Let’s Be Mates Podcast – EP05 – Home networking with TP-Link

Podcast | 7 January 2020

On this week’s show with chat with our Mate, Matt Farmer, Retail Sales Director for TP-Link Australia and New Zealand – a leading manufacturer of home networking and smart home products.

We discuss the key ingredients to a good home network, differentiating between your internet connection and your Wi-Fi and what upgrading to a Mesh solution can do for your home internet experience.

We talk about the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the industry and how TP-Link was able to adapt to ensure they had a consistent supply for their retailers.

Finally, we discuss smart home products from light switches to fridges.

You can buy TP-Link products and all major consumer electronics retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, Bunnings as well as online.

To get more information about the TP-Link mesh network, ‘Deco’ range, you can visit https://www.tp-link.com/au/home-networking/deco/ and to find out more about the advantages of Mesh networks you can visit https://www.tp-link.com/au/mesh-wifi/

You can learn more about Mate internet and mobile plans at www.LetsBeMates.com.au.

Subscribe to hear the latest episode each week on Youtube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or your favourite podcast player.

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Transcript

Faz: Welcome Australia. It’s that time again for another podcast from the Mait team where we try and get into your head with stuff that makes us sound smart, sit back and relax. It’s time for us to be

mates.

Hey guys, how are we going back again for another  lets be mates podcast. , Dom,  Bosco doing okay. Pretty good. Awesome. Well, I think today is a, is a really good episode. we’re going to be talking to a, somebody, Matt who represents TP link, which is a hardware provider of  products in our category, which is what we sell the NBN.

And I think this episode is going to really help us give information back to our listeners and our customers. And try and take away the myths of internet at home and what it means to have a really good home network and how that can really power the value or the quality of your internet connection. So let’s, let’s, let’s get Matt on the phone now.

Matt, how are you going?

 Matt Farmer: Good afternoon guys. I’m really, really well. How are you?

Faz: Good. Thank you for joining us. Really appreciate it. And, Thanks for your time. I know you’re a busy man. Matt and I go back many, many years, so we’ve been working together for a very long time and, it’s always great to see you, mate.

So thank you for joining us.

 Matt Farmer: Oh, likewise. It really is an honor to be invited to come and have a chat with you guys. And you know, I’m a super fan of the, of the mate story. It’s, it really is truly incredible. It’s, it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to engage with yourself and, and, you know, share some, some past stories, but also talk about what we’re all facing in the challenges of today and, and what we see the future to me moving forward to, which is really very exciting.

Faz: So I think let’s start with Matt. let, let our listeners know who you are and what you do.

 Matt Farmer: Sure. Well, I’m the retail sales director for TP link Australia. We’re a two point $4 billion company, one of the biggest in in our space. And we’ve been around for a little over 20 years. So a really well established brands.

and you know, my responsibility really is to work with our partners to grow. The brand and to, to grow our community of users. And it’s really, it’s really interesting to see what’s happened now. There’s never been a more important time to, to have really rock solid networking in your home and the ability to stay connected with friends and family.

And, we see it as our role as being part of the enablement to make that happen. And working with you, for example, to, not only provide. The great NBN connection, but enable all of those cool things that are involved in the smart home or the connected home today to really come to life.

Faz: And I think you made a very valid point.

It’s never been a more important time. And you know, as we’ve seen with the COVID situation, which we’ll get to, you know, obviously. Internet services has been, you know, high in demand. We like to say in the office that during the March and April period, it, people say that, consumers were stockpiling, toilet paper, but they’ll actually stock pilling internet and mobile phones as well.

Because they thought, well, they need to get him now and get as much as they can so they stay connected. And so what it really did show us is that it’s such an essential service now being connected, that even though it’s not classified as that, in some ways, it’s purely, it’s literally one of the one that, one of the first things that people think about in their home.

And I think that’s. You’ve probably experienced that from being in the retail phase and what they’re doing in retail. But, I think over the last couple of months we’ve really seen people stockpile their, their, their telco services.

