The Growing Demand and Use Case for AV As-a-Service (AVAAS)
Many would say that AV is a black art. An industry that few truly understand or have deep experience and expertise in. To a significant extent I would probably agree that statement was true for all commercial AV markets back in the day. However, things have definitely improved significantly over the last five years as the industry has matured and the AV and IT industries have merged more closely together.
In the last 2-3 years we have seen some sectors transform completely as hardware and software solutions have become more ubiquitous and commoditised. An example of this happening at breakneck speed since 2020 can be seen with meeting and collaboration technologies.
Not so long-ago organisations would install AV systems in some of their office meeting rooms and spaces and upgrade them every 5-10 years. Managing the service and maintenance of these systems was not too taxing on the organisation as long as they had an AV Partner to call when something broke.
Additionally, AV in the modern workplace is no longer just the tech in the meeting and collaboration spaces. Businesses are wanting to deliver a wider and richer “experience” for their staff and customers. Systems like space management, targeted digital signage and comms, digital wayfinding, unified communications, and even file and document management are all becoming standard requirements.
AV is now critical technology for businesses to function effectively, which means that now more than ever, the technology solutions must be dependable and simple to use for all.
This change has presented organisations with a number of key challenges:
- More time and effort is required to deploy significantly more AV systems across the business that are seamlessly interconnected.
- More time and effort is required to keep the AV systems up to date and relevant as the technology constantly evolves and improves year on year.
- More time and effort is required to manage and maintain a higher volume of AV systems and keep them always online.
So, what can a typical organisation do to address these new challenges? There are two clear choices:
- OPTION A – Employ some specialist in house technical resources to manage the AV, or
- OPTION B – Outsource to an external provider.
The first option may be relevant for some but in most cases will be cost prohibitive. Hence the growing demand and use case for the second option, which is AV as-a-Service (AVAAS).
Historically, to deliver an AV solution, an organisation needed a complex and creative approach that was difficult to scale and often needed to be supported by the company that integrated and installed it. That is no longer the case – with AV as-a-Service, complexity and costs can be reduced and solutions can be scaled across the broad geographies over which the different AV technology solutions are deployed.
Thanks to the application ubiquity of software platforms and hardware commoditisation, AV as-a-service is finally becoming a realistic commercially viable option for specialist providers to offer their customers.
With AV as-a-Service combining the AV hardware, software with updates, on-demand support, and warranty in a single package, organisations can upgrade their workplace AV technology without the large upfront capital investment they used to face. Partial or full transition to an operating expense model is possible with AV as-a-Service.
In Australia we are only just seeing the start of AV as-a-Service. Select companies are already offering partial workplace AV technology packages wrapped up into fixed term contracts with monthly payments. Over the next 2-3 years we will see significant growth in this area as the AV providers develop their offerings to become more sophisticated and appealing. The increased competition in this space will also see pricing become more attractive.
One thing is certain. On your next AV technology uplift project, it would be worthwhile gathering information on your AV as-a-Service options from those offering it in the Australian market.
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