, surveying 1500 MDU stakeholders and conducting interviews with technology suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and building operators and developers.  This primary research identified critical trends affecting the MDU market, identifying the critical framing elements in this market and key parameters that suppliers need to consider in solution development. 

Using this framework and primary research findings, Harbor then developed extensive business cases for the top application segments.  These cases included the primary opportunities for each stakeholder, key targets for these offerings (a combination of occupant persona, property manager persona and MDU structure), critical channel and delivery partners and long-term opportunities that suppliers need to begin organizing for.

Impacts for the Client

Member organizations of the industrial association were able to utilize the market study and ensuing Harbor interactions to identify high-value opportunities for which they were well positioned to pursue.  The actionable information provided a framework with which to not only consider emerging opportunities but evaluate potential delivery partners.  Further, companies developing longer-term plans were able to utilize our validated perspectives on the evolution of this market to make intelligent investments in technologies that will enable sustainable differentiation.

Industries Analyzed

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