 Matt Farmer: Yeah, yeah, sure. And for good reason, right? I mean, we all really do need to stay more connected now than ever before, whether it be just our day to day lives, our businesses, but also for the things that.

When you know when it’s time to down the tools. So we can also just enjoy our digital world and we need robust connectivity in order to do that. But I, I think, there’s never been a time like now that it’s really important to sharp focus, this requirement for communication amongst us all, whether it be business, whether it be friends and family.

And really trying to stay connected at a time when it’s been really challenging physically to do so. So from, from both of us in how we work together in harmony. You’re providing the connectivity between, between families and businesses so they can stay connected and whereabouts supplying the kit to, to really try and enhance that experience as well and, and really bring people together in a meaningful way.

Then one of the really interesting thing that’s the things that’s occurred here in amongst all of this is that people have really, really brought into sharp focus how much we depend on wifi in the home. Because wifi is the key, or it’s kind of the bridge that connects all the dots. So if mom and dad are working from home and the kids are at home as well, and they’re trying to homeschool, or it could be that you’ve got university age children at home as well.

Everyone is online. Everyone’s trying to be connected all at the same time. That puts tremendous load on the home network. Unless your, your kid is up to scratch, so to speak, then it could be, you know, a poor experience of that. So it’s as much about being efficient as it is about being connected as well.

And so, you know, I love the fact, the fact or the thought that I can help somebody, not only. Work really effectively in a really challenging time and a really challenging environment, but also connect and stay close to those people. They’re important to them at this time as well. I think that is just as valid when we’re at a time of social distancing that we can still use tools like this to look at each other in the eyes and and tell each other how we feel.

Faz: You know? I was saying I’ll wake up today. Obviously we’ve gone into the office to, to our podcast studio. And I said to the guy I was winging, I was whinging about getting dressed because I had to think about it. Today, we have, most days you’re chuckling, your, your tracksuit pants and your jumper, and you walk to your desk.

And today I have to actually think about it. But to your point, Matt, about, about experiences at home and stuff like that. Ross is our engagement manager. So Ross. Tackles the front lawn. We’ve all, our customers, we’ve, they’re compliants. They’re, they’re good reviews, they’re bad reviews and all of that.

And, you know, one thing that we try and tackle and educate customers every single day is, why the internet is not working as good as they think it should be. Right? Yeah. And there’s that. Then there’s a hundred valid reasons, but no, Ross, you want to or dom and talk about some of the experiences had with our customers.

Bosco: Look,

when it comes to wifi, the biggest issue we find is that most customers. Get their modem, you know, whether it’s from us or whether it’s, their own product that they’ve, they’ve brought their BYO product and they’ll, they’ll contact us and say, Hey, my iternet then is slow. My wifi is slow. And the first thing, or a lot of the time what we notice is they’re just connected all their devices to the 2.4.

Gigahertz, wifi network. I’m not even using the five at all. and then, you know, it’s just about educating the customers that, Hey, this band here is, is, can be congested. You know, there’s other devices in the home, like your microwave and even the fridge and things like that baby monitors that can affect, that network.

So getting them to understand why there’s two networks coming from their router. What the five gigahertz does. and you know, often it’s as simple as connecting to the five gigahertz, and they’ve automatically, they’ve got a much better experience. So, look, it is challenging. it can be frustrating at times, but, but yeah, it is, it is a process.

So I think education is the biggest, key. What about it

 Matt Farmer: looked? That’s a really common experience that we hear as well. You know, you can have a, a great mate, NBN, a service with, you know, massive big pipe and a fantastic service, but if you’ve got a modem router that that might be a few years old, it’s not necessarily going to be able to keep up with the demands that.

In the modern family or the modern home really has a really interesting thing that I’ve, that I’ve observed in talking with with customers and moms and dads out there is, is this is they, most people don’t differentiate between the performance of their internet connection in their wifi to them, it’s all the same thing.

