Can smaller AV integrators play in the services space?

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Story by Michael Brandofino

For several years now the AV industry has been watching helplesslywhile the technology they sell becomes more and more commoditized.  This in turn results in pressure on margins and increased competition from outside of the traditional AV industry. In addition, the advent of internet mega distributors means that product information and pricing is a click away, setting a false expectation with customers that the technology should be cheap to buy and install.

This trend has driven many of the larger AV Integrators to invest heavily in building managed services programs to differentiate themselves in the market and offset the shrinking margins on hardware sales.  The ability to offer services such as 24×7 Help Desk, Onsite staffing and Monitoring services has resulted in a number of the larger players in the AV space achieving significant shifts in their revenue mix with service revenue growing in double digits year over year.

It would seem that this is simply another example of the “haves” and the “have nots”, as the larger companies with money to invest are gaining an unfair competitive advantage when it comes to creating and launching new service offerings.

Launching a new service requires some critical components in order to be successful.  It requires people who have experience building and launching service models, it takes technology platforms to support the service, it takes marketing expertise to develop branding and awareness, it takes operational expertise to make sure you can deliver the service and it takes sales training to help your sales team learn how to position and sell the services.

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