B&O's apparent business model for the Beo5 is to provide the software tools and training to their dealers to configure the Beo5 to the customers exact requirements which is intended to create a very happy customer as well as a means of further revenue generation for the dealers. As a basic business model for this product there is nothing wrong with their aim. However it assumes that the following are fully in place:-
- A fully working Beo5 Configuration Tool for use by technical & non technical dealers
- Training not only on how to use the tool, but what to consider when marketing the dealers services and how to demonstrate the product to the customers other than physically show them the product.
- Supporting documentation for the customer to consider prior to configuration, defining what can and cannot be configured and allowing the customer time to consider their requirements prior to the actual configuration process. i.e. what TV & Radio station they want logos for, any requirements related to lighting and Beoliving products etc. The dealer should already know the customers product configuration, but is unlikely to know their preferred channel selection order (Favorites) for example
- Dealers clearly defining in writing their configuration charges and terms related to how often the configuration can be changed without further charge.
After the short time since the Beo5's introduction there has been mixed customer reaction and based on the small Beoworld poll a lot of customers have been frustrated, not with the physical product, they love it, but with the configuration process and their inedibility to have a remote that is configured to their requirements.
When it comes to charges there is a very mixed picture with no clear strategy. The most common pricing structure appears to be a product price which includes the first configuration and subsequent update configuration changes which are charged extra. However the grey area is where does the first configuration ends. After the customer receives their configured Beo5 it may be days or even weeks before he/she comes back to point out some changes that are needed. This is where clearly define terms need to be published by the dealer.
Having said that, we have noted several dealers who have taken a much more positive approach to this configuration pricing situation by not charging at all for providing the initial Beo5 configuration and often subsequent updates, but seeing it as an opportunity to keep in touch with their customers who may purchase future B&O products.
It is now very apparent that many dealers have provided their customers in many countries with the Beo5 configuration tool which they have appered to do for one of the following reasons:-
- Some customers are just too demanding for some dealers to ever fulfil their requirements, so they provide the software as a way of keeping the customer happy.
- The dealer does not have the knowledge or understanding of how to configure the Beo5 to the level needed.
- The dealer just does not have the time available to produce the number of customer configurations demanded
- The dealer never wants to say NO to a customer request.
The biggest flaw in the B&O strategy is their failure to provide on release date a comprehensive set of pre-define templates, particularly logo and STB templates. For example in the UK most B&O customers either have "Freeview" or "Sky" so it would be reasonable to expect templates for both product areas, but there are currently none. However Beoworld have produced a number which are available in the Download section
In our view the biggest and quickest improvement which could be made by B&O is to provide the dealers with a comprehensive set of templates by country regularly updated which takes into account the most common configuration requirements of that country
Beoworld have started this process by providing UK & French Dealers with the following configurations in a downloadable ZIP file as follows:-
- French Analogue TV Stations
- French Canal Satellite TV Stations
- UK Analogue TV Stations
- UK Freeview TV & Radio Stations (English)
- UK Freeview TV & Radio Stations (Irish)
- UK Freeview TV & Radio Stations (Scottish)
- UK Freeview TV & Radio Stations (Welsh)
- UK Freeview TV Channels (English Region)
- UK Freeview TV Channels (Scottish Region)
- UK Freeview TV Channels (Welsh Region)
- UK SKY Complete TV Channels (Over 500 excluding Adult & Kids)
- UK SKY TOP 100 TV Channels
- UK SKY Popular Free-to-Air TV Channels
- UK Southern England DAB Radio Stations
- UK Southern England FM Radio Stations
All the above are available in the Download section.
Below is what you should see in the logos pulldown after you have extracted the zip file and started the Beo5 Configuration Tool again:-