And of course, you know, we know, we know that there is. There is differences. And to your point, we’re talking about an a dual band router there, and taking full advantage of the five gigahertz spectrum of 2.4 but even that can be quite complicated for customers as well to really get their heads around. So our goal is to really demystify that and make that whole experience of choice, of choosing the right equipment to be something that is really simple.

And, and how we do that is through products that. Actually don’t even show a 2.4 or five gigahertz band is smart enough to actually take that guesswork out from the customer and actually do the hard work for them. So they just plug it in. They set it up, they forget about it. They get whole home wifi coverage.

And they don’t have to worry about popping different products on different bands because the product itself takes care of that and it can really make the best of a great MATE nbn connection. And also that experience of that connection be really enhanced and everything comes to life. I’ve had people say.

It’s like my computer’s had an upgrade. It’s like my smart home finally works. My Netflix no longer buffer. There’s no more arguments over who’s hogging the wifi. It’s these sorts of stories that I really, really love hearing when they deploy the right sort of kit into their home. And of course, when you’re working, it just makes so much, so much more sense.

If you’re, if you’ve got a strong, if you’ve got strong wifi, you’ve got multiple people all working in the home, and if the kids want a bit of entertainment while , but you need to focus on your work, then they can do that without interruption. If you’ve got the right kitin your home

Dom: and assuming you’ve got the right kit, Matt, is there any other tips and tricks that people should,

Faz: you know,

Dom: take, take under their wing to, to make sure that that is still going to get the best, best experience.

 Matt Farmer: Yeah. Look, that’s a really good point. I think one of the, one of the first things I ask people is just to do a little personal inventory of what, how many connected devices they’ve got in their home. Because we aspire to have really smart devices in our home and we accumulate these devices. So once upon a time, if you thought about the term smart device, it was like a smart TV or a tablet or a mobile phone.

But today. Your appliances can be all smart and the coffee maker can be smart. Your vacuum cleaner can be smart, and your washing machine, your, your dryer, et cetera. All of those can connect to the internet. Many of those, those new modern appliances can connect to the internet via wifi for, for them to work as efficiently as they can.

But then when I think about things like. Security cameras and light bulbs and smarts, which is, and then there’s things like Chromecast and then Apple TV and Fetch TV, all sorts of different sort of devices in the home that all rely on wifi. So what I get people to do is when they’re trying to get the very best solution for themselves in their home, right.

is do a personal inventory of how many devices you’ve got in your home. Most people I speak to are amazed when I really drill down and they count all of their connected devices. It’s usually triple or double what they thought they had when they think about the kids, mobile phones and all of those other devices that need to be connected to the internet all at the same time in order for the experience or the value to come to life.

So that’s a great step. And then when you. Got that number it will actually help you to saw it on the, on the top of solution to get next.

Faz: Yeah, I mean, it makes a, I mean, obviously it makes a lot of sense. I think most, most of our consumers, the only time they realize they’re having an issue is when they’re watching something like Netflix or, or some sort of a streaming service, and that’s when they experienced the most.

Outside of that, they probably don’t notice it too much or complain about it too much because the things they’re doing outside of watching TV. So to the everyday consumer that is, they don’t need that, that it’s, they are more lenient towards that because they don’t, that they don’t see that as an issue to their everyday life.

And obviously now that we’ve been seeing a lot of people working from home that’s gone through the roof in many different ways. And I know Ross, you spoke before about the education that you give to consumers and, to try and get them to understand that. But that the internet to their home can only be as good as the product you have in your home.

Right. And so, you know, when it comes to the TP link range, they’ve got a bunch of different devices that they have to, I guess, amplify or extend the network you have in your home. and, you know, one thing that we try to do, Matt, is trying simplicity is that is at the heart and the core of everything that we do in our business.

Because like I say, we tried to take, we tried to take the crap. Out of the internet when consumers are trying to purchase internet services. And I think one of the things that’s made us successful is around, not, not the, I don’t know if the right word is dumbing down, but simplifying the, the, the connection as much as possible.

