Opportunity in service offerings

AV integrators are increasingly expanding into managed services as a way to escape hardware commoditisation. Tim Kridel explores the evolving business opportunity.

Maybe “AV integrator” is becoming a misnomer. Maybe a new moniker is in order: “AV service provider.”

That’s one takeaway from the announcements at this year’s InfoComm, where products are increasingly sharing the spotlight with managed services. One example is AVI-SPL, whose new Communicator Proxy and expanded AV Monitoring services show how integrators worldwide are responding to trends ranging from shrinking hardware margins to increased competition.

“When you’re selling a monitor that you can get at Best Buy, it’s hard to add value,” says Mike Brandofino, AVI-SPL executive vice president of video and unified communications. “But when you can package that with services, now you can differentiate yourself. If you’re an AV integrator that doesn’t have a service component, it’s going to be very hard to compete.” 

Why now? Partly because integrators aren’t the only ones with evolving businesses considerations. Many clients are still running lean due to the recession, so they see outsourcing AV as a way to avoid having to hire staff to support those systems. Another common motivation is wanting to shift spending away from CapEx in favor of OpEx. 

Tim Kridel explores these influences as well as approaches to service with a range of integrators at the forefront of the service market in InAVate Active Magazine

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