And that means from how you buy it. To how to communication. You get to making sure you’re being kept across the progress of your service. Getting connected, understanding the different technologies that come with NBN, which is another massive thing that we need to educate consumers on. Not sure how it ended up that way, but that’s the way the NBN did it.

and all of that. And so I think simplicity is big for us. And how do you find simplicity in the TP link? Business matt

. When, when it comes to creating products and, and supporting customers, how does simplicity, fit in your

business?

 Matt Farmer: Gee you , raise some really good questions there. And look, one of the ways that I try and keep things simple because as humans, isn’t it true that we tend to make things more complicated than they need to be?

But one of the things that I find with people is, when I, when I speak to them. What I often do is I get out on the retail floor, so we’ve got TP-link is, is it partners with all of the major retailers in Australia and New Zealand, and I get out on the, on the, on the floor, on the sales room, and I engage in, I talk to real customers.

I want to find their pain points. I want to understand. Why they’re here, why they’re at the networking wall and trying to make a, trying to make a choice. And once again, I chest keep it really simple. I asked them, how’s your wifi at home? And usually most people are there because they’ve got a challenge.

And then I go through that personally, inventory that I mentioned to you just a moment ago, and nine times out of 10. I recommend them a TP link mesh solution. And the reason why I go for a mesh solution is because I know I can put my hand on my heart and I’m going to solve 99% of of, of the customer’s problems.

So what a mesh solution is, is it’s, it’s two router devices working together in concert. To create a bubble of wifi throughout the entire home. Could be two or three of these devices working together, seamlessly to provide wifi in every corner of the, of the home. And now that sounds complex, but it’s actually not because these are all designed to work together really efficiently.

Faz: You want to explain wifi extenders and mesh the difference between the two or you’re probably going to get there. But I probably jumped the gun, but I think a lot. Yeah. Because a lot of our customers ask for do you sell wifi extended? And the thing that we, we tell them is stick to mesh because it’s going to, one, it’s going to future proof and two, it’s going to give you the best possible value.

And I think wifi extenders a have their, their, their purpose and their place. But I think meshes is eliminating the opportunity for anything bad in the network.

 Matt Farmer: Right. Oh yeah, a hundred percent so the, it’s a really good question. I’m really glad that you asked it. So the nature of extenders is that if you buy an extender, you’re actually setting up two separate networks.

So their attributes are that you’ve got a Mark’s home network, and then Matt Mark’s home network dash EXT. So those two networks are working independently of each other. And so when you’re walking around the home, and you might be streaming in a latest video, the experience might be. That the signal gets worse and worse as you work, work, walk rather further away from your modem router and it has to drop out.

Then connect to where the extender is, and that’s not a particularly elegant solution. Whereas with a mess solution, what it actually does is those units work together to provide one network names so you no longer have. Mark’s home network and Mark’s home network dash ext, you’ve just got Mark’s home network, but now it’s throughout the entire home.

There’s no, no 2.4 or five gigahertz to worry about the devices, the routers, the MESh solution is smart enough to make those decisions for you. So for just about everybody out there, it means . Pain-free whole home wifi. That’s just going to enable them to stay connected and no matter what the tasks are that that you’re doing at your home, you’re going to be able to do those tasks no matter what location you’re in.

You might want to sit outside and work one day because it’s a beautiful day. The next time you’re in, you’re in your office or your kitchen. You want your wifi to be there and stable and rock solid. So you can do that no matter where you are with within your home. And that’s what mesh brings to you. So when we talk about simplicity.

That’s what it’s all about for me. It’s taking one of these solutions, going home and plugging it in, and with the TP link solution, it’s all app based. It’s really, the onboarding process literally just takes a couple of minutes and the customer is up and running and they’ve got this whole home wifi experience.

Everything comes to life and yeah, it’s happy days.

Faz: Yeah. Oh man. I feel like I’m doing all the talk unless anybody’s got any other questions. I’m

Dom: sorry. Cut there for a second, and you can

bail

out this question if you want, but,

you know,

there’s obviously, once you’ve got the, your network set up, there’s a few cool features generally, but the mesh system can do in parental controls, guest wifi, things like that.

 Matt Farmer: Oh yeah, absolutely. I’m glad you asked that question too, Dom. I mean, it’s a really, it’s a really good one because today isn’t there a lot of internet nasties, especially for parents. They’re the network administrators, right? They’re the owners of the network. Suddenly, they’re not only being parents, but they’ve got to administer the network and suddenly they’ve got to be IT experts.

Fortunately mesh and a TP-Link Mesh Solution can really take the guesswork out of that for them as well. Because you know our midto premium range, all have parental controls. Will all of them have parental controls. But as you get into that mid to premium range, you’re starting to get into full IOT security.

And what I mean by that is that it’s protecting all of your devices that are inside your wifi. Clouded home, protected from all of those potential nasties from the internet. It’s like creating a steel cage of wifi around your home. Then nothing can penetrate so nobody can can hack now, no malware, no phishing can come in.

You’re protected from things like that. You can, you can do. Quality of servicing. If you’re the gamer in the home Dom, then you can just, you know, prioritize a little bit of extra bandwidth for your gaming PC, your gaming rig or your or your gaming console, whatever it is that’s important to you. You’ve got that opportunity as well.

And you know, there’s anti virus controls as well. So that’s why I’m, once again, I’m a real kind of like go to to those mesh products is because it’s not only about whole home wifi connectivity as well, but it’s safety and security for the whole family.

Dom: No, I’ve got a really big house. I’ve got a four bedroom, brick double brick house or two story, or

we can always

add additional meshing units in to make nobody be bigger again.

 Matt Farmer: Well, one of the things I love about the TP link version of mesh is that it’s built off a commercial architecture. And what I mean by that is that it’s all router based to, so all of the deco models are totally interoperable. In other words, they work together. So you could start with a two or three pack of.

Of the model of your choice. And then if you find that there’s just another little spot you wanted to augment your wifi coverage, you can grab any of the range and just add it to the network just via the app. And it is so simple. Literally in a couple of minutes is now hard set up. You literally just have to power it up, go to the app and choose your deco and your away.

So, which is the , the name for the TP-Link mesh solution, which is called DECO. So, yeah, that’s, that’s why I’m a real fan of the products and it’s, it’s what I use here at home. and

Bosco: we’ve said, look, we’ve seen a lot of other

businesses, Matt, have some challenges. We’ve covered 19, obviously.

so just give a bit of a bit of background in terms of what TP link experienced, if there were any opportunities that came out of that. I mean, I’m sure in the networking space it’s probably a big one. and how do you see the future, you know, with, with more people at home now? I mean, eventually we’re probably going to return to some form of normal, but do you see anything changing in your space?

due to this situation?

 Matt Farmer:  Yeah. In some ways, quite profoundly, and. Well, I think one of the really interesting things that occurred in COVID is that I don’t think any of us really anticipated the duration of what we’ve been experiencing, that it might’ve just been a couple of weeks of, of pausing and bunkering down, but we know that this is essentially with us for some time now.

So from a, from a business perspective, we experienced a number of things. We saw, the overall pressure on the market. So the Australian dollar was, was impacted severely, which, which puts stress on, on our business and every consumer electronics business in the country, of course. But we made a, a really, a really firm decision.

To ensure not to put our prices up through that time. So we didn’t do any wholesale price increases because of the impact of the dollar. We thought right now we need to actually make sure that we’re looking after the customers out there that need to work, that, that, that need to work effectively from home.

And that also may be under some employment pressure. So there’s. Those types of things. And we didn’t want to put our prices up. So we, we’ve maintained that kind of core value, which typically is about providing products that are always going to be competitively priced. And that’s something that we build our whole business proposition around.

So we were really focused on that and maintaining that. And then. The demand became absolutely incredible. So we, from a business standpoint, we had to think laterally about how were we going to solve some of these supply problems. And one of the, one of the great things that was revealed to us is that because of our economies of scale, we were actually able to work with our factories directly.

And in some cases, we’re able to bypass elements of our supply chain in order to get products into our retail partners hands. Far more effectively and far more efficient than the bottom line is that we had some good continuity of supply. So that was kind of the business issues that impacted us. But I think more importantly, what impacted was this?

This. It was very clearly evident that people were stressed. People were really feeling the pressure of what COVID-19 represented. There was lots of fear as to how that was going to affect our families and the people that we love and care for. So we wanted to, we took very seriously this whole view that let’s try and make this as easy and as painlessly as, as painless as possible, which is why we work so hard on our supply chain, but also.

it gave us a sense of real, a real belonging, I guess, for one of another word because we knew that we had the opportunity with our products. To actually make a positive impact on people’s lives because we knew if we could take that stress away from them with a really good solution from home, that meant that they could work really effectively and efficiently from home, that the kids could do their homeschooling really effectively from home.

And when it was time for tools down that everyone in the family could just take a break. And enjoy their, their online content the way they wanted to, that that would actually improve people’s quality of life. And that was something that was a real driver for us. And we talked about a lot within our office and in how we could make a difference there and how we could communicate these types of things too, to the people that were actually purchasing our products.

And you know how we could. Be part of the community, a real community spirit around that. And

Faz: I love how you say that, that you spoke about your products and your business about improving the quality of life, right? in the way that people do things every day, which is use the internet to connect to things that they need to do.

And I think one of the things that we did when we, when the whole COVID situation started is that we said. That we need to make this as pain painless and as, as simple as possible to alleviate any pressure on our customers. With buying their internet, right? They’re going to have the pressures of staying at home, precious of homeschooling, precious of, you know, you’re quarantine and all these different things.

I said, how do we make sure that they have, they don’t have another issue? With us or with their home internet service to keep them connected. And that is, you know, making sure it’s as simple as possible to connect, making sure communication, is delivered in, in, in, in good time. So they’re empowered to, to be across the things they need to know to get their internet connection up.

And I think, we, our business and your business obviously work hand in hand in there because, you know, we delivered the internet to their door. your product allows them to deliver internet into their home. And I think that’s the, that’s how, you know, hardware providers and an ISP work together. And I think what I  my opinion is that I think a lot of ISPs that I’ve come across, and this is not trying to badmouth our competition, but a lot of RSPs, don’t think sometimes about the hardware.

Too much, if that makes sense. Right. They don’t focus on solutions. And dont focused on the education of their consumers or their customers, about hardware needs. And I think we’ve, we’ve taken a big step in that over the last 12 months. You know, we’ve recorded, you know, cartoon type videos. To really dumb it down, you know, sort of, snack size, digestible content to make sure our customers understand the need of a good home network, not just having a good internet connection.

And I think that’s why I love working with the TP link guys and Matt because obviously they see the value of that and they, they work heavily with ISP as well. Oh, sorry. Go Dom and

Dom: Matt, when you’ve got the kit set up and your networks running and optimized. Well, and you guys also, Sell a range of smart home products.

Where do you see that that that going, what’s popular at the moment? What are people bringing into their, their homes from a smart home perspective?

 Matt Farmer: Great

Dom: question, Dom. So,

 Matt Farmer: yeah, I think there’s a, there was a couple of pivotal things that have happened in, in the smart home market over the last few years that it’s really changed people’s thinking.

And, you know, I think when voice assistant products such as Google home and Alexa started to become mainstream, that people realized what they could do with their smart home. So, so, so

Dom: Matt, any smart devices, you’ve got upset set up there at the moment.

 Matt Farmer: Yeah. Thanks Dom. I’ve got a whole bunch of products ranging from smart plugs to smart cameras and smart light bulbs, and I’m using Google home to trigger all of the those behaviors in those products as well, because all of the TP-Link range of smart plugs and light bulbs, Google or Alexa compatible.

So voice activation. I’ll just do a show you a quick demo. So, Hey, Google, turn on the home theater lights. And on come the lights. So that’s a great example of how you can just automate some of the things within your, within your life. So I might also say, Hey, Google, turn the home theater lights off. And off they go.

And that’ll remember the last settings, for example, that I had on it. I can, I could actually dim those lights, set up some moods if I feel like it as well. So just dim the lights slowly or using voice activation. That’s pretty cool. So look, the, the great thing about a smart home is that with voice activation and enables a whole bunch of products to become smart.

So we’ve found that people have, bought a smart plug to have a lamp that will come on at a certain time. Of the day. So, you know, that’s a, that’s an important and important thing that, and I will enable people to do, you know, turn my lights on at sunset or sun or turn them off at sunrise for example.

There’s a whole bunch of things like, like that smart lights, smart sensors, IP cameras, a whole bunch of products now are really, really smart. And, I think what has occurred is that people do. Need that experience of a good wifi in the home in order for the smart home to really come to life. Because the worst thing that can happen in a smart home environment is that your wifi is not good enough for your lights to be able to work effectively and be able to do what they’re supposed to do at certain times of day.

So. Everything can be made smart by a smart plug. Most devices now, when they’re being produced, are being smart as well. So being made smart. So they’ve, they’ve got connectivity to the internet in built within them. And, we see our role as being able to facilitate that.

Faz: I know this isn’t a simple example, right?

But I’m, I’m paranoid when it comes to turning off my iron in the house. I always think every time I leave the house. And I’m a big ironer. I know it doesn’t look like it, but I’m a big ironer and  I feel like that every time I leave the house I’ve lifted on and I feel like every day my house is going to burn down.

But what I’ve done, I’ve got one of the TP link smart plugs and now every day, I literally gone to the app when I’ve left the home and I make sure it’s off. And it’s, and not only that, it’s actually quite a good party trick when people come over and you go to Google and say, Hey, turn on the Iron .

And they go, wow. You know, I’m just telling me online and now it’s simple, but I love it.

Dom: I was

going to ask you to share the same experience with my wife. She, every time I leave the house, have I left the straightener and we went,

I

promise you. Every second time we went left the house, we’d have to go back and check.

Yeah,

got a smart

plug in. Now she can just check it on a phone.

Faz: That’s the most simple example of the benefit of a connected home. Right. I think some people, some people tell me, because all my lights are connected now, TV turns on by my voice and all these different things, and, and people laugh at me and saying, why do you need, I just use a switch.

But now in, if you talk, if you look at how it’s evolved, and again, something as simple as that iron, there’s a real valid reason. Yeah. So to do that. Right. It’s not a luxury anymore to me. It should be something that everybody has in their home. like me, but thinks, our house is gonna burn down every day.

Right? So, yeah. but

 Matt Farmer: I use, I use smart plugs in the, in the exact same way. So, it’s winter. I’ve got a smart plug on my heater, so when I wake up in the morning it will autiomatically turn on. And my office space is, is warmed up, but I don’t want it on all day. So it will automatically turn off after an hour.

And, and therefore it’s warm enough for me to work. But as the sun goes down, it becomes really quite cool very, very quickly. So my smart plug knows that if once the sun goes down, no matter what time of the same time of the year, it is. The heater will turn on as the sun goes down. And of course I can turn it schedule off.

So as it comes into spring and into summer, i wont need  that particular, that particular kind of automation. So I can turn that off during the seasons that I don’t need it. But it’s peace of mind to know that, you can. have these triggered so that they’ll turn off at a certain time automatically that they’ll turn off at a certain amount of energy usage automatically as well.

So you won’t break your budget. Some of our smart products can, can take care of all of that for you.

Faz: Do you see the next evolution of hardware manufacturers like yourself? You know, working heavily, we have electricity, companies to build products for, I guess electricity and monitoring, electricity spend and things like that.

I know we see a lot of the solar panels and, and smart batteries now I think is a term for it. do you see business like yourself working closely with electricity companies in the future or you are.

 Matt Farmer: Yeah, we’re doing that now. So we’re partnered with a number of the big energy companies to work with them on on a couple of different levels from enabling their customers to have an experience of the smart home and smart products through to working even more closely with them strategically.

So inbuilt API is to enable energy monitoring to take place within the device. And that’s when it starts to get really, really interesting, of course, because then the experience becomes really automated. But it also, you as a consumer puts genuine power into your hands as to the, the energy consumption of various devices within your home.

So we certainly see that as a massive. Play, moving forward, early days in terms of the product’s capability, et cetera. But I can clearly see in a number of years that, the control via smart home or whatever it is, via your smartphone rather for your entire home is within reach because of what these products can do in conjunction with the energy companies.

Faz: Oh, that’s good. And you know what, here it Mate, we do love TP link. We now, our customers have a great experience on TP link. So Matt, can you tell their listeners where they can purchase TP link products. Thank

 Matt Farmer: you very much. That’s great. yeah, sure. So we’re available. All of our smart home products are available in most of the major retailers.

All of the, you know, the JB HiFi, office works. Harvey Norman, Bunnings for smart home for networking. A Harvey Norman office works Bunnings, take care of all of our networking products in our mesh products. plus a lot of smaller retailers. If you’re in new South Wales, Bing Lee, for example, take our products as well and can provide you with a TP link solution.

So if there’s a retail, if there’s a retailer there, generally speaking, you can get a TP-Link product from them.

Dom: And there’s a lot of confusing numbers and codes and things on the box Matt. What are, what are the customers asking for when they go to one of the retailers.

 Matt Farmer: Well, it’s a really, that’s a really good point on.

And where we’re finding that, we’re not on the floor. I’d tell people to avoid, looking at all the big boxes. Cause I see them go up to the networking wall and it’s full of confusing numbers. The blood drains to their face and they instantly get totally confused. And so I keep it, try and keep it really simple.

Once again, how’s your wifi at home? Understand what they’re doing in their, in their, in their home. Why they have a dependency on the number of connected devices that they’ve got, and then nine times out of 10 just recommend a mesh solution because I know that that’s going to solve all of their problems a hundred percent of the time.

Well,

Faz: what we’ll do, Matt, in the, I’m so into the, our listeners as well in the show notes. We’ll put the, the places that you can go buy TP-Link products, we’ll put also put a link to your, a deco product, the mesh product, so consumers can, it can find that nice and easy as well. I think what we’ll do, when, when we post the show and ask, well, we’ll get some, listeners questions and what we’ll do, we’ll have you back on to answer those listeners questions in the future.

So I think what we’ll do, we’ll actively go and ask our listeners to give us any questions that maybe we haven’t. The answer. Today, and then Matt, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll get, we’ll collate those and we’ll get you back on again for a part two and a, and we’ll answer consumer’s questions.

 Matt Farmer: Thanks very much guys.

Look, I’ve really had a ball having a chat with you guys today. I love what you guys are doing. I love what you guys are about. You’re about connecting people, doing it nice and simply and, you know, being mates in the process. I also recognize all of the. The charity work that you’ve done, the support you’ve given for charities that I’ve supported as well, but all the work that you, you’ve been doing with, with various organizations, it really is just incredible.

And it reflects upon you as a business. And it’s, you know, it’s. It’s no surprise that you’re being as successful as as you are because you guys lead from the front with your values and you can see that in everything you do within your business. So, so thanks for your time today. It’s been a lot of fun.

Faz: Thanks, Matt. Thanks for joining us. Appreciate that. Thanks.

 Matt Farmer: Cheers.

Faz: Thanks for listening to the, let’s be mates podcast by the team at Mate.

Dom: Search

 Matt Farmer: for the, let’s be mates podcast on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and at LetsBeMates.com.au hit subscribe to get the latest episode each week.

Faz: For all your Telco needs.

Choose a provider you can trust like a Mate visit. Let’sbemates.com.au, Google ‘mate’ or call us on 13 14 13 to sign up today. See you soon, mate.